According to a report authored by Louis Freeh, the former FBI director who conducted an investigation for Penn State University in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, and other university leaders, “repeatedly concealed facts” from proper authorities in the Sandusky case.
The report also found that while concern by university officials to treat Sandusky humanely was expressly stated, no such sentiments were expressed by university officials, including Paterno, for Sandusky’s victims.
Additionally, the report says that five boys were assaulted by Sandusky on university property after officials knew about a 1998 criminal investigation.
Freeh concluded that the primary cause of the university’s failure was a desire to avoid bad publicity. Other contributing factors to the university-wide breakdown included:
- A striking lack of empathy for child abuse victims.
- Lack of oversight by the board of trustees.
- “A president who discouraged discussion and dissent.”
- Ignorance of child abuse issues and laws.
- A football program that had opted out of university programs and training on reporting requirements.
- “A culture of reverence for the football program that is ingrained at all levels of the campus community.”
While the Penn State situation is unique relative to other big-time college sports factories due to the child sex abuse involved in this case, it’s not unique in areas such as 1) lack of presidential and/or board of trustees oversight regarding the football program in particular, and athletic department in general; 2) sponsoring a football program that operates by its own set of rules relative to others on campus; and 3) having “a culture of reverence for the football program that is ingrained at all levels of the campus community.”
Apart from the tragic child sex abuse findings, the details of the Penn State case provide more evidence that too many of our major universities have warped priorities when it comes to academics and athletics on campus.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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