Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Jerry Sandusky: Penn State Scandal (1994-2011)

Penn State Lions football players
Pennsylvania State College, also known as Penn state was founded in 1855. This college is the home to the Nittany Lion football team where they bleed white and navy blue. This division I team host their games at the popular Beaver stadium, where it has a capacity well over 100,000. Penn State’s first season started in 1887. From then on they have won two national titles and four conference titles with an overall record of 843 wins, 370 losses, and 42 ties, which isn’t that bad at all. With a great history of college football and not to mention academics, Penn State like any other school does have its imperfections. Penn State’s flaw however is much more serious than a school with a high drop out to graduating ratio, or a low average GPA. Back In 2011, there was a sex abuse scandal stared by former Penn State defensive coordinator/assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. On Friday June 22 he was convicted of 45 out of 48 counts and found guilty of sexual abuse. Jerry Sandusky was accused of abusing around ten children all around the age of 13 or younger, which lasted for over 15 years. During this time period reports were made regarding Sandusky molesting children, but these charges were dropped partially because the Penn State staff ignored the situation. “The former coaching assistant sys he merely horsed around with the boys, all of whom met through his Second Mile charity” The Second Mile charity was a nonprofit organization for needy children that provided help for at-risk kids and supported their parents in Pennsylvania. Sandusky would only use this charity as a sick cover up to have his way with the youth. Sandusky was also kept out of trouble due to lousy investigation. In 1998, Jerry Sandusky admitted to showering with a child, to hugging him while in the shower. He then admitted to how it was incorrect and immoral. After basically getting a slap on the wrist and told not to do it again no charges were pressed against him. Justice was not served in this scenario at all, which is why it was to no surprise Sandusky did not put a halt to his sick ways.

Jerry Sandusky, Serial rapist and former
Penn State assistant football coach
1994- Boy known as Victim 7 meets Sandusky through The Second Mile at about the age of 10. The boy regularly sleeps at Sandusky's house on Friday nights before home games and attends those games with him. When he stays at Sandusky's house, Sandusky sometimes cuddles with him. They work out and shower together regularly.
1995- Boy known as Victim 5 meets Sandusky through The Second Mile when he is 7 or 8, in second or third grade. He attends several football games with Sandusky. Once, Sandusky takes him to the locker rooms and, after briefly exercising, said that they needed to shower. Uncomfortable, Victim 5 chooses a shower far away from Sandusky's. Sandusky begins to molest him, but the boy leaves the shower and gets dressed. Sandusky never touches him again and stops inviting him to football games.
1998- Sandusky takes Victim 6 to the gym when he is 11 years old. After working out, Sandusky persuades the boy to shower with him. While they shower, Sandusky hugs the boy. When Sandusky drops Victim 6 at home, his hair is still wet. His mother finds out that Sandusky showered with her son. She reports the incident to the university police, who investigate.
With a total of ten kids abused (that we know of) Sandusky’s last victim was in the year of 2000.

Joe Paterno, former head
coach of Penn State football
All ten boys Sandusky took advantage of were through the means of using his charity program Second Mile. Even though Sandusky was the one physically committing these crimes, there were many other people involve with this scandal that are arguable just as guilty of the former Penn State member. In 2000, a janitor by the name of James Calhoun had caught Sandusky in the shower with a boy but refused to report it, because he was afraid of getting fired. Grad assistant Mike McQueary also catches Sandusky in his criminal act and reports it to head Coach Joe Paterno, who then informs the Athletic director Tim Curley. Instead of not reporting the incident, Tim Curley talked to the Vice president Gary Schultz instead suggesting help for Sandusky. "The only downside for us is if the message isn't 'heard' and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it.” Tim Curley knew what he was doing was wrong and still wanted to go through with the idea. When brought to court years later, both Curley and Schultz tried lying about Sandusky conducting sexual abuse, but their claims were found false by the grand jury.
As a result of this whole scandal, Sandusky was arrested, but later released on a $100,000 bail. Curley and Schultz both stepped down from their positions surrendering on charges that they failed to alert the police to complaints against Sandusky. Head coach Joe Paterno was fired. In the four major ethical theories, Individualism, utilitarianism, Kantianism, and virtue theory, Penn State did not fare well. They were very unethical in their decisions and how they handled them as well. Staying silent for a period of 15 years committing criminal acts that were immoral is not ethical at all.
Senior Vice President Gary Schultz and
Athletic Director Tim Curly of Penn State
Under Utilitarianism, it focuses on how to maximize happiness and pleasure for yourself and others. I feel after the Sandusky scandal was found out about and no longer behind closed doors, certain Penn State staff were not following this principle. In my opinion, if Curley and Schultz took the initiative to seek justice for the children abused after being informed by the grad assistant Mike McQueary, they would have been maximizing happiness for not only the victims and their parents, but whole country. Child molesting and sexual abuse is frowned upon in this country, and any act to stop it or punish the wrong doer would make any citizen of this country happy. Before this scandal was revealed however, you could argue that Pen State was trying to maximize happiness. Although the victims and their parents were not at all happy with Sandusky’s actions, that was smaller portion compared to the people who were at risk of getting in trouble under this scandal. The whole Penn State organization would suffer tremendously if the scandal was discovered. This is why Sandusky, Curley, Schultz, and Paterno were all working to keep it secretive in attempt to not tarnish the school’s name.
Kantianism emphasizes the ethical standpoint in which you should do what is right in respect to others, and not what is on your own best interest or motivation. If Jerry Sandusky was following the Kantian principles, he would have never taken advantage of the children in the first place. He should have respected the fact that these underprivileged children joined his charity in seek of help, and nothing more. Although this was Sandusky’s intention for the first decade or so of the organization, he later used the charity for different purposes. Being the corrupt man he is he turned the Second Mile charity into a trap to abduct adolescents. This is a perfect example of going against Kantianism. He was pursuing things for his best interest. The janitor of Penn State was also doing things for the interest of himself, by not reporting the incident in order to keep his job. I’m sure this grown man knew the right thing to do was to report Sandusky, but instead he kept silent. Curley and Schultz also knew that it would be more ethical and right to report Sandusky, but they also did not attempt to report Sandusky.
According to Friedman Individualism theory, he says that there is only one goal of a business and it is to maximize their profit for the owner or the stockholders. Under this theory, the key people involved with this scandal were attempting to follow its principles. Sandusky, Curley, Schultz, Paterno, and other less significant people involved with this scandal were seeking to maximize the profit of Penn State while the scandal was going on, by keeping it unknown. If they happened to be successful and had gotten away with it, they would not have suffered from the $60 million fine given to Penn State by the NCAA, a four year post season ban on the football team, reduction on the number of scholarship players the team can field over a four year period, and the loss of many victories earned by the former head coach and his team. Maximizing the school’s profit was definitely a motive for these figures, however they were not successful.
Virtue Theory
Aaron Fisher, "Victim 1" of
Jerry Sandusky's sexual assault scandal,
wrote a book about his fight for justice,
titled "Silent No More"

Virtue Theory focuses on four main characteristics honesty, courage, temperance, and justice. The word honesty means to be truthful in all circumstances no matter the consequence with stakeholders, employees, customers, or anyone else involve with your business. Jerry Sandusky was not honest when being investigated. After telling the investigator that he would never again lay his hand on a child, he went against his words and did so. Sandusky was also not truthful to the kids and parents that were a part of his charity. He was taking advantage of the kids involved with his charity was not giving them what they had signed up for. He was not being honest with their parents either by gaining their trust and then using it to his benefit. Curley and Schultz were not being honest when they lied in court in front of the grand jury. They denied knowing about Sandusky and his child molesting history. They claimed that they were told he had just been “horse playing” with the children, they had no whereabouts of what was really going on. For this same reason, Curley and Schultz were not courageous. They did not stand up for what was right no matter the adversity. Being courageous would have meant the two of them reporting the incident as soon as they found out even if it meant hurting the school reputation, because in the long run they were doing what was right. The grad assistant Mike McQueary did have courage when after seeing Sandusky take advantage of a child. He reported the situation multiple times. The Janitor on the other hand possessed none at all; in fear of losing his job he had no intentions of finding justice. And of course Sandusky played the biggest coward of them all, keeping the scandal a secret when he was the one first handedly committing it. He should have had the courage and strength to stop himself before committing his first offense on a child, and the courage to seek help after he went about it. Lastly, he should have had the courage to turn himself in for what is right, no matter the consequence.  Temperance is the ability to set reasonable expectations and desires. Being a well-known college having the privilege to have Division I sports, you need to set great examples. Penn State and Penn State football is looked up upon and people hold great expectations for the Penn State organization. With a great mistake like this scandal, it goes against what colleges and universities represent. A college is made to further people’s education, give them an experience they’ll never forget, and prepare them for their life’s ahead. They are not supposed to be known as institutions that employ people who violate kids and scar them for the rest of their lives. Justice is to be fair to all stakeholders, and it also includes hard work, good ideas, and fair practices. Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was not fair at all by putting not only his colleagues, but the school itself in a very bad situation. None of these people who were later involved with the scandal ask to be a part of it. Although many of them (James Calhoun, Curley, Schultz, Paterno) did not handle the situation correctly, it was not fair to them that they were thrown into such a humiliation of an event.


· Chappell, Bill. "Penn State Abuse Scandal: A Guide And Timeline." NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014.

· "The Penn State Scandal, Piece by Piece." Penn State Scandal Timeline. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014.

· Yanda, Steve. "Penn State Football Punished by NCAA over Jerry Sandusky Scandal." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 26 July 2012. Web. 22 Feb. 2014.

· Salazar, Heather. "Kantian Business Ethics." 20 Feb. 2014.

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