Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Penn State: Sexual Abuse Scandal (2012)

Penn State football team with their Mascot, the Nittany Lion

In June 2012, Jerry Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team, was convicted of 45 of 48 counts of molesting 10 boys in a 15 year period. These incidents go back to the late 1990's when Sandusky would run a youth football camp, for which he represented Penn State. Jerry Sandusky was working under Joe Paterno, the head football coach. In November 2011, Jerry Sandusky was arrested after a grand jury report found that Sandusky was seen in 2002 sexually assaulting a 10 year old boy. Sandusky, retired in 1999 but still kept a close access to the Penn State facilities.
The incident was witnessed by then graduate assistant Mike McQueary, who reported it to Paterno. Paterno then reported it to Tim Curley, the athletic director. McQueary, Paterno, Curley, and senior vice president Gary Schultz, who oversaw campus police, all testified as part of the grand jury investigation into Sandusky. The grand jury found that Curley and Schultz were not found credible and were only charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse. According to the indictment, Curley and Schultz failed to report the incident to police.
When McQueary first witnessed the incident, he stated that he went directly to the police and informed of the incident. However, during the investigation it was found that McQueary did not actually go to the police and only went to Paterno. On November 6, 2011, Sandusky was officially banned for the Penn State campus. Schultz and Curley took a leave of absence.Three days later, Penn State's board of trustees forced university president Graham Spanier to resign, and Paterno, who said earlier that he would retire at the end of the season, was fired. 
Jerry Sandusky went on trial on June 5, 2012. The trial, including the jury selection, only lasted a little over two weeks. Four of the 52 counts counts Sandusky faced were dismissed during the course of the trial. On June 22, Sandusky was convicted of 45 of the remaining 48 charges against him. Sandusky was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison.

Jerry Sandusky, child molester, and former Penn Sate assistant coach

According to Individualism (Friedman's Economic Theory), "The only goal of business is profit, so that the only obligation of the business person has is to maximize profit for the owner or the stakeholders." The people involved and the university violated this theory when nobody told the police of their acknowledgment of the sexual abuse. Penn State was forced to reimburse the victims for what they went through. The football program also lost scholarships and current players and recruits decommitted because of this incident. The university as a whole of this because they were not maximizing their profit by losing players and having to pay victims.

The Utilitarianism Theory's policy is to "maximize the overall good", and with this scandal, the people and university did not make anybody happy. There was no happiness during this horrific event and during the investigation. Everybody involved was affected negatively. Even the fans were affected negatively with the firing of their beloved coach, Joe Paterno. Even hearing about this incident puts people in a disgusted and awful mood.

Former Penn State Assistant Coach,
Mike McQueary, key witness
for "Victim 2" of Jerry Sandusky scandal

Kantianism, states people to act rationally and to not act inconsistently in your own actions or consider yourself exempt from the rules. Nobody involved acted rationally throughout this whole process, McQueary should have informed the police about this incident first rather than telling Joe Paterno. Sandusky considered himself exempt from the rules by doing what he did. There was just no good that came out of this horrific event.

Virtue TheoryFinally, the Virtue Theory deals with people and businesses making good decisions that help everybody. In this situation, nobody make a good decision but rather made a decision that hurt everybody. The four characteristics of virtue theory are courage, honesty, self-control, and fairness. The people involved and the university did not exemplify any of these qualities. There was no courage because nobody stepped forward and informed the police of what was going on, there was no honesty when McQueary lied about informing the police, nobody exhibited self-control, and the victims were not treated fairly during this tragedy.

This tragedy goes against all of these theories stated. Nothing good came out of these events, for both the people involved and the university. If McQueary informed police in the first place, this all could have been avoided but he decided not to. 


"Penn State Scandal." ESPN College Football. ESPN, 12 Feb. 2013. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.

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