After hearing the news that my college defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has been charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of minor boys, I figured I would write about my feelings on the matter before the bullets really started flying.
I want to preface this post by saying that I love my school and I care deeply about the people who were apart of my development as a man while I attended Pennsylvania State University. My thoughts and opinions are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of my teammates or other staff at Penn State.
I don’t know if these accusations are true or not, so I will wait to see what happens in court, but I am shocked and surprised this has even a possibility of being true.
My experiences with Coach Sandusky are memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I can honestly say that Coach Sandusky was always fun to be around and genuinely cared about us as people. He always made it a point to help guide us in the direction of being better.
He was always very active in trying to help troubled youths and often asked me to take time out of my schedule to spend time with the kids that he would bring around the facility.
I remember distinctly playing soccer games in the locker room with a taped-up towel. It meant a lot to me to help brighten the day of a child who had issues at home. I never saw or felt anything that would’ve made me uncomfortable or even felt that inappropriate things were taking place. For what it’s worth, I too was just a kid back then, why would I think that Jerry of all people could possibly be capable of doing such things?
Call me naive, but being the son of an educator, my level of respect and admiration for Jer, as we called him, was more due to his tireless efforts with the charity group The Second Mile, which was a program that was established to help kids. As for football, I owed my success in college to Jer’s unique ability to identify our strengths and alter his game plans to fit what we all were good at.
He related so well with us that our meeting room was like a bunch of brothers having fun while preparing for a game. His ability to teach, in my opinion, was amazing and unmatched.
I’m perplexed as to how someone who did so much good could end up being accused of something so bad.
I have my own kids, and I know how strongly I feel about them and protecting them from hurt, harm and danger. Selfishly I hope that Jerry is innocent, but if he isn’t, as a parent my thought is may God show mercy on him.
I pray the kids involved in this case are okay. Again as a parent this has created such a dilemma for me.
On one side I want Jerry to be innocent because he was a great man to me, but on the other side, as a responsible parent if he did molest or assault those children, then he needs to be responsible for his actions, as we all have to be.
In the end, regardless of the outcome, it won’t change all of the great things I witnessed from him while I was in school. But the sad reality is, again regardless of the outcome, it has shattered the image of a man who meant so much to me.