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Shame, Shame, Shame.

Shame, Shame, Shame
 
As more details of the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State University come to light the picture they paint grows increasingly sordid and disgusting. Equally despicable as the alleged assaults is the culpability of a man who, over his forty years spent coaching the game of football, has managed to steer clear of the dark alleyways that comprise the blatant and rampant corruption that infects D1 College athletics. I speak of course of the previously infallible and universally revered Joe Paterno. What has emerged in the media today as part of a 23 page grand jury report is reminiscent of the Boston abuse and cover-up scandal that rocked the Catholic Church approximately a decade ago, to the point that Boston newspapers are calling the man a nation lovingly knew as JoePa, “Cardinal Paterno.”The report reveals (to all with the stomach strong enough to read it in its entirety) that some of these alleged assaults were in fact witnessed by a graduate assistant on the PSU coaching staff, that this assistant took it upon himself to report what he saw to Paterno, who along with former Athletic Director Tim Curley…… did absolutely nothing. This assistant reported what he saw in 2002. An arrest was made on November 5, 2011. Thus, for nine years after this report, former PSU assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was allowed to prey on young children while enjoying the friendly confines of the PSU athletic community.
           
These alleged horrific crimes, and the subsequent cover-up of them, presents itself as yet another example of the corruption and decline of American sport. It joins hands with the rampant use of PEDs, the solicitation of high school athletes with financial promises, the refusal to require our athletes to be men and women of character and honor as they walk through our communities, and other innumerable shortcomings.  We turn a blind eye as those who are supposed to exemplify the American character and our national sense of self repeatedly violate it, working under the assumption that their athletic prowess excuses them from responsibility rather than requiring they exercise it. In my humble opinion, this destructive epidemic in the world of American sport begins at the high school level and the burden of this epidemic lies squarely upon the shoulders of coaches who are more concerned with wins and egos than the creation of character. These are the coaches who expect their athletes to receive special treatment in the classroom. These are the coaches who convince their athletes that the goals they accomplish are more important than how they go about accomplishing them. These are the coaches who care not one iota about the development of human beings but rather their personal records and legacies. If we are to break free of the destructive downward spiral that IS American sport, we must first address the caliber of the men and women we are sending out into the world to educate and foster the growth of our young athletes. How much inappropriate and detrimental conduct and behavior is excused as a result of false machismo and a fallacious understanding of sport, its purpose, and its position in society. What “Cardinal Paterno” showed the world, in his reticence to address allegations of vicious sexual assaults when they happened, was that he cared more about his own personal legacy and the dollar value of his football program than he did about doing what was, for lack of a better word, right. Perhaps he takes solace in the fact that there are many others like him. Yet, for those of us who love sport, for those of us who choose to dedicate our lives to the development of young people on and off the field of play, we say shame on you, JoePa…shame on you.
 
Coach Q, a.k.a Yann Kumin, is President of Operations for the Boston Institute of Football and Assistant Head Coach for the Malden Catholic Lancers

2 Comments to Shame, Shame, Shame.:

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Greg DiNatale on Tuesday, November 08, 2011 6:35 PM
Outstanding!
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Mandy on Thursday, November 10, 2011 4:50 PM
Great writing, Q!
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