Op-ed: Why Don’t Male Children Matter?



On Wednesday, Michael Pilato, creator of the huge Penn State University sports mural on the State College campus, was painting again. But rather than adding something new to the grand, blocks-long work, he was painting something out: Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coach for the legendary Nittany Lions football team and heir apparent to Joe “JoePa” Paterno, the longest-serving coach in college football history. It had long been presumed Sandusky would replace the 84-year-old JoePa when he retired.

After a three-year grand jury investigation, Sandusky was arrested Saturday and charged with 40 counts of child sexual abuse, with more charges pending. Also arrested were athletic director Tim Curley and university vice-president Gary Schultz. They were charged with lying to the grand jury and having covered up Sandusky’s alleged years-long predatory child-rape spree at Penn State.

The story has made headlines since the grand jury report was released last week. Yet what has led the news hasn’t been the vast array of alleged crimes — euphemistically termed “sexual abuse” — that were perpetrated against vulnerable young boys from dysfunctional families in Pennsylvania, but the crushing blow to the legacy of head coach JoePa, who was fired late yesterday evening by the university board of trustees. Also fired was Penn State’s longtime president, Graham Spanier.

Both men testified to the grand jury that they had known about at least one against Sandusky but did not contact authorities. In this instance, a graduate student had said he witnessed the anal rape of a 10-year-old boy by Sandusky in the Penn State locker room showers in 2002.

Details of victim testimony in the grand jury report are harrowing. A boy Sandusky had allegedly been raping since the boy, now 15, was 10 years old, had complained to authorities, launching the investigation that subsequently revealed the cover-up by the hierarchy at Penn State.

Tags: Commentary