Now, there have been a ton of awful and shameful scandals in sports history, but I don’t think any have every been as despicable as the one this article will cover. I will take a retrospective look at the scandal that took place at Penn State that centered on Jerry Sandusky (a former assistant coach for the Penn State Football team) and his rampant sexual abuse of children that went on for years.
Before getting into the scandal, I’ll provide a bit of information that is pertinent to the story. From 1969 to 1999, Sanduksy was an assistant coach for the team and in 1977, he founded The Second Mile, which was a charity formed to help disadvantaged youth. He was first looked at and investigated for sexual abuse in 1998, but no charges were filed.
However, beginning in 2008, he was about to get what was coming to him. The first victim of Jerry Sandusky came out in 2008 and had claimed he had been getting molested by Sandusky for years. And in 2010, another assistant coach (Mike McQueary) came forward and testified about the numerous times he saw Sandusky with underage children. McQueary also testified that he brought this all up with head coach Joe Paterno (one of the most legendary coaches in college football history) and that he did nothing and even concealed some of the facts of the abuse. As a result, Paterno was eventually fired from the team.
After this testimony and responses from other victims, the Attorny General of Philadelphia had heard enough and indicted Sandusky on more than 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys and he was finally arrested on November 5th 2011. These assaults took place in a number of areas such as his basement, high schools, his car and even hotel rooms. The assaults he was charged with occurred between the years of 1994 and 2009, but it is possible (and even likely) that he was abusing children as far back as the 1970s.
As you could imagine, this story very quickly became headline news among almost every major news outlets, not only those in the sports world. Everything about the story was placed under a microscope and Sandusky quickly became one of the most hated men in America (a title which he definitely deserved). The Penn State football team itself also felt the wrath of the NCAA as a result of this scandal as they suffered a 4 year postseason ban, scholarship reductions and a 60 Million dollar fine, which are some of the harshest penalties ever dished out by the NCAA.
In total, he was sentence to a minimum of 30 years in prison and a maximum of 60 years in prison which at his age (he is currently 72), is essentially a life sentence. It is a fantastic thing that this man will never see the light of day again, and it means he can never hurt any more children ever again.