One Woman's Account of How Abuse, Corruption and Silence at Penn State Perpetuate a Poisonous Culture
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Ultimately, I hope that the Sandusky case will have an important public impact, empowering others like me to speak out and motivating the public to demand answers about just what goes on in State College – even beyond the football stadium. The ongoing criminal investigations and NCAA sanctions are a good start, and will likely have wide-ranging consequences for the university. But the public has yet to truly understand how deep and wide this culture of abuse runs within the university as a whole.
It will be crucial for the public to watch carefully as Penn State tries to redeem its image. Right now, it would be very easy for the administration to use Sandusky and Paterno as sacrificial lambs, and the university’s acceptance of the NCAA penalties as “proof” that the place is changing -- while continuing to operate, off the athletic fields, much as it always has. Citizens and taxpayers should demand more. If the state of Pennsylvania cannot or will not hold Penn State accountable as an institution, we have a responsibility to do it ourselves.
* An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Penn State spent $446.9 million on its football program last year; that number is in fact the valuation of the entire program, not the amount spent on it by the university.
** Additionally, the original article erroneously characterized the murder of Langston Carraway as a hate crime; such a claim has been removed from this version of the article.
Kristin Rawls is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, GOOD Magazine, Religion Dispatches, Killing the Buddha, Global Comment and elsewhere online. The author can be found on twitter @kristinrawls.