Sunday, October 12, 2014
THE SICKNESS AT SAYREVILLE HIGH
The world of sports has long been dripping with scandal, so it's hard to be shocked by
anything that arises from the athletic abyss these days. We thought the sexual abuse
scandal at Penn State scraped the bottom of its floor when a longtime assistant coach
was sent to prison for being a pedophile, scarring dozens of children for life while
bringing down a coaching legend.
We believed Joe Paterno was a man of impeccable character and integrity, but he
allegedly didn't do the right thing when it mattered the most. The school and football
program are tarnished forever and the most powerful cleanser is never going to
Now, in a state where Penn State often looks to find blue-chip recruits, a powerhouse
high school football program has found its way into the sports cess pool. Seven football
players were arrested Friday on array of charges from sexual assault to restraint and
harassment. The players allegedly held down freshmen players and inserted their fingers
up the rear end of their teammates and allegedly forced them to taste it.
On the sickness scale, this incredibly brutal act doesn't even register. It's foul, disgusting,
and one of the most heinous acts I've ever heard of. What kind of warped, psychopathic
individual thinks of doing something like that and thinks it's OK? What kind of dirt bags
hold down a kid against their will and thinks it's funny to rape them?
The administration at Sayrerville War Memorial High School in the small township of
New Jersey cancelled the rest of the season for the football team. There was outrage from
other parents and players who weren't involved in the scandal who don't think it's fair
to punish the entire team when "only" seven players were involved. Nearly every parent
thinks their kid is worthy of a scholarship and this hinders their chances of getting one,
a few of them said.
Sorry, the psychological scars of the victims will never go away. It's much bigger than
football. How can anyone be whole again after something like this happens? How
would you feel if your kid was abused like that? It's not something that you just shower
off, like dirt from a practice. These are stains that can never be rinsed away.
Lives of a lot of people have not only been altered, but ruined. This kind of thing can
follow those involved around forever. Penn State has moved on, yes, but they will
never be, no matter how hard they scrub, the squeaky clean program they once were.
Same goes for Sayerville War Memorial High School. This is a tag, a stain, and a
scandal that follows its name forever.
Law enforcement authorities quickly investigated the allegations and seven players have
been arrested. How the heck can stuff like this happen? With the child sex abuse scandal
at Penn State and the hazing one with the Miami Dolphins recently, how can any coach
not lay down the law and abolish any form of hazing traditions and rituals?
How can any administration, seeing the financial penalties and lawsuits Penn State
endured, not tell all their coaches, there are to be no hazing rituals on campus, no
When it's all said and done, coaches and administrators will be fired from their jobs.
There is always scapegoats and collateral damage in these cases. You don't have to
look very far to see what happened at Penn State.
The names of the players arrested haven't been released because they are minors. Police
and investigators were at the house of star running back Myles Hartsfield on Friday
evening. There's no confirmation on whether Hartsfield has been charged, but it would
be sadly ironic if he were because Hartsfield has verbally committed to play football for,
who else? Yeah, Penn State.