Thursday April 24th 2014

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Penn State, Syracuse: Scandalous

Emily Tsang ’13

Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State football coach and founder of the Second Mile, a charity to help troubled youth, has been accused of child sex abuse dating back as far as 1994.  According to CNN, Sandusky would take in young boys into his Second Mile program and befriend them. Steven Turchetta, the principal of one of the claimed victims, recalls in grand jury testimony that Sandusky was often “clingy” and “needy” when students did not want to spend time with him. Turchetta is not the only one who realized something was off with Sandusky. Parents made many calls to Penn State University Athletic Director Tim Curley and the university’s former senior vice president for finance and business, Gary Schultz, accusing Sandusky of sexually abusing young boys, but these calls fell upon deaf ears, and most complaints were not looked into far enough to find the truth. In addition, a janitor who worked at Penn State once witnessed Sandusky inappropriately touching a 10-year old boy in the locker room showers, but did not report it to the proper  authorities.

Photo courtesy of cnn.com

                Sandusky retired from the Second Mile in September 2010, and the grand jury report was released on November 4, 2011. Sandusky was arrested on many charges, including seven counts of “involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.” He was released by Judge Leslie Dutchot on $100,000 unsecured bail. Curley and Schultz who knew about the assault and did not tell anyone, are each charged with felony perjury and failure to report abuse allegations.

Currently, Penn State says that Sandusky is “not welcome” on its campus, but so far the university has no legal recourse to prevent him from stepping foot on the Penn State campus. In addition, the ruling placed no restrictions on Sandusky’s travel. What people fear is the fact that Sandusky is free to return to the Penn State campus, and school officials are powerless to stop him.

Recently, police have opened an investigation into alleged molestations of young boys by a well-known assistant basketball coach at Syracuse University, Bernie Fine. The two alleged victims claim that Fine molested them dozens of times beginning in the late 1970s. Syracuse University students couldn’t believe their assistant basketball coach, who is in his 35th season, was accused of these charges. One Syracuse student’s thoughts mirror what many of the students on both Penn State’s and Syracuse’s campus think, “Just being part of the university you just never think something like that can happen. I hope it’s not true. I hope it just turns out to be an allegation.” No official statements have been made about this accusation, and for now the public will have to wait to see what the outcome will be.