My story today is a parable — though taken absolutely from true life. It's the story of how the people in charge of a famous, major American university allowed one of their football coaches to molest children for more than a decade, because the fame and prestige and money generated by the football program were more important to them than the children who were being molested.
After 12 or 13 years of pretending not to know what was going on, these people were finally confronted with the truth when the story became public through other channels. Then the President, Vice President, Athletic Director, and Head Football Coach all lost their jobs. The jobs, in fact, were the least of it. Much more importantly, they lost their good reputations; they lost the trust and respect of everyone around them; and most importantly of all, they lost their self-respect. The football program and the entire university also lost respect. In every case, the restoration of that respect will be very difficult at best, if even possible.
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I won't refer to these people by name — because I have no desire to drag them through the mud, they've had plenty of that already. Their names and stories are everywhere nowadays: newspapers, magazines, TV and radio. In case you've been comatose for the past few months, or on another planet, and you really feel a need for personal names in the story ... just look at almost any periodical published in the past 6 months (in print or online)....
The reason I'm writing about this at all, even without personal names, and even on a site devoted to sex and romance and beauty, is that the story is such a phenomenal parable for every one of us. I can't think of anything in recent memory that is such a fantastic illustration of the importance of Always Doing What Is Right! It applies to every one of us in every situation.
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In this case, the seeds of destruction were sown by one Assistant Football Coach, when he embarked on a career of molesting children. Some people may argue that the Coach didn't know wrong from right, or else he never would have done it. I have to admit, that's a possibility — but the jurors in his trial apparently decided that was not the case; they found him guilty of 45 criminal charges, which may add up to a prison sentence of as much as 442 years!
The destruction grew when the Head Football Coach, the Athletic Director, and the Vice President and President of the university learned about the molestations and took no action to stop them from continuing ... and kept the truth of the whole situation to themselves. This was clearly a case of knowing the right thing to do, and deliberately not doing it. In fact, it's been revealed that the Athletic Director, Vice President, and President were about to notify the police of the situation in 2001 ... but then, after a meeting with the Head Coach, they all decided to keep quiet.