By Professor Doom
I know, the Penn State pedophilia scandal is old news…but the whole story has yet to be told, as our court system moves slowly, sometimes even justifiably slowly. Key aspects of the story have changed, as well, but most folks don’t know that. Everyone heard that Penn State did receive some heavy penalties for spending many years protecting a child molester on campus, because that molester was a coach for a winning sportsball team.
To even call it “molesting” is extremely generous, to judge by eyewitness testimony, testimony that was repeatedly ignored by administrators even as they received regular “complaints” (again, this word just doesn’t do justice to what eyewitnesses reported) over the activities in the showers at Penn State.
Anyway, those penalties have been removed, for the most part…most folks don’t know that, however. Those penalties were from the NCAA only; accreditation, the legitimizing agency that allows the school to suck up sweet student loan money, has no penalties whatsoever for any violations, and thus assigned none.
I can’t emphasize enough how corrupt college sportsball is, but there is a part of me that is grateful for it. All the schools collude to make sure accreditation doesn’t do anything about any lapses of integrity in education. This is why it’s so very hard to see the level of academic corruption occurring on our campuses today. On the other hand, when it comes to the competition of sportsball, such collusion isn’t nearly so reliable. When the corruption starts to affect the sportsball teams and favors one over the other, there’s a better chance that the fraud will be dragged out into the open by a competitor willing to do so to decrease the competition for whatever sportsball trophy is on the line.
Thus it “only” took around 20 years of complaints and suspicious activity before we finally learned just how vile the corruption was in the Penn State sportsball program. I promise the gentle reader that, academically, there are serious scandals going on for much, much, longer periods of time, but there are no competitor institutions who care to check for such things.
Part of the reason these frauds in general go on for so long is because admin has so much power: I’ve seen whistleblower after whistleblower try to stop frauds in higher education…and I’ve seen whistleblower after whistleblower have his career destroyed. Penn State is not so special in this regard.
One of the eyewitnesses to the abominations going on in the sportsball program was assistant football coach Mike McQueary. A friend in the industry relayed to me that McQueary’s complaint to Penn State admin was he saw Sandusky “pounding” in the shower. I won’t give the exact quote, beyond indicating that the pounding didn’t involve fists.
Naturally, admin responded to a complaint involving a coach and a prepubescent boy in the manner I’ve seen them respond, many times in the past:
“…the school suspended him from coaching duties, placed him on paid administrative leave, barred him from team facilities and then did not renew his contract shortly after he testified at Sandusky's 2012 trial.”
--honest, there’s good reason for people in higher ed to make their complaints anonymously.
His initial complaint was made in 2001…imagine living 11 years in limbo like that, only to be executed at the end. Even Vercingetorix didn’t get such treatment. Doubtless, the university kept him around that long in the hope of “swaying” him into not giving testimony. Once it was clear that McQueary had at least a tiny shred of integrity (i.e., more than the entire administration of Penn State put together) and testified, there was no need to keep him.
Not content to simply torture his career and fire him, Penn State defamed him as well. No need to discuss the defamation, but justice has, at last, been served:
A jury awarded a former Penn State assistant football coach $7.3 million in damages Thursday, finding the university defamed him after it became public that his testimony helped prosecutors charge Jerry Sandusky with child molestation.
Yes, over seven million bucks, paid for by taxpayers, of course. So far, none of the administrators who helped to cover this all up have paid any price, beyond the Poo Bah losing his job (his golden parachute was millions of dollars, in addition to a $600,000 a year tenured position in a field nobody’s ever heard of).
That’s a lot of money, but this man’s career was destroyed by Penn State, in the hopes that such destruction would protect their sportsball program:
McQueary testified he has not been able to find work, either in coaching or elsewhere, but Conrad blamed that on an inadequate network of contacts and the lack of a national reputation.
I’m happy for him, but it just seems so…wrong that all he did was tell the truth, present his eyewitness testimony, and must pay such a price in a system where every institution puts in writing that it will act with integrity. It’s a shame so many educators in higher education also have their careers destroyed simply for acting with integrity but for now, I’ll just be happy that sometimes, some tiny bit of justice does happen.