Penn State scandal drenched in outrages

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Penn State scandal drenched in outrages
By Ray Hanania — It’s not enough to get angry over the Penn State child sex scandal because the story just keeps getting worse.

Jerry Sandusky, a retired football coach at Penn State, is accused of 50 counts of sexual molestation of young boys. In 2002, a graduate coach, Mike McQueary, reported to his father and then later to a University official, that he saw Sandusky sexually raping a 10 year old boy in the university’s locker room.

It wasn’t until just recently, when the victim turned 19 and told his parents, that the crime was finally addressed.

When the University did not act, McQueary went on his merry way, continuing to work at the Big Ten University. And why not? Penn State is considered one of the titans of College football, bringing in more than $70 million a year in football generated revenues.

Joe Paterno, the Penn State football coach of more than 46 years, had to have known about what his former assistant coach was up to. Paterno was fired. Sandusky was arrested.

But it gets even worse.

When Sandusky went to court, he appeared before Judge Leslie Dutchcot. Prosecutors asked that Dutchcot give Sandusky a stiff $500,000 bond, and require him to post $50,000 before being freed.

That doesn’t sound like a lot considering that Sandusky has been raking in a fortune in pension payments, including after the scandal broke.

But instead, Dutchcot decided to let Sandusky, who is accused in raping 15 young boys, a bond of only $100,000. Worse, he didn’t have to even post one penny. He was allowed to walk out of the courtroom, required only to pay the $10,000 if he fails to show up at the next hearing.

Strange? Well, yes. Until you learn that Dutchcot had been a friend of Sandusky’s and had donated money to Sandusky’s “charity for young boys” called “The Second Mile.” She was even a “volunteer” there.

What the hell is going on in Pennsylvania? Is the state that screwed up?

Many of the coaches who worked with Sandusky have been charged with perjury, lying to cover up the alleged crimes.

School officials including athletic director Tim Curley and school vice president Gary Schultz, face perjury charges, accused of covering up McQueary’s 2002 report.

Sandusky, who retired as a coach in 1999, continued to enjoy all the privileges of the University, including when the alleged child sexual assaults took place. He receives a $60,000 a year pension in addition to all of his privileges.

Why didn’t anyone speak up? Why didn’t anyone ask questions? Why did everyone remain silent? Was it to protect the “good name” of Penn State, a University that is now under one of the most outrageous clouds of scandal in many years.

Part of the problem is the sports journalism industry. They really have to take a good hard look at themselves.

We know that sports writers are very close to the athletes. When Tiger Woods’s infidelity was finally exposed after a domestic violence incident with his now former wife, it turns out that almost every sports reporter who covered him knew he was having sexual affairs with other women.

But who wanted to rock the boat and jeopardize all that money that Tiger Woods was bringing in to the sports industry and to the media that covered him?

People are blaming McQueary for not doing enough. Maybe he didn’t do enough. But I wonder how much the informed news media that covered Penn State football, Paterno, Sandusky and the rest of the university riff-raff really knew and why they kept quiet.

(Join Ray Hanania every Sunday morning from 8 to 11 am on WSBC AM 1240 Radio to talk about this and other topics in the news. www.Hanania.com.)

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com