New Policy Bans Children From Penn State Facilities
On the eve of the Freeh Report release, Penn State approved a policy to limit the use of athletic facilities to “student-athletes and athletics personnel,” and recreational facilities to University ID card holders. In other words, unless you are an athlete or a coach, you won’t be using the showers in the Lasch Building any time soon.
The policy is called “AD73 Accessing Athletic and Recreational Facilities” and is effective immediately. Sandusky often showered with young boys involved with The Second Mile charity in the Lasch football locker room building, and this new rule would seemingly prohibit that.
During the Sandusky trial, the defense made the argument that showering with boys wasn’t inherently wrong as long there was no sexual contact. Former Penn State assistant coach Dick Anderson testified that he has showered with children before, and that he still does occasionally at the local YMCA. Another former assistant coach, Booker Brooks, also testified that he has showered with boys at various athletic camps. “It’s very common all over the country,” Brooks said.
“The University’s new facilities policy is an important part of an overall plan to provide the safest environment possible to our constituents, and also re-emphasizes our commitment to offer athletic and recreational space for the use of our students, faculty, staff and their guests,” said Steve Shelow, assistant vice president for University Police and Public Safety, in a release from Penn State. “It’s important to note that we will continue to honor prior agreements with outside organizations to use these facilities.”
According to the release, this rule does not apply when facilities are being used for scheduled public events. University ID holders will also be able to bring one related guest with them into the recreational facilities.
It’s not hard to see why Penn State is making this change. The Freeh Report will almost certainly contain recommendations to take prohibitive measures like this one. Although this rule is admittedly hard to enforce, especially during off hours when Sandusky often used the facilities with Second Mile children, it is a step in the right direction.