There is too much evil in the world. Too much junk. Too much sadness and brokenness.
This is about as bad as it gets (if you read the Grand Jury report. found here).
One, Sandusky is only indicted and not convicted, accused but not found guilty.
Two, deep sympathy for all the victims and prayers for their healing should come from all of us.
But the focus of this post is on leadership and brief observations.
1. There is a tendency on the part of the very positioned and powerful to think they are so positioned that they can ride out a storm, they can escape the consequences, they can bypass the bad stuff. There were a lot of people in positions of authority that knew what had happened and either lied outright, distorted and misled, fudged . . . and apparently - thought they would get away with it.
2. Leadership sin eventually is exposed. You may get away with it for a time, maybe even for years. But not forever. It comes out. In biblical terms, God exposes sin. In contemporary terms - a leader is verging on insanity to think you can get away unscathed these days.
3. Being realistic - the earlier you get help with serious sin - the better. The longer you play around with sin patterns, the deeper they go, the stronger they get, the more depraved the experiences are and the greater the damage you cause.
But here is what leaders think. "I can't talk about this sin now. It will ruin me. I'll lose my job." Listen, that kind of thinking is pure self-centered thinking. Your sin is not about you losing your job. Your sin is about God's glory being diminished, other people being hurt and EVENTUALLY, even more people being hurt when your now much deeper, uglier sin is exposed.
Get help NOW...
4. Why in the world do leaders and organizations think they can get away with "covering up sin?" Well, because, for a time they can... And the consequences always seem too severe to come out and confess what is going on.
Think about the Sandusky-Paterno-Penn State situation. As soon as Sandusky's problem was known, it should have been SEVERELY dealt with by the highest officials. There still would have been repercussions... but today... the repercussions are far, far worse. Because now, a "COVER-UP" makes this even uglier.
5. If you know something is going on, dont just report it and think you have done your job. Follow up and make sure those to whom it has been reported are doing their job. I bet Joe Paterno wishes now he had been more responsible in making sure action was taken.
And I find myself wondering... after having reported the problem to the administration... what did he do after that? Thought, "no longer my responsibility?"
Authorities have said that Paterno, who testified in the grand jury proceedings that led to the charges, is not a target of the investigation. But the state police commissioner has chastised him and other school officials for not doing enough to try to stop the suspected abuse. (FoxNews.com, November 8, 2011)
The BUCK ALWAYS STOPS ON THE LEADER'S DESK. Of course he is responsible.
6. Sandusky's lawyer said he is depressed, that Sandusky is going through a lot! So are thousands of others who are directly impacted by Sandusky. Think of how many people this is hurting... The initial victims... their families... Penn State football... Penn State leadership/administration... Penn State University... Be depressed about everyone who your sin has hurt... not for yourself.
7. Legacy Lost. Isn't it terrible that JoePa's legacy, which less than two weeks ago was this:
JoePa holds the record for the most victories by an FBS football coach with 409 and is the first and currently only FBS coach to reach 400 victories.
That was his legacy. Now the Sandusky sex abuse scandal and (probably) being terminated - is his legacy.
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International