The old boys’ network is alive and well at Penn State University. The abuse allegations against Coach Sandusky are shocking. Now more than 10 victims have come forward. Clearly if all the allegations are true and he recently admitted to some of his inappropriate behavior toward his students in a recent interview with Bob Costas this is not just the personal moral failure of Jerry Sandusky but of the entire system. This went on for years. And in the patronizing and patriarchal system that was Penn State and Joe Paterno’s football system the blame for allowing these on going crimes must be shared. The Board of Trustees of the University did the right thing in firing Paterno and the President. But more must be done.
Where is the NCAA in all of this? Their silence has been deafening. This ought to be a wake-up call across the board in universities and athletic programs of all kinds. Child abuse is not to be tolerated. Period. Coaches must be held accountable and Athletic Directors, all the way up the chain of command to the Presidents of the Universities. Sports is big business. Many schools depend on football and basketball programs especially to fund serious parts of the educational program. The donor support for good athletic programs go hand in hand with marketing the mascot and school “brands”. Think about all those hats and sweatshirts with team logos, a university name’s splashed across them. Licensing fees go up for the university when they win bowl games and championship trophies!
And every campus runs sports camps in the summer on their campuses. Baseball camps, football camps during winter breaks, basketball camps -for kids in middle and high school. Often with coaches from the various sports staff. The draw is using the school name and campus to get your kid into the recruitment pipeline as well as get sports skills and play time.
How will college administrators make every effort to protect these kids from molestation and sexual abuse?
The old boys’ network protected Sandusky for years. But its time to say no to the Old Boys’ Network of College sports on every campus. I say good riddance.