Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky has been serially molesting young boys for perhaps in excess of 30 years. The whole thing was covered up and not stopped by those who could have stopped it. It is one of the most disturbing news revelations of the year, and certainly one of the worst connected to college sports of all time.
In hindsight, most everything you read about what Sandusky did was creepy -- founding a charity in 1977 called "Second Mile" to ostensibly help disadvantaged local youth, he would shower gifts on certain young boys and take them to football games, slowly progressing if he could from touching them on the leg in the car to anally raping them in the shower. I'm not kidding -- go to the source and read the recent indictment -- its only 23 pages, you'll be best informed on this story if you just read it instead of news reports about what it says. Its a nightmare.
(From a Jerry Sandusky instructional video, completely unnecessary touching.)
One thing that intrigues me, and this is certain to be deeply probed soon in the press, is how Jerry Sandusky became a child molester. Was he molested himself as a child? That is not uncommon in child molester cases. As detailed in his 2001 autobiography "Touched", Sandusky's parents Art and Evie also ran a program for youths in Washington, Pennsylania. In fact, the family lived in the building--the Brownson House--where the program was run for many years. Art instituted football programs and a huge junior wrestling program. Wrestling? "We were just wrestling!" was one of Jerry's excuses when others happened across some of his unusual behavior, and its one of the few sports where an adult coach can arguably claim a legitimate reason to be physically close to a young person as a part of "coaching."
And yes, you have noticed, Jerry Sandusky's autobiography is called "Touched". In fact, how many children he "touched" through his charity seems to be the term of choice he used for many years to describe his work. The term is used about his parents' work too, as in this 1982 editorial in the Washington, PA paper, talking about how they "touched" the lives of thousands--the creepy detectors are going off for me again. It may be nothing, but someone better be looking into this. I am not saying Art Sandusky was a child molester--but its a logical investigative question that I hope is being asked. I don't feel right not putting the question out there, even though its an incendiary question. Is "Ol' Art rolling over in his grave" about the revelations about Jerry? Art and Evie moved to State College, PA to 'consult' on Second Mile in 1987, and Art did not die until 1996, during which time we are to assume Jerry was busy molesting kids.
1982 editorial about Art:
What turned Jerry Sandusky into a monster? A parent, a family member, someone in the community? He self-reports being very shy and awkward as a child. I suspect we'll find out what happened. And it won't be pretty.
Update 1:22 PST 11/16: This comment posted on Nov 13 on a local news affiliate story about Jerry's hometown defends Art against commenters who are speculating, like me:
"Mike – On the surface, you make a noteworthy point. The similarity is definitely notable. However, I come from a family that has had several generations who participated at the Brownson House on a regular basis. Many of us and countless friends and acquaintances have been around Art Sandusky (unsupervised) far too many times to count. I know for certain that I never heard a single person make a negative comment about Art. Art was an angelic, hard working and kind man who kept the kids busy and cared for them deeply. I can state with confidence that Art (and the Brownson) would never allow a child to get hurt.
The Brownson House is one of the few remaining places in Washington where the local youth can interact with their peers in a competitive, positive and safe environment. As for Jerry Sandusky, the case is troubling and the apparent truth will fully be revealed. The victims, assuming something terrible had taken place, do not deserve the agony they are experiencing. Likewise, the good names of Art Sandusky and the Brownson do not deserve any undeserved, unwarranted accusations."
Not sure this is really evidence, its just his opinion.
Update 11/22 8:57am PST: New post, Straight Edge Sandusky?