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
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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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