Game Over

Game Over

Jerry Sandusky, Penn State, and the Culture of Silence

eBook - 2012
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Covers the child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State that rocked the world of collegiate sports, surveying all the key participants, as well as the climate that allowed the alleged crimes to occur.
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, c2012.
ISBN: 9780062201140
006220114X
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Dvorchak, Robert J.
Summary: Covers the child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State that rocked the world of collegiate sports, surveying all the key participants, as well as the climate that allowed the alleged crimes to occur.

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mswrite
Mar 10, 2015

"Game Over" is a compelling, well-written account about the unmasking of former Penn State football coach and College State community leader Jerry Sandusky as a serial pedophile.

As the book went to press in 2012 Sandusky was facing numerous criminal counts for having used his children's charity, The Second Mile, as a sexual hunting ground and the campus and facilities of Penn State University as his own personal playground.

That in itself is horrifying enough; the youngsters upon whom Sandusky relentlessly preyed, some as young as 8 or 9, were all "at-risk" youth from troubled homes, many of them fatherless.

What raises this cautionary story to the level of Greek tragedy, however, is the sheer length of years Sandusky's rampage went on and the damage he inflicted on his victims due to the unlimited access and control he had over them.

That, and the revelation that surrounding Sandusky were Penn State and Second Mile officials who should have stopped him, could have stopped him, yet inexplicably did not. Did not, even as men in positions of power--including Sandusky's former boss, revered football legend Joe Paterno--learned ever more disturbing details about his behavior with young boys. The Second Mile organization was founded by Jerry Sandusky in 1977; the very real possibility that he may have been stalking, grooming, and molesting his vulnerable charges at least as far back as then is chilling, heartbreaking, mind-boggling.

There is a point toward the end of the book when some of the more celebrated Penn State alumni share their sadness and anger over the shame Sandusky's actions have brought to the university and its athlete-scholar program, known as Paterno's "Grand Experiment." There was outcry and protest when Coach Paterno, soon to retire, was fired in the wake of the scandal, his legacy as the great man of Penn State and college football all but destroyed by the way he merely handed off "the Jerry problem" to a Penn State administrator.

One of the alumni, a captain of industry, fumes that Penn State shouldn't have to suffer for the actions of "just one man."

I found that statement hard to take, because of course it wasn't "just one man."

Jerry Sandusky was the monster, but it was the years of denial and distancing by others that made his crimes not just possible but in some ways inevitable. (As well, there is an unmistakable whiff of homophobia here--wouldn't someone have confronted Sandusky if his victims had been little girls rather than prepubescent boys?)

The trust those children (and their families) placed in Sandusky was an extension of their trust in the institutions he represented. The victims were thus doubly betrayed, first and most heinously by the actions of Jerry Sandusky, and then by the inaction of Penn State, Second Mile, and many others (including elementary school teachers, coaches and administrators) who saw something, heard something, sensed something, but failed time and again to challenge or even question Sandusky and rescue those youngsters.

K_ROK Sep 16, 2013

A fast read and well put together. It does not include the court proceedings for Sandusky as his trial is set for either 2012 or 2013 (could be further postponed due to more victums coming forward) and this book was published before then. It is sickening to see a powerhouse academic institution's attempt to cover up a pedophile and all his wrongdoings. If you like college sports this book gives insight to what happens behind the scenes and its rather scary.

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