Joe Paterno in 2006, four years after an incident of child abuse was allegedly reported to him. Image via wikipedia.

This Saturday, November 12th, the Penn State Nittany Lions football team will take on Nebraska in a home game at Beaver Stadium.

Don’t go.

If you haven’t been following the news the last several days, then you have been spared horrific and atrocious accounts of rampant sexual abuse of children as young as ten years old at the hands of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who used a charity he created called “Second Mile” to prey on disadvantaged and troubled youth.

Allegations were made throughout the years that Sandusky was abusing children. In one instance, an assistant found Sandusky in the midst of a sex act with a child. He reported it to head coach Joe Paterno, who passed the buck upward through the chain.

Other than not allowing use of the facilities, nothing was done nor reported. The abuse continued.

A Grand Jury probe revealed some truly horrifying details. Sandusky, who at one time was thought to be the heir apparent to the man Penn State community members and fans affectionately called “Joe Pa,” is a monster. But just as monstrous was the response – or rather, complete lack thereof – from Penn State officials and Paterno himself. They turned a blind eye to the abuse and allowed it to continue for the sake of keeping it quiet and maintaining the quiet dignity of the football program.

Like in so many other instances on college campuses throughout the country, the right thing took a back seat to a high-profile sports program. Except this time, there is absolutely no justification.

Sandusky committed deplorable acts, but also unforgivable was the inaction of Paterno and others who were by their own admission aware that something was happening. In my mind, he and every other official that was made aware of the allegations and chose to not pursue proper channels are culpable in the abuse of these children.

The controversy has lifted a veil that sports fans have willingly adorned for decades in regards to corruption at the college level and revealed an ugly truth: that nothing but the dollar and maintenance of a public image matters to the Athletic program at Penn State.

Which is why I’m urging anybody in, around, or even remotely associated with Penn State to boycott the next home game. The pleas of assistants and passerbys did nothing, nor did the knowledge that children were being raped. Empty seats, unfortunately, are the only thing that will speak volumes to the college.

Don’t occupy Beaver Stadium. The silence and your absence will be deafening.


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