Without question, the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case has completely turned Penn State University on its head. With the recent discovery that head football coach Joe Paterno had tried to sweep the entire molestation issue under the rug, the prestigious and now-infamous institution is now dealing with a deluge of lawsuits that will plague them for years to come. From the courtroom to the football field, and all the places between, early estimations show that the settlements could reach the $100 million mark as more victims come forward.
Financially, Penn State was one of the more well-off entities around. Reports state that the university’s resources exceed $5 billion. The impact of that immense number has to pique the interest of anyone who was sexually abused and is now willing to come forward. Or, sadly, those looking to exploit the situation for a paycheck. Without a doubt, the three civil suits Penn State is already facing will be nothing but the tip of the iceberg. Most experts project the Jerry Sandusky case to figure prominently in the news for at least the next 2-5 years. Some are sensibly comparing this to the Catholic Church abuse situation, and it’s hard to dispute the similarities between the two.
This entire situation is kind of surreal. Prior to this child sex scandal, Penn State was the pinnacle of higher learning. The football program was viewed as the standard that everyone else was trying to reach. Joe Paterno was a living legend who the students, faculty, and even outsiders looked up to as the guy who had done everything right. Now, the castle has been breached, and the walls are falling from within. It’s sad to see how bad things have gotten, but the main concern is not Penn State University. It’s the people whose lives have been effected by a sick, perverse man who is thankfully spending the rest of his life behind bars.