More Sandusky Articles Worth Reading
It’s impossible to keep up with the torrent of news media coverage on the Jerry Sandusky scandal. I’ve been reading some stories online, printing others to read at home in the evening when things are less crazy, and bookmarking still others to read at some imaginary later date when I will have a little time on my hands. (Ha—as if that’s going to happen anytime soon.)
On Monday I posted an annotated list of seven articles that stood out as particularly good coverage of the scandal. Since then the rest of the magazine staff and I have come across at least eight more that we think are also worth reading. In no special order:
1. “This is Penn State.” The new Sports Illustrated is out, with a main story and two sidebars devoted to the events here at Penn State. The one linked here is the main article. Longtime SI baseball writer Tom Verducci ’82 contributes a sidebar called “A Place Apart,” but we haven’t found it online yet.
2. “Inquiry Grew Into Concerns of a Cover-Up.” A New York Times article posted yesterday provides a fascinating look at how the investigation into Jerry Sandusky unfolded—and how, through an Internet forum, “investigators narrowed their list of coaches likely to have seen something to Mike McQueary.”
3. “No Easy Answers for Mike McQueary.” An ESPN.com profile of McQueary ’97 H&HD, the former grad assistant who finds himself in the unexpected role of the whistle-blower.
4. “Let’s All Feel Superior.” New York Times columnist David Brooks is getting a lot of attention for this piece, in which he takes to task all those who are so certain about how they would respond if they found themselves in the situation that McQueary (and Joe Paterno) did back in 2002. He cites lots of well-known instances in which bystanders failed to do the right thing—as well as psychological research as to why humans behave the way they do in certain circumstances.
5. “Case Puts Focus on Grand-Jury Quirk.” The Wall Street Journal looks at the peculiar document known as a presentment—in this case, the 23-page report of the grand jury investigating Sandusky. “Legal experts say presentments have fallen out of favor in most states and the federal system,” the article says, “because they are often viewed as prejudicial and inflammatory both to those charged with crimes, such as Mr. Sandusky, and those who aren’t, such as Mike McQueary….”
6. “Everybody’s All-American.” Bob Flounders of the Harrisburg Patriot-News profiles David Joyner ’72, ’76g, who was named yesterday to be interim athletic director. Joyner was a two-sport standout at Penn State and is now an orthopedic surgeon. He’s also a current member of the Board of Trustees, though he’ll step away from that role while he’s pinch-hitting in the athletic department. The piece quotes former Centre Daily Times sports editor Ron Bracken as saying “Dave is the real deal. I think they’ve finally got somebody with a backbone.” More humorously, it quotes former football player Chuck Zapiec ’71, describing his former teammate as “kind of pudgy. He was built like a jukebox.”
7. “Sandusky, Paterno, and the Presumption of Innocence.” A writer for Forbes magazine, James Marshall Crotty, pleads for a little moderation and rationality in the midst of a media firestorm. He cites similar cases where the outcome was nowhere close to what you would have predicted based on the media pundits. “I am deeply troubled by the many allegations against Mr. Sandusky over many years,” Crotty writes. “Nevertheless, I am in no rush to judgment against Mr. Sandusky or Penn State. And I urge everyone, who respects the American legal system, and the rights to the presumption of innocence and due process that we supposedly hold dear, to show the same mature restraint.”
8. “There is Help—and Hope—Out There.” Longtime sportswriter Rick Reilly (formerly of SI, now at espn.com) offers up a very poignant story based on emails he’s received from former victims of childhood sexual abuse. It gives you a window into how deep and long-lasting the pain can be for them. If you read none of the other articles on this list, read this one.
And please let us know if you see other noteworthy stories online. Just post them in the Comments section below.
Tina Hay, editor