My parents are Penn State people. I have family that still lives in the area. I grew up cheering for the team and made the trip from Pittsburgh to attend a few games throughout my years growing up. Given that, it still should go without saying that I can only hope there’s a special place reserved for Jerry Sandusky and people like him.
On Saturday when the story broke, it didn’t seem real. Like many, it was unfathomable to me how someone could do the things Sandusky did. Like many others, I have been swept up in the details for the last few days. Many questions arose, and only some have been answered.
How long had this been happening, and what was the genesis of the investigation that (finally) uncovered it?
The Second Mile was founded in 1977, but reports of Sandusky’s abuse “only” stem back to 1994 – when he first met “Victim 7″ (as named in the Grand Jury report). As is public knowledge through the report, there were various instances between then and now that Sandusky was alleged to have made inappropriate contact with young boys. Many claim this is what led to his retirement from his coaching position at Penn State. Thinking that his retirement would either make him stop or somehow make the University less responsible was the first of many arrogant mistakes made by the University’s Administration.
While much of the media coverage has focused on then-Graduate Assistant Mike McQueary (more on him later) and the incidents that took place on campus on Penn State, it hasn’t highlighted many things that were also in the report. For instance, Sandusky became a volunteer Assistant Coach on the Central Mountain High School football team shortly after his Penn State career. During his time at the school, he would request to have meetings with some of the students who were in The Second Mile. These meetings were unsupervised.
It was complaints stemming from his actions at Central Mountain – in one of these “meetings” – that finally stemmed the investigation in 2009. So 15 (!) years later, there was finally a responsible adult who immediately relieved Sandusky of his duties at the school and reported the complaints. That man was Steven Turchetta – the Assistant Principal and Head Football Coach at the school. Turchetta’s name hasn’t been uttered by many media outlets. Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want it to – or perhaps it’s because the guy who DID tell doesn’t make nearly as compelling a story as the guys who DIDN’T.