Catching Up on My Sandusky Reading
Most of the news media that swarmed all over town in early November are gone—at least for now. I do see a big truck marked “Court TV In Session” parked along College Avenue on my way to work each morning, but for the most part the frenzy seems to have subsided.
(I’m sure the media will descend again as Dec. 13, the date of the preliminary hearing for Jerry Sandusky, approaches. See this story from the Centre Daily Times about the expected influx of reporters and cameras on the 13th.)
Meanwhile, at the magazine offices we’re focused pretty intently on trying to finish the January-February issue, which will be devoted almost entirely to the crisis and its fallout. And we’re also trying to keep up with online coverage of the scandal: Penn State may not be the lead story on the TV news anymore (thank goodness), but there’s still a steady stream of newspaper and magazine coverage on the Web.
I’ve already posted two previous lists of articles that I think are worth reading (here and here). In case you haven’t reached the saturation point yet, here are 10 that I’ve read more recently that I’d also recommend:
1. “My Second Mile: How I Grew Up With The Now-Doomed Organization.” Thomas L. Day ’03, who first wrote about the scandal for the Washington Post, is back with a piece at Deadspin.com about his own experience as a Second Mile kid. It was a good experience and, he says, somehow the news media doesn’t want to hear about those.
2. “Missteps at Every Turn.” In this week’s Sports Illustrated, a harsh look at Penn State’s handling of the events, especially the naming of Ken Frazier ’75 to chair the Trustees’ special investigations task force and Dave Joyner ’72, ’76g as acting athletic director.
3. “Rich in Success, Rooted in Secrecy.” This ran in the New York Times more than a week ago, but I didn’t get a chance to read it until now. It’s a profile of former Penn State President Graham Spanier and the mixed legacy he leaves behind.
4. “It was a Witch Hunt at Penn State.” Older yet (it was posted Nov. 18), but just called to my attention today, is this opinion piece in the Allentown Morning Call about Joe Paterno’s ouster by the Board of Trustees. Columnist Bill Kline argues passionately that JoePa got a raw deal: “Paterno received no hearing, no interview, no chance to defend himself. There was no internal investigation, no further discovery. The employer caved to outside pressure and relied on a grand jury summary … to cut him loose.”
5. “Paterno’s Greek Tragedy Plays Out.” Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia Inquirer has written two books about Paterno, and wonders how the coach is faring in the wake of his abrupt termination.
6. “Search Committee has Normal Composition, But Search Methods are Unusual.” Stefanie Loh of the Harrisburg Patriot-News talks to observers nationwide about Penn State’s search for a new football coach. It’s unusual, she says, that the University hasn’t engaged a consulting firm to help in the search.
7. “Ira Lubert is Only Member of Search Committee Who Matters.” David Jones, also of the Patriot-News, has a different take on the subject than Loh does.
8. “Tom Bradley Selling Penn State to Recruits, Families.” Meanwhile, interim coach Tom Bradley ’78—who has made no secret of his interest in the permanent job—is on the road, visiting recruits and trying to persuade them to keep their commitment to Penn State.
9. “Normalcy Isn’t Good Enough.” Penn State faculty member and StateCollege.com columnist Russell Frank urges the Penn State community to not be so eager to get back to the way things used to be: “Normalcy at Penn State … means a community that sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil,” he writes. “Returning to normalcy would be a failure to learn and a missed opportunity to make this place better.” In particular, he challenges the administration to change the way decisions are made.
10. “Survivors at Vera House Speak Out.” ESPN’s Dana Pennett O’Neil ’90, who wrote on Nov. 7 about the events at her alma mater, has more recently been covering the child sexual-abuse allegations at Syracuse. Here she offers a compelling—if not haunting—look at what life is like for a handful of men who are abuse survivors.
If you’ve seen a story that you’d recommend, please feel free to post a link in the Comments box.
Tina Hay, editor
Entry filed under: Controversy, Graham Spanier, Joe Paterno, Penn State football, Sandusky scandal. Tags: Bill Kline, Dana O'Neil, Dana Pennett O'Neil, Dave Joyner, Frank Fitzpatrick, Ira Lubert, Ken Frazier, Russell Frank, Stefanie Loh, Syracuse scandal, Thomas L. Day, Tom Bradley.