Monday, November 7, 2011

To Everything, There Is a Season.

Once in a great while a blog post stands up and smacks a blogger in the face. Such is the case today.
A Little Help From A Friend.
On Saturday, I found an unexpected surprise in my Google Reader. Margie Clayman had posted and I had not expected to hear from Margie quite so soon. The essence of Margie's post on Saturday was finding a time, place and comfort level to call out when things aren't right. Picking a spot to criticize, complain or condemn can be challenging. Sometimes the best time to scream foul is right now.
In The News...
Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator for Penn State and coach Joe Paterno has been indicted for sexual abusing minors. Sandusky retired from coaching in 1999 but as a member of the Penn State "family" had access to all facilities. Sandusky also was involved with the Second Mile, a group home Sandusky founded for wayward boys. In 2002, a graduate assistant reported he found Sandusky assaulting a 10 year old boy in the locker room shower. The grad assistant reported the incident to Coach Paterno, who in turn passed the report along to the Penn State athletic director. Following a three year investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Sandusky was indicted on November 4, 2011 and subsequently arrested on November 5, 2011. The indictment includes 40 counts of sexual crimes committed against young boys. On Saturday when asked about Sandusky, Coach Paterno said "...I did what I was supposed to...".
Trust and Leadership.
College coaches and their assistant coaches go into homes across America and tell parents, "playing (fill in sport) at (fill in university) is more than just playing sports. It's about learning to lead and learning to be an adult. You can trust me with your child." So what do college coaches across the country say about Jerry Sandusky? So far nothing. To be honest, Paterno's quote talked about taking responsibility for being "fooled" along with scores of professionals. The lesson of leadership requires that Paterno quit today, either for being complicit in a cover up or being ignorant of what was going on in his (he's the HEAD COACH) locker room. More importantly,  college coaches across the country need to (back to the beginning of the post) call for Joe Paterno's resignation. College coaches need to reach beyond the fraternity/sorority/alliance of coaching and show leadership. College coaches need to show parents across the nation that their program is really about more than sports. College coaches now need to prove that they can be trusted. And the time to show leadership and earn trust is today.

What do you think? Don't tell me Sandusky is beyond a creep, that's obvious. How would you feel as a parent if your child is being recruited? How would you feel if your child played sports at Penn State or any other university in the last 15 years? How do you feel about the resounding silence from college athletics across the country?


  1. I honestly have a feeling that this man represents a bigger and weirder iceberg. The manly men in manly locker room really do know what is going on there. I think there will be other the Catholic clergy..slow at first...then reaching a critical mass.

  2. Current,
    In the case of this particular story, clearly we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. Big time college athletics is about as clean as a cesspool. Still, despite all the scandals (reported and hidden) in various college athletic departments this one is really unsettling. I understand the whole idea of "casting the first stone" but if you run a team at another university, if you don't speak up about this situation, what are you covering up in your own program?