It seems the Jerry Sandusky saga continues to get worse as more horrific details emerge, and now his son, Jon, has taken a leave of absence from his post as an assistant to Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert. I respect Jon's decision to leave the team, as the Browns don't deserve to have his father's scandal become a distraction.
For those who don't know, Jerry Sandusky was an assistant on Penn State's football staff from 1969-1999, and served as defensive coordinator under legendary coach Joe Paterno for 22 years. He was indicted on November 4 of this year on 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys after a three-year investigation.
Some of the allegations date back to Sandusky's coaching days at Penn State, while others have come since his retirement. Even after retiring from coaching, Sandusky was a visible presence at Penn State, and had been in and around the program as recently as last week according to reports.
His son, Jon Sandusky, is a former safety at Penn State, and served as a coaching intern with the Nittany Lions for two years before embarking on a career in NFL front offices. He was a scout for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2002-08, before becoming the director of pro personnel for the team from 2008-09. He was hired by the Browns as the director of player personnel in 2010 and has served that role ever since.
Jon is considered Heckert's top assistant and at just 34 years old, is already a very important member of Cleveland's front office and considered a rising star in NFL personnel circles. I don't expect his career to be derailed by his father's alleged actions, and stepping aside right now was absolutely the correct move.
Jon's announcement is just another example of how this story has grown exponentially and is affecting people outside of State College, Pennsylvania. The NFL has now been negatively influenced by this scandal and I don't expect Sandusky's son to be the final person to have their career altered by this situation.
It has become clear over the past few days that many people knew of Jerry Sandusky's alleged transgressions and either ignored or failed to report them to the proper authorities. That kind of negligence may have led to a sexual predator being free while potential victims were put in harm's way.
While, of course, Jerry Sandusky is innocent until proven guilty, even an allegation of this nature surely deserved more attention than it got from many of the people involved. I do not include Jon Sandusky on that list, since no one has yet suggested that he knew about or ignored anything concerning his father's alleged behavior.
I don't know if I've ever been so disgusted by the actions of so many people involved in a sports scandal or so sickened by an absolute lack of common sense by a group of what are undoubtedly intelligent people.
Here's hoping those involved take a cue from Jon Sandusky's actions and step down from their positions. While Sandusky is just taking a temporary leave from the Browns, those in places of power around Penn State need to simply resign, because like Jon's leave of absence, it's the right thing to do.
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