Shock Value: Why Reading the Jerry Sandusky Grand Jury Report is Worth Your Time

Horrific, nauseating, and grotesque are just a few words and phrases that describe the content of the 23-page Thirty-Third Statewide Investigating Grand Jury report that ultimately indicted Jerry Sandusky on over 40 counts of malicious sexual crimes, and as the story continues to unfold, there is certainly one thing happening more than any other.

Talk. Lots and lots of talk. And while the report is not easy to page through without nausea overtaking anyone who gets past the first couple of pages, what everyone gains by reading the report is simple: the ability to discuss the ever evolving allegations with a sense of knowledge and background, not rumor and myth.

The shockingly detailed accounts of witness after witness have been fleshed out and analyzed ad nauseam since they were released, but just reading excerpts and bits and pieces allows for the formation of shallow opinions, based solely on what the author of the article wants to point out and emphasize, and it’s been clear that the details most frequently posted and discussed are the gruesome acts that occurred, when, and by who.

But to read between the lines is to gain a greater detail about who was involved, when, and how it happened. It is to discover that the chain of command, while followed in a legal sense, may have not been followed in a moral sense, as many people were in position to alert authorities and cease the alleged events long before they came to light over the weekend. However, that’s up for discussion, and after reading the report, anyone who wishes to discuss the topic should have plenty of facts to fall back on while discussing either side of the argument.

Reading between the lines can allow readers to see that even though commentators, from those inside the State College community to those on the national scene, are in line to blame Joe Paterno and Tim Curley for not stepping out of the bureaucracy to alert someone, anyone, of the alleged incidents, they are often neglecting important facts. Specifically, there were janitors, mothers, university police, district attorneys, and detectives who failed to further investigate, seek out proper authorities, or follow through on reported allegations that allowed the transgressions to continue.

Finally, to read between the lines allows anyone with an interest– be they students, alumni, or those who only know as much as Twitter, Facebook, or the rest of the Internet has broadcast– to be able to take to the web, take to the streets, and talk, write, and talk some more. It’s what we all like to do when scandal strikes: talk.

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Greg Pickel

Content Contributor for all things Penn State and member of the Pennsylvania Sports Network.

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