Football program had wrong priorities

Had two former Penn State University officials done the right thing, some children might have been spared the ongoing pain of having been sexually abused. Apparently, the university’s football program was more important to the two.

Former Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz, 67, and former Athletic Director Tim Curley, 62, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment in court on Monday. Each faces as much as five years in prison.

Their cases are linked to that of former football coaching staff member Jerry Sandusky, who is serving a long prison term for molesting 10 boys. The full list of his victims is much longer.

Curley and Schultz’s cases are being resolved more than five years after the Sandusky scandal broke. One wonders why it took Pennsylvania authorities so long to resolve the matter.

While in their Penn State positions, the two men were among those who in 2001 received a complaint by a university graduate assistant. He said he witnessed Sandusky molesting a boy in a shower used by the team.

But the two — and, allegedly, former Penn State President Graham Spanier — swept the complaint under the carpet. That allowed Sandusky to spend the next 10 years victimizing more children.

The legendary Joe Paterno, Penn State’s football coach for many years, lost his job over the scandal. He died a few months after Sandusky was arrested.

Curley and Schultz were required by law to report the complaint about Sandusky to the authorities. They failed to do so, and that is why they face prison terms.

Educators in Ohio and West Virginia work under similar mandates regarding abuse or neglect of children that comes to their attention. Frequently, predators who go to prison in our states have educators who blew the whistle on them to thank.

It is a matter of priorities, we suppose. Either the welfare of children is your top priority — or it isn’t. Those who think something else is more important belong behind bars.


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