The Penn State University scandal is a situation that we all must pay attention to and learn from. I will not be writing an Op-Ed piece, nor passing judgment in this brief column. Rather, I encourage all coaches, administrators, teachers . . . anyone that is reading this to take heed and examine how you would handle this kind of situation. More importantly, how would you handle other situations that may be once in a lifetime situations.
Joe Paterno, Penn State’s football coach and the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history was unprepared for a situation that arose under his leadership. Did he ever think something like this would happen? Should a coach have to deal with the stuff he had to deal with? Is an error of omission worth losing your job over? No matter what your opinion, the facts remain that he was unprepared.
Penn State was unprepared and because of this, many young children were sexually abused and psychologically scarred. It is also a fact that many people’s lives have been forever ruined because of this scandal. No matter where you lean or what your opinion is on this subject, you need to be prepared. Do you have fail safes or protocols in place that account for legal, as well as moral obligations? Are you willing to do what is right in various situations? Have you ever thought outside the box about different scenarios that could ever happen?
The odds of a catastrophe, or a scandal or a criminal act taking place around you might be low, but are you prepared? What would you do if a player, student, co-worker was killed, raped, assaulted, falsely accused of something, etc… What would you do if there is a bus or van accident? A stalker on campus? A crazy estranged parent? Learn from Penn State so that you are better prepared to do the right thing.