Denial hides in the fantasy of our lies, never to see the light of day until confronted with the reality of truth. This is what has happened with Coaches Joe Paterno & Sandusky @ Penn State University.
It is so sad to see a successful 46-year football dynasty collapse under the weight of this sex abuse scandal that was created by his assistant coach. Isn’t it amazing that the denial issues, and how it affected so many people, can catch up with you so many years later? Did they actually believe that their actions and the damage it created would have no consequence?
But this scandal has lots of consequences. It has destroyed Coach Paterno’s legacy and reputation, not to mention many other people’s lives. Looking the other way when children are being abused is just
Although Coach Paterno is not the focus of the criminal investigations, his reputation has been destroyed. He no longer has the prestige and honor of
being the most successful college football coach in college history. Instead he will be remembered for the cover up, and denial of the sexual abuse of young boys by his staff while he was the head coach at Penn State.
Now he will not be remembered for the victories, the quality of his football legacy, the integrity and high academic standards of his players, or how he promoted his “Success
with Honor” philosophy through-out his organization. None of these foundational aspects of his
legacy will be remembered. How can someone who promotes “success with honor”
look the other way when children are being abused within the walls of his
institution? Now he will be remembered for how he denied the implications of the
school’s handling of the child sex abuse scandal involving his coaching staff.
Was it really worth covering up for a fellow coach and hoping it would all go away? How
many times have we done something wrong and hoped that no one would notice or
that maybe you could get away with it this time?
Denial is not something that should be put behind good intentions. The light has shined on this tragic situation at Penn State and the exposure has cost many people their jobs and their reputations.
People read about this story and shake their heads wondering how someone could
actually make a choice that would have such dire consequences, not only for
himself—but for the children that were affected. Sexual addiction is packed
with denial because of the behaviors that are perpetrated in secret. It is
difficult to admit to wrong-doing (as in Sandusky’s case) when we create an alter
realty that justifies our behavior. I know what that’s like, because I spent
years telling myself half-truths and lies that kept me from facing the real
issues of my sexual addiction.
Can you identify areas of your life where you have
tried to cover-up a behavior that you know is wrong? You can be assured that
eventually the light will shine in the dark places and exposure will come.
Would it be better to step out of the darkness on your own before the exposure