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The Freeh Report: revisiting SanduskyFollow

#1 Jul 13 2012 at 12:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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So, I was reading the Freeh report on the many failures and failings that allowed Sandusky to abuse numerous kids at Penn State. Link to the report is in the article, and there's an executive summary if the whole thing is too long or too depressing to plow through.

What allows people to excuse themselves from stepping up when something is wrong? I kind of get it - there was and is a whole culture on campus of insularity, where loyalty was rewarded and questioning authority was discouraged. Live in that swamp long enough and I guess it starts to feel normal.

But still. As much as I make fun of the overwrought "think of the children!" mentality that drives so much media... wow. Nobody did, did they?
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#2 Jul 13 2012 at 12:49 PM Rating: Good
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Samira wrote:


But still. As much as I make fun of the overwrought "think of the children!" mentality that drives so much media... wow. Nobody did, did they?
Who knows what people were thinking. Was there anything learned from the whole pedo-priest debacle that was also 'covered' up. Likewise, it seems like there were people who knew or guessed what might be going on in one man and boys private place. Did anyone attempt to help the kids? It seems like one could offer help or advice to a potential victim without having to make that moral decision about reporting. But maybe not. Maybe even going that far is admitting you know there's a problem and not taking the next step of reporting an authoritative person.

Do you think there are some folks that don't believe that non-violent sexual acts on a child are harmful? Cuz I suppose that could explain the head-in-the-sand behavior.

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#3 Jul 13 2012 at 12:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
Who knows what people were thinking.
They had a winning team and didn't want to jeopardize that. A lot of parents are left to believe that sports are their children's only future so turning a blind eye now to ensure future success sounds like a good idea, I guess. I don't know, I'm pretty much the kind of dad that'll go into a church with a shotgun if a padre so much as ruffled my kid's hair.

Edited, Jul 13th 2012 2:55pm by lolgaxe
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#4 Jul 13 2012 at 12:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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From the report, it appears that the people who were most responsible (after Sandusky) for reporting the abuse - the university's president, the athletic director, and the head coach - at first decided on a relatively strong plan (advise the welfare department, file a police report, etc.) but then backed off and decided to talk to Sandusky and offer him counseling. This was seen as being more "humane".

It appears to me that the driving force behind the failure to take any meaningful action was simply avoidance of bad publicity that could have a negative impact on Penn State's athletic program. Maybe they rationalized the abuse as "not that bad" so they could live with themselves; but clearly they did think that the abuse itself was harmful since they originally planned to take decisive action.
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#5 Jul 13 2012 at 12:57 PM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
[quote=Elinda]I'm pretty much the kind of dad that'll go into a church with a shotgun if a padre so much as ruffled my kid's hair.

Is hair ruffling harmful?
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#6 Jul 13 2012 at 1:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Does it have to be harmful to justify homicide?
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#7 Jul 13 2012 at 1:26 PM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
Does it have to be harmful to justify homicide?
Stand ur ground dammit!
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#8 Jul 13 2012 at 6:17 PM Rating: Good
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It really makes the case for separating big-time athletics from colleges. The money creates an inherently corruptive culture, like Orwell's absolute power, that even formerly good people have trouble resisting. And it's especially bad with these dictator coaches at the big football schools, who become more powerful than school president.

There would have to be some cuts made, or tax funds increased/diverted to replace the loss of money from football (and to a much lesser extent, basketball), but even the most profitable college football program only makes about $90 million per year in profit, for a school with an over $2 billion annual budget. That's not enough that it should handcuff the ethical and academic standards of a public institution of learning.

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#9 Jul 13 2012 at 6:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'll also add that University of Chicago dissolved their football team because they saw it as corruptive and counterproductive to the mission of education...in 1939!! (They brought it back 30 years later, but as a small-time Division III team with no scholarships, not the national powerhouse it once was.)

The Ivy League of course does not offer athletic scholarships, although some are facing criticism of surreptitiously lowering admission standards for big sport athletes.

And Vanderbilt University did something interesting recently:
wikipedia wrote:
In September 2003, Vanderbilt earned national attention when it announced that it was eliminating its athletic department. Then-Chancellor Gee called Vanderbilt's varsity athletes "isolated", and insisted that student-athletes would perform better if they were integrated into the rest of the student body. So rather than administer athletics separately from student life, Gee folded the university's varsity teams into the Office of Student Life, the same group that oversees all student organizations. The university is unique in Division I in this regard. Despite fears that Vanderbilt would lose coaches and recruits or would be forced out of the SEC, the university has experienced considerable success since the change; 2006–07 was one of the best in the school's athletic history. At one point, seven of Vanderbilt's 16 teams were concurrently ranked in the Top 25 of their respective sports.
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#10 Jul 13 2012 at 7:19 PM Rating: Good
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Asking the University of Georgia to dissolve the football team would be like asking a born again Christian to abandon Jesus.

Athens is a drinking town with a football problem. Every Saturday in the fall, the devout gather in the hallowed halls of North Campus to ring the bells, to partake of holy hot dogs and share beer amongst the youth in a ritual indoctrination, and to worship at the altar of Sanford Stadium. Even after their time at the school is over, the faithful return each fall, and frequently return from their worldly travels to live out their golden years among their fellow Dawg fans. Many of the worshipers at the altar of Uga devote entire rooms of their homes to their canine football god. (Mine is the kitchen. )
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#11 Jul 13 2012 at 8:09 PM Rating: Good
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College football is Big Business. You don't fuck with your cash cow.
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#12 Jul 14 2012 at 7:41 AM Rating: Decent
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College football is Big Business. You don't fuck with your cash cow.



Exactly, and it's sad that College football is something seen as important in parts of the US(and I suppose in Canada, but I haven't seen very much proof of those kind of rabid college sports fans up here), even more important than what the college is there for in the first place. "Learning? **** that **** that's for nerds, My kid's not here to have his face buried in books, they're here to play some **** football!".

We place far, far too much importance on sports in general, but college football seems to bring out the absolute worst in people.
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#13 Jul 14 2012 at 10:09 AM Rating: Good
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Monsieur Driftwood wrote:
(and I suppose in Canada, but I haven't seen very much proof of those kind of rabid college sports fans up here)
Never heard of hockey or something?
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#14 Jul 14 2012 at 10:37 AM Rating: Decent
Uglysasquatch wrote:
Monsieur Driftwood wrote:
(and I suppose in Canada, but I haven't seen very much proof of those kind of rabid college sports fans up here)
Never heard of hockey or something?


I've never seen college hockey fans act nearly as retarded about the sport as US college football fans. Not to mention, no one goes to a college/university in Canada just to play hockey. Our schools are schools.
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The World Is Not A Cold Dead Place.
Alan Watts wrote:
I am omnipotent insofar as I am the Universe, but I am not an omnipotent in the role of Alan Watts, only cunning


Eske wrote:
I've always read Driftwood as the straight man in varus' double act. It helps if you read all of his posts in the voice of Droopy Dog.
#15 Jul 14 2012 at 10:58 AM Rating: Decent
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Monsieur Driftwood wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
Monsieur Driftwood wrote:
(and I suppose in Canada, but I haven't seen very much proof of those kind of rabid college sports fans up here)
Never heard of hockey or something?


I've never seen college hockey fans act nearly as retarded about the sport as US college football fans. Not to mention, no one goes to a college/university in Canada just to play hockey. Our schools are schools.

A friend of mine started a tradition up in Oswego of throwing bagels onto the ice at college hockey games.
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we all know liberals are well adjusted american citizens who only want what's best for society. While conservatives are evil money grubbing scum who only want to sh*t on the little man and rob the world of its resources.
#16 Jul 14 2012 at 11:00 AM Rating: Decent
Debalic wrote:
Monsieur Driftwood wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
Monsieur Driftwood wrote:
(and I suppose in Canada, but I haven't seen very much proof of those kind of rabid college sports fans up here)
Never heard of hockey or something?


I've never seen college hockey fans act nearly as retarded about the sport as US college football fans. Not to mention, no one goes to a college/university in Canada just to play hockey. Our schools are schools.

A friend of mine started a tradition up in Oswego of throwing bagels onto the ice at college hockey games.



See, now that's just awesome. Letting kids get molested because the team might lose if you have to hire a new non-child-molesting coach? Not awesome.
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The World Is Not A Cold Dead Place.
Alan Watts wrote:
I am omnipotent insofar as I am the Universe, but I am not an omnipotent in the role of Alan Watts, only cunning


Eske wrote:
I've always read Driftwood as the straight man in varus' double act. It helps if you read all of his posts in the voice of Droopy Dog.
#17 Jul 14 2012 at 11:01 AM Rating: Good
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Monsieur Driftwood wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
Monsieur Driftwood wrote:
(and I suppose in Canada, but I haven't seen very much proof of those kind of rabid college sports fans up here)
Never heard of hockey or something?


I've never seen college hockey fans act nearly as retarded about the sport as US college football fans. Not to mention, no one goes to a college/university in Canada just to play hockey. Our schools are schools.
Fair enough. I wasn't really following the conversation that well I suppose. People get just as crazy about that level of sport in Canada, we just have separate leagues for them.
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