Saturday, March 28, 2015

Leftover Sandusky Thoughts

Pederasty, parents, and various other topics raised by the sordid scandal.

Leftover Sandusky Thoughts

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 Some additional musings about the anything-but-amusing Jerry Sandusky/Penn State scandal:
 
 *** All those who suggested the concept of an adult male having sex with a boy was too much for the octagenarian Joe Paterno to comprehend underestimated the breadth of the old coach's knowledge. The most influential book in Paterno's life was "The Aeneid", which he translated from Latin as a Brooklyn Prep student. Virgil's sweeping tale of the birth of ancient Rome is rife with pederasty, which apparently was an acceptable practice in both Rome and Greece.
 
 *** So where does the Sandusky saga rank among the worst college sports scandals of all time? Murray Sperber, a Cal-Berkeley professor who has written several excellent books on the excesses of college sports, including "Beer and Circus" and "College Sports Inc." told me Monday that in terms of its human cost at least, there's no comparison. "This stands alone," said Sperber. "It's the worst."
 
 *** Anyone who believes the problem of one-parent homes is concentrated in inner-cities would quickly have been disabused of that notion at the Sandusky trial. His victims came from small towns like McClure and Snowshoe and none had an involved father. Some hadn't seen their dads for years, others didn't even know  them.  And Sandusky's "Second Mile" had a waiting list of fatherless rural kids waiting to be helped.
 
 *** The word around State College was that Mike McQueary had put his house, which is not too far down Park Road from Paterno's old College Heights neighborhood, on the market. A lifelong State College resident, McQueary's future in his hometown ceased to exist after he stumbled across Sandusky in a football-building shower with a young boy. Will he find another college and another football program with enough guts to hire him? A lot probably depends on what the Freeh report has to say about the depth of Penn State's role in covering up Sandusky's behavior.
 
 *** The same could be said for Jay Paterno, who is also an unemployed -- some would suggest unemployable -- football coach.  
 
 *** Bellefonte, the Centre County seat where Sandusky's trial took place, is really a time capsule. Photos of the town in the courthouse that date back to the early 1900s reveal a downtown that is virtually unchanged. That's nice in one respect for a tiny town that markets its Victorian charm to tourists. But it's also indicative of how time has passed by a heck of a lot of once-grand Pennsylvania cities and towns.
 
 *** How inept was Sandusky's defense. When a big part of your case hinges on the belief of two 70-something coaches that it's OK for men and boys to shower together, you know you've got troubles. Granted, Sandusky was virtually indefensible but surely there were better tactics available to Joe Ameondola.
Frank Fitzpatrick Inquirer Sports Columnist
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About this blog
Reporter Frank Fitzpatrick, a 2001 Pulitzer Prize finalist, is covering his eighth Olympic Games and has yet to win a medal in anything except caffeine consumption. He has also been the beat writer for the Phillies, Eagles and Penn State football.

Frank Fitzpatrick Inquirer Sports Columnist
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