Juniata College Admin: Explaining to Do?

I usually take Wednesday off from posting, unless something really bothers me. 

Like this story.

It looks like officials at Penn State are not the only administrators that have some explaining to do regarding the activities of accused child molester and former coach Jerry Sandusky:

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Jerry Sandusky continued to coach football at Juniata College despite being denied an official coaching position there, CBS 21 News Sports Director Jason Bristol has learned.

Two Juniata College football players tell CBS 21 News that Sandusky was actively involved with the Eagles program in 2010, even though his volunteer coaching application was rejected because a background check revealed he was being investigated at a Clinton County High School...

The players' stories were then verified by another, independent Juniata College football player who was not previously aware of their claims...

Sandusky is charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse and prosecutors allege he met his victims through The Second Mile, a charity he founded in 1977 to help at-risk children. Sandusky, 67, denies being a pedophile and has vowed to fight the charges...

Sandusky's presence in the press box wasn't a one time thing, either. The players say he was there during every game of the season--even at home games, despite the school's former athletic director reiterating to the head coach that Sandusky was to have no connection with the team.

Juniata College said it has no documented evidence that Sandusky was in the team's press box, except for a sighting at Franklin and Marshall College on September 25, 2010.

Both players can't understand why.

"How do you not know he's here?" asked the second player in amazement. "It's not like the press box is some closed-off area. You just turn your head (around) and look up (into the windows)...you see all the coaches in the press box."

The players say Sandusky would wait in the press box until after the game and would leave once the stadium had cleared.

Juniata College spokesperson John Wall said that Juniata College senior leadership gave then-head coach Carmen Felus "three distinct orders" that Sandusky was not to be associated with the program. He added those officials were not fully aware of Sandusky's involvement in the program until the following semester.

Wall said that the school followed proper protocol and the "breakdown" in communication falls on Felus.

CBS 21 News has repeatedly tried to contact Felus, who is now the co-offensive coordinator at UT Martin in Martin, Tennessee.

The school's former athletic director Larry Bock, who is one of the top volleyball coaches of all-time and now heads the program at Navy, confirmed he reiterated the college's stance to Felus after the F&M incident in September 2010. He recalled that he never spoke to Sandusky directly -- Felus told him he would do it...

So, let me understand this.

College officials learned that volunteer coach Jerry Sandusky failed a standard background investigation conducted on anyone wanting to work with young people.

They then forbade Sandusky from working for the team, yet he evidently continued to assist behind the scenes.

Then the athletic director received a report during the season that Sandusky was still working with the team, reminded the head coach of the previous ruling, but Sandusky secretly continued his association through the entire 2010 season?

Wow, talk about colossal failure in oversight.

Why bother with the background check then?

Here are three actions that should occur immediately based on the serious allegations:

1) Juniata College should launch a public internal investigation

Having a spokesperson insist that administrators followed "all protocols" and blame a former coach is simply not adequate considering the charges facing Sandusky. The College's liability is already under scrutiny.  Meanwhile, at least some of their current student athletes are fearful (they insisted on being anonymous when talking to the reporter) and evidently have much more details regarding Sandusky's involvement with the team--that is when college officials stop making excuses and get around to asking about it.

2) The NCAA should initiate an immediate investigation

The governing body and the public need to know why an individual who had failed a required background check was permitted to have contact with Juniata College's student athletes for at least several months.

3) The University of Tennessee at Martin should immediately place Coach Carmen Felus (the former Juniata coach) on administrative leave

Felus's former employer insists that he was solely responsible for allowing Sandusky to continue working with the team despite orders against it. If he did ignore the results of the required background check, he should face harsh disciplinary action from the NCAA--depending on the outcome investigation, I'd be comfortable with banishment from coaching.

Also, I would recommend that the Naval Academy place current coach Larry Bock, Juniata's former athletic director, on administrative leave as well until his involvement in this scandal can be determined.

In sum, the horrific allegations of child sexual abuse at Penn State and Syracuse should be a wake up call for other institutions that may have failed to or failed to adequately protect students and/or children.

The NCAA should be taking action and investigating sooner rather than later at places like Juniata College; an institution where an individual who should not have had been a volunteer coach was permitted to do so.

College and university administrators should be held accountable for management of these volatile situations.

The institutions that did act appropriately should be championed, while corrective and/or punitive action should be taken against those where skeletons are found hidden in closets.

To the NCAA and Juniata College: Please do the right thing today.


Samantha VĂ©rant said...

Amen! I agree on every single point.

Pat Hatt said...

Agree, that is just stupid. Another case of ignorance being bliss. You know something underhanded is going on when he hides in the press box until everyone is gone.

Dawn said...

Completely agreed!
"Breakdown in communication"...when is that never a problem?!
And yes! PLEASE PLEASE do the right thing. Our society lacks right!

Little Ms. Fun said...

After being asked NOT to several times, he keeps stalking out the team. Makes me think, who's his victim this time that he's so persistent? Sad!

Expat From Hell said...

Agree on all counts. I think the thread of this investigation is going to tear down quite a bit that we have (foolishly) taken for granted in college athletics. Kudos for tackling a very hot topic, SD. EFH

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

How ridiculous that they've let this continue. Oh and what a creep that man must be!

Chip Allen said...

Totally agree on all points. Heads should roll and I mean right now!

Kristin said...

One word. Disgusting. The amount of people that dropped the ball when it came to this monster is disgusting!

A Doc 2 Be said...

What I really wonder, how many others are out there that have not come forward? How many are too frightened, too scarred to come forward even though they could? How many are STILL being harmed by this man? (Well, were, before he was put behind bars...)

That's what really scares me.

Oh, and the wife. She scares me too.

Wives know (as do gfs). They may not want to admit it, but they know.

Jennifer Hillier said...

Colossal failure in oversight, indeed.

This whole story is just alarming. When I first heard about it, I actually didn't believe it, because it seemed too ridiculous to be true.

Brian Miller said...

that is messed up...if this is goingon and people are talking about why are people not listening?

WomanHonorThyself said...

gosh Slam the world has gone to Sodom and Gomorrah I tell ya..how pitiful for the next lil generation of wee little ones..hang in there my friend and thanks for keeping us posted!:)

Theresa Milstein said...

This whole thing is shocking. So many people allowed this to happen. It takes a village to do wrong as much as it does to do right. Are people still defending him? All of those kids - unprotected.

Audrey Allure said...

That's just disturbing. Great points you've made!

Bob G. said...

What part of "accused child molester" are these folks having a problem with, anwway?
Excellent comments, BTW.

Sure makes 'ya wonder some days...

Stay safe out there.

Maxi said...

The officials use of the tactic to … "close my eyes and it will go away" ain't working.

It's time to step up to the plate.

ladyfi said...

THat's just wrong! I agree with you.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Absolutley agree. This whole Sandusky story is abhorable.