Penn State Scandal - Human Behavior Essay

3507 Words Sep 13th, 2013 15 Pages
Case Study
“Penn State Scandal – From A Human Behavior Perspective”
Elisa-Ruth Nelson
Southern New Hampshire University

Introduction
November 5, 2011, Pennsylvania grand jury indicted former Penn State assistant coach Gerald Sandusky, accusing him of sexually assaulting young boys. On June 22, 2012, Sandusky was found guilty of 45 of 48 child sex abuse charges. Nearly four months later, (October 9, 2012) Sandusky received a 30 – 60 year sentence. This scandal eventually forced further investigations into whether or not Penn State officials neglected to act when individuals reported Sandusky’s inappropriate behavior with young boys. It also tainted a highly revered university and led to the firing of its college coach along with
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It’s considered blasphemy to speak ill of “Joe Pa” in many local circles. He was untouchable in every sense of the word, and he obviously knew it” (Hanford, 2012). However, after the release of the Freeh report and events following, Paterno’s character became tarnished. Most new articles, blogs and opinions written imply that Paterno put himself and the football program ahead of the welfare of children lives. For example, in an article published July 14, 2012 it was reported that when Joe Paterno learned that prosecutors were investigating Sandusky (January 2011), he began to negotiate to amend his contract with his superiors. His contract was not set to expire until the end of 2011 (Rohan, 2012). Since Paterno’s death, his family, lawyers and publicists are actively and aggressively protecting his legacy, by filing lawsuits. They do not believe Freeh’s conclusions that Paterno and other top university officials protected Sandusky to “avoid the consequences of bad publicity” for the university, its football program and the coach’s reputation.
Another illustration of Paterno’s power is when he convinced Athletic Director Tim Curley not to report Sandusky to child welfare authorities and handle the matter internally after Wide Receivers Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Mike McQueary witnessed an incident in 2001 (Nadkarni, 2012). How could that be when Curley is Paterno’s boss? Maybe because Paterno collected a bigger paycheck than Curley? Paterno’s power…