Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter Frank Fitzpatrick says he’s shocked by the depth and heinous nature of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal involving former Assistant Football Coach Jerry Sandusky, but in a way he’s not surprised that it was covered up if the allegations are true. “There was this culture of secrecy up there that you’re hearing a lot about now. Joe sort of created this bubble around the football program, and there was very little penetration, so what was going on inside it not many of us knew, but we did know that whenever there was some attempt to penetrate it the first reaction up there was to circle the wagons and fight off the intruders.”
Fitzpatrick spent an entire football season at Penn State researching the first of two books he wrote about Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions. Lansdale lawyer Bob Szostak says Penn State University, fired Head Football Coach Joe Paterno, fired President Graham Spanier and others will face massive civil litigation, but we all must remember that the first line of defense for children still lies with parents and guardians.
“As parents and guardians, if you see it you have to call the cops. You have to bring it to someone’s attention. You can’t put your head in the sand and say, ‘We were fooled by it and everyone was fooled by it.’ You have to be proactive with your children. You can’t just drop your kids off without knowing where they’re going and who’s supervising, and you can’t let your kids go on trips without knowing who they’re going to be with and what they’re doing. You need to know your kids’ teachers, coaches and other parents that they’re with.”
Szostak says he believes Penn State officials will reach out to the victims and their families and try to settle civil lawsuits because they don’t want to fight the suits in court for years and years. He appeared Wednesday on the WNPV talk program Legally Speaking, and Fitzpatrick was on Comment Please by Univest.