Thursday, November 10, 2011

THE BIGGER THEY ARE...

It’s right there on the Internet. A newspaper story back in 1999:

PHILADELPHIA. Who will take in the strays?

Who'll tend to the forgotten? Who will open their door to the throwaways, the runaways, the ones squarely in harm's way?

Those are the questions we'd rather not hear, aren't they? The ones that make us avert our eyes, squirm in our seats, wish desperately we were somewhere else.

For almost 20 years now, whenever a hand has been raised to volunteer in answer to those unsettling questions, it has belonged to Jerry Sandusky and his wife, Dottie.

They have adopted and raised six children. They started and nurtured The Second Mile, which began as a foster home and has grown to eight different programs that provide for more than 100,000 children who share this commonality: they are considered to be at risk, which is a chilling term that means their souls will drown if someone doesn't throw them a lifeline.

Jerry Sandusky, by the way, is a football coach.

Back in 1977, coach Sandusky founded the organization known as The Second Mile. To say that it has been a success would be a gross understatement. It has grown to be a multimillion dollar charity whose boards of directors read like a roster of who’s who in Pennsylvania business and society.

Literally thousands of boys and girls have experienced The Second Mile programs, and the positive impact of the program on their lives has been demonstrated and documented.

Sandusky chose the name of his charity from the Bible. Matthew 5:41-42 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

That’s where we get our phrase “going the extra mile.” Service above and beyond the call of duty.

I looked up the Second Mile on the Internet earlier today. Impressive site. Among the celebrity board members: Arnold Palmer and Cal Ripken Jr.

Then I looked it up again a few hours later. It appears to have been
completely redesigned. Palmer and Ripken are gone.

The home page features a letter from John Raykovitz, CEO of Second Mile.
In part, it reads:

As The Second Mile’s CEO Jack Raykovitz testified to the Grand Jury, he was informed in 2002 by Pennsylvania State University Athletic Director Tim Curley that an individual had reported to Mr. Curley that he was uncomfortable about seeing Jerry Sandusky in the locker room shower with a youth. Mr. Curley also shared that the information had been internally reviewed and that there was no finding of wrongdoing. At no time was The Second Mile made aware of the very serious allegations contained in the Grand Jury report.

Subsequently, in November 2008, Mr. Sandusky informed The Second Mile that he had learned he was being investigated as a result of allegations made against him by an adolescent male in Clinton County, PA. Although he maintained there was no truth to the claims, we are an organization committed first and foremost to the safety and well-being of the children we serve. Consistent with that commitment and with The Second Mile policy, we immediately made the decision to separate him from all of our program activities involving children. Thus, from 2008 to present, Mr. Sandusky has had no involvement with Second Mile programs involving children.

One has to wonder why Raykovitz thought Curley was telling him about Sandusky’s being in a shower with a youth if indeed there was ‘no wrongdoing.’

Did Raykovitz think Curley was just gossiping about Sandusky? C’mon.

So Sandusky continues to be involved with Second Mile children for six more years until he finally admits being under investigation in 2008. And then what? What does The Second Mile do?

It tells Sandusky he can’t play with the kids anymore. But he stays on the staff until he resigns in 2010.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett wants The Second Mile to be investigated.

Who knows what other horror stories will surface. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

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