The day the nation awoke to learn of the charges against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky the one reaction that I was unable to muster was shock.
Not because we had been following the developments regarding Sandusky since March (we have), but because of the 2+ year process of research & production for Coached into Silence.
We had investigated hundreds of cases and those cases were chosen from among thousands of others which we could have chosen to pursue. Dozens more every day. Nearly point by point, any of these cases only distinguish themselves from the events at Penn State by the proper names involved.
There is a template which you could lay over nearly every story where an institution has chosen to protect itself rather than the children which fits PSU all too well. There are countless Joe Paternos, following the letter of the law and doing no more. There are untold numbers of Mike McQuerys. There are Jerry Sanduskys in every town, in your town. The story broke and, as ever, I was heartbroken for the victims and their families. The story broke and I was outraged yet again by the protecting of the ‘brand’ while children are thrown to the wolves. The story broke yet what I could not be, was shocked.
Given what we know about predators of this sort, tragically the only thing that could shock me in this case would be hearing that the number of boys who fell victim to this man doesn’t eventually approach triple-digits.