After the Game. Essay

Submitted By mmoore15
Words: 2052
Pages: 9


After the Game
By: Michael Moore
Baker College
August 03, 2012

After the Game On a cold Pennsylvania night, a trumpet fills the night air with the somber tones of Amazing Grace. Hundreds of mourners gather in the quad of Penn State University with candles held high to remember their iconic football coach, Joe Paterno. He was warmly referred as “Joe Pa”. The crowd sways softly in unison. They are saying goodbye to a coach that believed football players could play on the field on Saturdays and contribute to society after graduation with a degree from a top midwest school. As a result, Peterno’s mission over the last decade of his life was to create an environment of winning and graduating his players to aid them later in their own lives. The grieving crowd huddles around the university's statue of their beloved coach, in the middle of a monument built to honor the winningest college football coach in history. A man entrenched at the university for over forty-six years. A man, some say, that had to much power and influence over a football program. In affect putting a strangle hold on the institution. That is how, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (N.C.A.A) President Mark Emmert saw the situation. In a 2012 interview, president commented that “ win-at-all-costs“ will not be tolerated anymore in the N.C.A.A. This assessment was made after “Joe Pa” was accused of knowing about the sexual exploitation of young boys within the athletic department walls, by his assistant head coach Jerry Sanduski, and failed to intervene for fear of damaging the football mecca he was creating. Consequently, in the aftermath of a child abuse sex scandal, President Emmert levied unprecedented sanctions against the football program. Now, Penn State University student athletes face missed opportunities and a loss of funding. November 5, 2011, Jerry Sanduski is arrested on 40 criminal counts. Mr. Sanduski was Joe Paterno’s assistant head coach until his retirement from the program in 1999. While a defensive coach, Jerry Sanduski founded a group foster home called the Second Mile. This home grew into a charity that helps troubled children with dysfunctional families. Unfortunately, this safe haven for young boys is the connection to a child abuser and the place where Sanduski meet his victims. The abuse started as early as 1994 with as many as ten young boys. These boys were taken on football road trips, post-season bowl games with Jerry and his wife and, all where forced to perform sexual acts. Sanduski’s favorite place to take these boys was the showers inside the Penn State athletic department. Tragically, several people (janitors, students and other coaches) witnessed these actions and some never report the incidents. The ones that did report what they saw to the head coach and school president were reassured that action would be taken but, it never happened (Huffington Post, 2012). Finally, one of the ten victims reports the abuse to the police in early 2009. As a result, an investigation follows which leads to Sanduski’s arrest. In the wake of the scandal, one of the punishments imposed by the N.C.A.A is the free release of players from the football program. All student football athletes are eligible to transfer to another school in they choose to leave without penalty. This allowance has never before been allowed. Before, if a student athlete wanted to transfer to another division one school, that player would have to sit out an entire season. Due to unprecedented opportunity, many schools flocked to PSU in hopes to better their own football program and pick the bones of a fallen program. For example, sophomore running- back, Silas Redd left the school for the west coast and U.S.C. University. Redd was considered to be the best player on the current team. ESPN blogger, Ted Miller, reported a statement by U.S.C. athletic director, Pat