Business Society and Ethics
1st Analysis Paper - Penn State Scandal
On June 2012, Jerry Sandusky, former assistant Penn State football coach, was found guilty for 45 of the 48 charges of sexual abuse of young boys over a 15 year period. He was previously known as a notable college football coach who wrote several books and even founded The Second Mile, a nonprofit charity serving Pennsylvania underprivileged and at risk youth. This scandal deeply affected the whole Penn State community but also the entire state of Pennsylvania, victims and their families, and the general public. It was a media frenzy and many were shocked to hear about the corruption that was going on at Penn State. One of the greatest football organizations in the country was slowly collapsing more and more each day. Cover up’s facilitated by Joe Paterno (Penn States head football coach), Graham Spanier (President of the Penn State), Gary Schultz (Penn State Vice President) and Tim Curley (Penn State Athletic Director) was shocking to uncover. Overall the scandal revealed many ethical problems going on at Penn State that effected many people directly and indirectly which is extremely hard to swallow. One may ask what are the ethical issues that are presented in the scandal and who really are the stakeholders? When discussing ethics one must understand that not everyone holds the same ethical standards as one another. Ethics is something that does not have a definite definition rather something that is very subjective based on one’s own morals and what they believe to be as right and wrong. In the case of the Sandusky scandal one of the ethical issues that had been brought up was, why did Joe and others in Penn State admiration, that had knowledge of what was going on with Sandusky not properly handled and report it? This is not a simple question to answer because we don’t truly know what they really were thinking but we can make speculations of the reason they with held information. Vicky Triponey who was actually shunned out of Penn State before the scandal broke and former head of student affairs at Penn State stated, "’Winning became more important along with a strong desire to avoid bad publicity.’ So many people were invested in the football program, they felt they had ‘to protect something that they had created, a grand experiment that was so perfect that they didn't dare let anybody know there were blemishes.’” (O’Neill) She further talked about how the whole administration allowed football to run its own show. Triponey had many conversations with Paterno about how to discipline the football players when they got intro trouble and Patero always argued that he wanted to be the one doing the punishments for he believed he knew best. The rules were always bent for Paternos players and Triponey disagreed with it one hundred percent but their was no stopping it from happening. This enabled Paterno to do whatever he liked, he essentially ran Penn State in a way. There were no rules for him and what rules there were he could bend for his players. Additionally, Penn State was seen as the poster child for colligate football in Pennsylvania and more importantly the culture of the institution itself. For, it was constantly on display and I believe that is one of the reasons Paterno and other Penn State administration were scared to speak out about Sandusky’s actions. They feared that the empire that they had build would potential crumble if the accusations were true. They were more interested and caught up in all the fame and recognition that they have received that they forgot about their ethical duty’s and moral obligation’s to pass on the information to the authority’s to investigate the accusation against Sandusky. If they had done so it could have prevented other victims of Sandusky from being sexual abused by him.
Below is a chart identifying the stakeholders in the Penn State Scandal and what their interests were and...
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