Our View: Don’t ever forget Sandusky’s victims

Published 12:08 pm Friday, July 27, 2012

The NCCA’s punishment of Penn State, as promised, was harsh but by taking the so-called “death penalty” off the table assured that football will be played in the fall.

The sanctions, which include gutting the football program of scholarships, a four-year ban against bowl appearances, a hefty monetary fine and even vacating more than 100 wins by former college football icon Joe Paterno, has created a tsunami of controversy. Some, mostly Nittany Lions alumni or fans, believe the penalties were too severe; others decry the leniency, especially with the school being allowed to take the playing field next month, albeit with an undermanned team.

Somewhere lost in the endless and often mind-numbing rhetoric and posturing are the victims.

They are the ones who will forever struggle trying to cope with the aftermath of Jerry Sandusky’s satanic pathology of sexual abuse. For those young men robbed of their youth, closure is not an option.

For others, though, life will slowly return to normal. Make no mistake; just as leaves begin to turn a golden hue in Happy Valley in autumn, thousands of fans will be cheering every Nittany Lions touchdown.

Nearby, perhaps only blocks away from the stadium, young people will be hearing different tunes, tortuous melodies that will be sure to haunt them the rest of their lives.

While some will still spend fall afternoons fondly remembering Paterno, a man who once stood for all that is good in college football, many will remember a coach who stood by idly, more concerned about his reputation and that of the university rather than intervene and stop a monster from luring even more unsuspecting young people into his heinous grasp.

Life inevitably moves on but for some whose childhoods were irrevocably scarred by Sandusky’s heinous acts of sexual abuse normal takes on a new meaning, a daily challenge. Wounds will be slow to heal; the scars will forever remain.

Those young people should never be forgotten.