This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just so Sick

Those of you that have been around my blog know I love sports. Love em. Especially College football. The events this week have just hit me hard and I am so upset by the scandal now going on at Penn State. So today's post is not really about my weight or diet, but about something far more important.   I just had to get these thoughts out.
For those who do not know, a former coach has been accused of child sexual abuse.  There is a grand jury indictment against him.  At least 8 boys so far and there are apparently many many more coming forward. The really upsetting part is that an assistant coach witnessed it, reported it to the head coach, Joe Paterno, who in turn reported it to his supervisor, but no one called the police or child services. That assistant wasn't even the only witness. There were others and still no one call the police.

On top of that, the guy accused was still at the school up until last week. He had an office there, worked out there with football players and was frequently on the side lines.   He ran a youth charity that was supposedly helping disadvantaged boys. And even they knew of accusations and an investigation as early as 1998, but he still was involved with the kids.

As a parent I am horrified, but sadly not surprised. This should remind all of us that PEOPLE THEY KNOW are the people our children are most at risk from.  We teach our kids about strangers, but sometimes we forget that it is almost ALWAYS a trusted person that preys on children around us. We all need to learn something from this mess. Of course you'd think the same sort of scandal in the Catholic church would have taught us already.

First we need to spend real time talking to our children about how to be safe and how to protect their bodies. We need to make sure that our kids understand that even if it is someone that they know and trust, even someone in their family, if they are touched in any way that makes them uncomfortable, they need to tell someone. The really sad part of this Penn State mess is that the first boy told and nothing happened.

Second, we as a society need to wake up. Children are hurt and abused every day. It is a sad fact and we all need to do everything we can to protect them. No matter how respected. No matter how successful. No matter how upstanding a person may appear to be, we have to take ANY accusation of abuse very very seriously.  It must be reported to authorities. The child comes first, not the reputation of the person accused. Not the institution they happen to work for or be associated with. Anyone that was involved in this coverup, knew of the abuse and did not get it stopped must be fired and no longer in charge of kids.

Even Joe Paterno needs to be gone. He knew. He knew and didn't get it stopped. I mean come on, one time you might fool yourself into believing your buddy couldn't do that, but more than one? AND you have a first hand witness that says he saw that bastard in the shower with a child and you didn't make damn sure he never touched another boy? I don't care how long you've coached, how many games you've won, how much good you've done in the past, this is inexcusable.

My son walked into the room this morning while I had on ESPN. He heard a little of the reports. I turned the TV off and we talked about this. We talked about being safe. Not being afraid to speak up when you see something really wrong. How to protect himself, even from people he knows. I encourage you to do that with all of your kids, at an age appropriate level. Don't fool yourself into believing that sort of thing doesn't happen to nice families in nice neighborhoods like mine. Don't fool yourself into believing you can recognize a pedophile by looking at them. You can't. Protect your kids.

I pray that some good comes from this by raising awareness.   I pray that those poor boys will have some comfort knowing that the bastard is going away forever and will never, ever touch another boy.   I pray that God has a special place in hell for child predators.


  1. I am right with you - the fact that Paterno didn't make sure the AD took it a step further is beyond reproach.

    And the fact that this guy had charities with children and has 6 (while grown) foster kids! Glad you teach your kids to speak up if something isn't right.

    So sad!

  2. Not unlike churches sweeping such abuse under the rug, is it? Sad to see Paterno go out like this, but good grief!

    The pedestal our society places college (male) and pro sports on is alarming, and I believe is the root cause that this instance of pedophilia was allowed to persist for so long. (It does not explain the pedophile's individual actions.)
    /end of rant

  3. Important post and a great reminder to talk to our kids and grandkids.

  4. I am so disappointed in Joe.

    The accused? Disgusted. But not as shocked with what he did - unfortunately, those people ARE all around us. But Joe. Damn. Silence equals condoning it, in my book.

  5. Shocking--disappointing--yes; but not uncommon unfortunately. Hopefully such things will be reported more frequently, as the expectations of our society change. Too often the kids who are victims are too ashamed and afraid to report. We have to remember that they are kids, and knowledgeable adults must protect them. Paterno failed at that, and he was rightly fired!

  6. Thanks for your powerful message and reminder. Parents need to be aware and children need to be prepared. Thanks for this important post.

  7. While Paterno has been the lightning rod, I cannot even begin to believe how many people and institutions failed to act to protect children in this case - a DA, Dept. of Child Welfare, PSU Police, PSU administration, Second Mile administration, and at least two eyewitnesses. Horrifying.

  8. I agree, they are all guilty, even if they reported it to their supervisors... that was not enough!!!!

  9. People who stood by and did nothing to stop this abuse are as guilty as the abusers. I find it disgusting that there are actually protests in defense of Paterno. What about demonstrations in the name of abused children? I am also noticing that people seem to be much more tolerant of this abuse than that perpetrated by the Catholic priests. I guess those priests had not provided enough entertainment for the masses.
    Sorry about the sarcasm but I just can't understand what is going through the heads of some of the people.
    I sincerely hope those kids are getting all the help they need.

  10. The fact that abuse like this exists in the world is terrible, but it's the fact that people don't care that's really appalling to me. I was molested as a kid, and when I finally (years later) worked up the guts to tell my mom, she called me a liar and threatened to disown me if I ever told anyone. And look at the catholic church and they way they refused to acknowledge, change, or punish the abusers. It's a very sick and twisted world we live in, that's for sure.


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