I know you’re going to say no. There’s no way your school, a paragon of excellence and morality, could every possibly be the next Penn State. Except for where it could. The Penn State scandal was not unique.
It would be easy for us all to look at what happened at Penn State and say that’s a bad school and Jerry Sandusky is a bad man and that’s all there is. Ok, you’d probably add that JoePa is burning in hell, but that’s not important. What is important is that Penn State is not the disease, it is a symptom of a larger problem.
The crimes of Jerry Sandusky were only allowed to be committed and then were covered up because the institution of Penn State football became more important to a number of people than protecting the lives of children and because too much power and privilege was handed to that institution and Joe Paterno. This is the case at every single college football powerhouse. What happened at Penn State could happen at Alabama, Oklahoma, or Florida.
Do you know anyone who went to Penn State? If so, ask them their thoughts on the scandal. There’s a good chance that they, like hundreds of thousands other Penn State alumni and fans, will STILL defend Penn State and Joe Paterno. There’s a good chance they’ll be outraged at the penalties handed down today. They’ll talk about how the crimes committed by one man, shouldn’t reflect on the University, and JoePa is still a saint.
It’s because they’re still in the cult. It’s the same cult that exists at every big football factory school and the NCAA didn’t wipe that out by punishing Penn State. What makes you think people wouldn’t look the other way to protect the reputation of Michigan or Ohio State?
Why do you think the Catholic Church protected and covered up (and probably continues to do so) for pedophiles within its ranks? Because the reputation of the institution was deemed more important than the lives of children. People who knew what was happening prioritized making the incidents disappear over stopping them.
That same thought process occurred at Penn State and no doubt happens at every big football college for lesser crimes all the time. Why couldn’t it be a greater crime? What makes Penn State different from LSU, USC, Georgia, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Texas, Florida State, Missouri, Tennessee, Miami, Nebraska, Auburn, etc.? We’ve already seen cover ups at some of those schools for less horrifying crimes and infractions.
So which will be the next school to have a giant scandal over a coverup for some heinous crime? Will it be Oregon, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Iowa, West Virginia, or Clemson? Or will it be your school? Before you answer, remember that Penn State alumni no doubt would have dismissed the question before the scandal and many still do.