I’m usually not surprised by much anymore, but I’ve been surprised by what I am reading this morning about Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach (to Joe Paterno) at Penn St. I’m not surprised that Sandusky has been accused of sexually assaulting children (Grand Jury pdf file here, more here and here), or that he even went as far as to found a charity for children that gave him access to victims. As awful as it is, we’ve all seen awful stories like this before.
But one thing I find difficult to understand is one of the key incidents: a graduate student stumbled upon Sandusky anally raping a 10 year old boy in the otherwise empty locker room at Penn St. He didn’t alert the police, but he told legendary coach Joe Paterno about it. Then, Paterno didn’t alert the police, but told the athletic program director and the senior vice president (not sure what this position entails). Then, those people buried the story, and the only change they made was that Sundusky couldn’t bring boys into the Penn St facilities anymore. Basically, they said go ahead and continue to fuck little boys, but please don’t do it here.
I don’t understand the motivating forces that would drive that many people to protect the wrong person.