On the heels of the mind-blowing, horrid Penn State child molestation scandal that has rocked the nation this week, the one question on everyone’s mind is: how?
How is it possible that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky -- a man revered by most of the adults who knew him -- is actually responsible for the disgusting crimes he’s accused of committing?
How is it possible that former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, an institution bigger than the school which employed him, refused to follow-up on alleged child molestation charges he was made aware of at least once?
How is it possible that current Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary could sit by idly for years after allegedly witnessing Sandusky rape a young boy in 2002?
How is possible that a university full of adults charged with supervising and caring for young people, could apparently turn a blind eye to -- and in some instances allegedly cover up -- such monstrous acts?
There are many more versions of how? that can be thrown out there – but the answer is a lot simpler than you would initially be led to believe.
Harvey Araton of the New York Times brilliantly and succinctly summarized the answer to all those questions while offering a general commentary on the stupid riots that ensued after Paterno’s firing was announced:
“This is the result of a culture that mythologizes someone for having the 'courage' to go for it on fourth down.”
Two days after I read the quote for the first time, it still resonates. And, best of all, it perfectly illustrates why the corrupt and indecent nature of college football ever since its inception has been allowed to fester, grow worse and eventually spiral into what it is now: an entity seemingly beyond salvation.