Better East Texas: Penn State Sex Scandal - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Better East Texas: Penn State Sex Scandal

By Pat Stacey

The Penn State sexual abuse scandal has become a textbook study on how not to handle an organizational crisis. 

That sounds kind of sterile so let's say this case was handled so poorly, at so many levels, it is hard to find a beginning.  But the overriding theme is that people made choices – wrong choices – and put the mighty Penn State football program, and admittedly their own careers at risk, over the well being of some very innocent probable victims. 

People in all levels of the organization made the decision to pass the responsibility on to someone else, hoping that the problem would go away, when in actuality, they probably helped the alleged violations continue. 

Joe Paterno, one of the greatest college football coaches has his career permanently blemished and his legacy will continue to decay because he did not do what he should have as a human being.  He knew the allegations and also knew when nothing was done.  And that is where he failed. 

It happened at Penn State but the same set of wrong decisions could happen anywhere, in any organization. People cannot put fear or self interest over the interest of victims of crimes and for that matter we can't put that self interest over even so called victimless crimes. 

There will be continued fallout from the Penn State tragedy but perhaps it will be publicized enough to make others with knowledge of crimes, step forward, boldly, knowing they are doing the right thing and it will make for a Better East Texas.

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