Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What do I root for?

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to a thirty year minimum prison sentence today for molesting boys. This sentence essentially assures he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Many of his victims will struggle with life long memories and related emotional and psychological scars. The crime is dubbed "Soul Murder" by author Leonard Shengold. The tenacles connected to abuse do not end in one act, as with homicide, but continue to haunt and plague its victims throughout their lives.

Do I celebrate his sentencing as just and swift? Or, does it remind me of the horrific crimes he committed and make me question if there is any just punishment for his actions?

And, do I root for Penn State Football? Bill O'Brien is the new coach. I know Bill. He hails from a Brown family. I played next to his older brother Tom during my senior season and Bill would often visit. Then, I talked with him when he considered coaching as a career.

I want him and his players to do well, to foster resiliency and to be a source of positive healing for the community. On the other hand, I have a hard time watching the university thrive in the shadows of the young boys whose victimization could have been prevented had university administrators and coaches elevated their awareness of Sandusky's crimes to the proper authorities.

I imagine it's best to root for the truth to unfold, for the victims to heal, and for goodness to take hold.

7 comments:

Bob Irving said...

Hi Matt,
I was about to email you as I had not seen any blog updates for awhile and was hoping everything was OK with you. Punishment never fits this kind of crime. Yes, he will spend the rest of his life in prison but that is probably 30 years max. His victims have been living in a hell for a cumulativley much longer time, and, as they were so young, have the potential to be haunted by this for a much greater period of time. To execute him would not end their pain nor turmoil. I am sure you are aware of the business analysis term satisfice. It seems that justice must sometimes choose the satisfice option. I pray for the victims to get the help they need and recover as best as possible. Their treatment should be paid for by Sandusky and the Penn State administrators who chose the course of insufficient action. With any luck and a lot of hard work, one of those victims may develop his own business. Perhaps a thriving coaching/consulting business. Maybe they can even post a blog which their friends can read and make comments upon.
Your Friend,
Irvs

Anonymous said...

Hi to blogger Nov.16 2011 3:38 .I also went to Short Hills Country Day/Pingry and experienced Thad P Alton. I am only surprised students did not pursue charges against him. I applaud the Sandusky victims for coming forward and ultimately putting Sandusky away, Thad P Alton should also be locked away.I hope he has been added to the list of other Scout leaders who are accused of molesting.

Anonymous said...

Hi anonymous. I am not the blogger from Nov. 16th, but I tried to reach out to him through Matt Paknis. I too went to Pingry/Short Hills Country Day, was involved with Troop 64 and spent the summers at Camp Waganaki with "Ted."

I have spent almost 2 decades in denial and not dealing with my past. I just recently started to coming to terms with everything.

I would love the opportunity to talk.

Anonymous said...

I had Alton for both teacher and scoutmaster at Pingry. I found him to be an excellent teacher, but as a scoutmaster I suppose he seemed to play "favorites" a bit. Perhaps being a "favorite" of his was not a desirable goal after all. I was shocked to learn of the accusations against him: I had no inkling of it when I was his student and scout.

Anonymous said...

Looks like alton was finally caught, and released.


http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/SomsSUBDirectory/offenderDetails.jsp?offenderid=2522

GailR said...

Yes, I believe he lives in New York City and goes by the name Paul Alton.

Anonymous said...

In case anyone missed it...

Alton's Pingry molestations are now out in the open, and there are several articles on www.nj.com about it.