Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rant 619: Wrong Justify ...

Television often brings out the best--and the worst--in those that we watch.

We have seen people fried by what they say on the air--remember Al Campanis?--and I think that the latest crash and burn took place the other day, when former Penn State Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky answered a few questions put to him by Bob Costas about alleged inappropriate conduct carried out by the coach against young boys.

During the interview, which was played on the air, Sandusky denied--but did not vehemently deny--any illicit interactions with youngsters during his days at Penn State and while running his organization for troubled youth.

Costas asked him point blank if he had any sexual leanings toward young boys, and Sandusky said no, but he came off as being as guilty as sin.


His reactions weren't quick, and they weren't strong, either.

He had to think about each question, repeating each question as if he needed more time to think out a good answer.

Sandusky admitted to taking showers with young boys, some horseplay, even some touching on the leg and hugging, but he denied that he got sexual charges out of any of this. Rather, he said, he should not have taken showers with the boys.

Light the match. He fried himself.

First off, a then 40- or 50-year old man should not, under any circumstances, be taking showers with children. I don't care if it was "innocent," there is no reason to be doing this. None.

And second, the "horseplay" that he spoke about--why did he engage in this behavior at all?

The repugnant thing that this now 60-some year old pedophile tried to do with this interview is justify that what he did was not sexually motivated, but some type of simple interplay with wayward youth.

The guy disgusts me.

The latest angle to this is that now others have come forward and said they were molested by this creep. That's beyond the original eight who claimed molestation.

And then we have another assistant coach, Mike McQueary, who says he not only reported a sexual encounter he witnessed between Sandusky and a child to the proper college authorities, including Head Coach Joe Paterno, but he also contacted police.

In a Nov. 8 email from McQueary to a friend, which was made available to The Associated Press, McQueary said: "I did stop it, not physically ... but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room ... I did have discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police .... no one can imagine my thoughts or wants to be in my shoes for those 30-45 seconds ... trust me."

He also reportedly said in the email that he was "getting hammered for handling this the right way ... or what I thought at the time was right ... ."

He is now justifying his actions too ... and he is no better than the alleged perpetrator.

McQueary was placed on indefinite paid leave last week after school officials said he had received threats.

Why is this all coming out now, years after the fact? That no one thought that Sandusky should be removed from his position as assistant coach and should also be removed from the organization that he created is beyond me.

What it boils down to is that this situation really is an indictment against the entire NCAA system, which has been rife with holes and loopholes for years with few people calling attention to these infractions.

Sports--and primarily football and basketball--is put before anything else at the NCAA. Colleges and universities' educational programs--their primary reason for being--are overshadowed by their football and basketball programs. People in these programs are put on a pedestal, and it's real hard to knock them off.

Why no one is questioning the NCAA about this coverup is also beyond me. The entire environment is suspect, and they foster that environment.

I hope everyone involved in this gets what they deserve. Those kids got what they didn't deserve, and nothing these perpetrators, solicitors, and all those who looked the other way will get will ever make up for what was taken from these kids.

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