Ten things I’ve learned from Jerry Sandusky

  1. Teachers, gym teachers, and coaches have to be extremely cautious around their students. There was a time when teachers would run the gamut from physical affection to physical abuse. That time has passed. For the most part it’s for the best, but it seems a bit much when a teacher can’t even hug a kid, right?
  2. Jerry Sandusky probably could have found a better name for his autobiography than “Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story.”
  3. No matter how good you are at football, no matter how much you were praised by George Bush (Sr.) and Rick Santorum, no matter how much apple pie you eat and freedom you promote, Fox News still won’t have your back.
  4. 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys over 15 years is a lot of counts. Even if 20 are flat out lying, you still have to deal with 20 counts of sex crimes. Even if 39 are lying, you still have one count. And one count of a sex crime against a young boy is pretty much as bad as 40.
  5. For a man who was so good at defense that Penn State was named “Linebacker-U” thanks to his coaching, Jerry Sandusky doesn’t seem to be all that skilled at defending his innocence. “Horsing Around?” Really??
  6. If I went to Penn State, I would probably hold off on taking to the streets to support my accused pedophile coach until after the trial. There must be something happening right now that is more deserving of a protest….
  7. I don’t understand American college football. Apparently being good at it, or being good at coaching it, gives you some kind of legal privileges not afforded to people like me who are terrible at football. And Canadian.
  8. Power makes people think that they are invincible. When you are entrenched in a structure that needs you, you feel like you can take liberties, I guess. The thing is, it seems to be true. Time after time, people like Jerry Sandusky, they are always being protected by their colleagues and bosses. They have been doing the same thing for years, but are so supported by the system that they just kind of get away with it. Until, you know, they don’t.
  9. Grown men should know what is and is not appropriate behaviour with other people’s young children. I’m a kid at heart like anybody else, I like to goof around, but I don’t take showers with young boys. It’s a pretty clear line. “Hey coach, wanna toss the football around?” “Sure! Absolutely!” “Cool, I’m gonna hit the showers after.” “Ok, I am not going to do that with you.” See? Easy.
  10. Jerry Sandusky is guilty in the court of public opinion, and for good reason. He looks really, really guilty. I get it. But even considering how heinous these crimes are, we have to remember that we have a legal system that requires a burden of proof. Does the legal system always work? No. It often fails the innocent and rewards the guilty. Innocent men and women are murdered on Death Row (in certain states) because of an archaic death penalty. The guilty often go free if they are wealthy enough to hire the top attorneys. There is, however, a dangerous precedent in denying anyone the presumption of innocence. We have a right to say what we want, but he also has a right to a fair trial. Even though he’s probably guilty.

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