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Sandusky scandal named AP sports story of the year

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and his wife Dottie arrive for a preliminary hearing at Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte AP

2011 was a cruddy year for college football.

Not on the field — games like TCU-Baylor, Notre-Michigan, Wisconsin-Michigan State and Oklahoma State-Iowa State cemented what was probably one of the better season’s in college football in a while — but off. NCAA investigations at North Carolina, Ohio State and Miami coined the phrase “summer of slime”, and conference realignment revealed just how much of a ruthless business the sport had become — as if we needed another reason to show us.

That all turned out to be small potatoes when the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke at Penn State last month. The former defensive coordinator has now been charged with over 50 counts of child-sex abuse and an entire community has been rocked. Joe Paterno is one of two PSU employees who have lost their jobs — more firings are likely coming — and the fingerprints of this scandal extend all the way to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, who was the attorney general in 2008 when Victim 1 came forward with accusations of sexual abuse from Sandusky.

By no surprise, the Associated Press voted the Sandusky scandal as the No. 1 sports story of 2011, beating out the likes of the NFL and NBA lockouts, and the Packers’ Super Bowl win. Conference realignment and the Ohio State saga came in at No. 4 and No. 6, respectively.

With the way the Penn State story has been developing, it’ll likely be one of the top stories for the next year or two.

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13 Responses to “Sandusky scandal named AP sports story of the year”
  1. ortonwhiskeycrew says: Dec 19, 2011 5:35 PM

    Tebow didnt even make their top 10?

  2. woebegong says: Dec 19, 2011 5:49 PM

    That is sad, that they elevate a sex crime scandal at a college, to be the number 1 sports story of the year. Certainly they can do better than that. There have been a lot more deserving things happen in sports that this. Try for instance, some of the NFL players that are serving or have served in some capacity or another, in the U.S. Forces. How about a story about some college kid, who is active in his community with a charitable cause?
    I am beginning to think AP=asinine people.

  3. thefiesty1 says: Dec 19, 2011 5:52 PM

    It may be the top story again next year when it finally gets to court and the dominoes start falling.

  4. righton989 says: Dec 19, 2011 6:09 PM

    For a reduced sentence Slap Happy Jerry will cut a deal to reveal the high dollar donors he pimped for. And remember JVP’s mult-million dollar business deals with Second Mile.

  5. neyvit says: Dec 19, 2011 6:23 PM

    This is really weird. When the Miami story broke, everybody was agreed that it was one of the biggest story scandals since SMU (easily outdoing OSU)… yet only months later, its not even in the top 10 of the year.

    Its an disconcerting example of the influence the media plays in how scandals are perceived.

  6. Deb says: Dec 19, 2011 6:41 PM

    That has got to be the saddest, most disturbing “sports” headline of the year. The Sandusky scandal had nothing to do with actual sports–most of these scandals don’t. As usual, it was all about power and money, and what people will do–or won’t do–just to protect it.

  7. drexelvol says: Dec 19, 2011 6:42 PM

    There’s a shocker.

  8. deadeye says: Dec 19, 2011 8:34 PM

    “It may be the top story again next year when it finally gets to court and the dominoes start falling.”


    Dominos will not fall. The coverup about who knew what, and when they knew it is in high gear. Expect Sandusky to commit suicide before his trial. Expect Curley and Schultz to plea bargain to a lesser crime. Expect the BoT to lead the investigation that concludes that it was all just a big misunderstanding. Expect Paterno, Corbett, and anyone else connected to the story to release statements about wanting to put this ugly incident “behind them” as they refuse to answer tough questions from the media.

    The public will not find out any significant details beyond what is already known.

  9. 78lion says: Dec 19, 2011 9:22 PM

    At least they got the name right.

    Deadeye. Haven’t heard of many plea deals on perjury charges. The base charges should have never been filed (misdemeanor failure to report) as the statue of limitations on the charges had passes.

    Expect the BOT to hang Spanier, Schultz and Curley out to dry thus taking any heat off themselves. They also won’t throw any dirt on Corbett though much should be tossed.

  10. bigdcountry says: Dec 19, 2011 9:26 PM

    If ever a program deserved the Death Penalty it’s Penn State

  11. cornbreadbbqred says: Dec 20, 2011 12:06 AM

    This the theme for that Academy Award-winning movie American Beauty, playing out in reality on some sort of warped steroid-driven ferocity. There is no way to minimize the call to step back and examine how the values of character-building enshrined in sports have long ago taken a back seat allegory of power and prominence of competing enterprise that these big sports programs have become. There was a time when there was a hard, fast division between the grotesque sort of maladies one might expect to see in the realm of big money professional sports, but I think we shall get an interesting view of how tradition and influence, and, yes, money as these programs are influential to the bottom line in these institutions, ran completely off the rail in this train wreck in the halls of the most hallowed values of virtuous manhood, as this thing continues to unfold.

  12. polegojim says: Dec 20, 2011 9:15 AM

    Very sad

  13. abninf says: Dec 20, 2011 10:16 AM

    Deb says: Dec 19, 2011 6:41 PM

    That has got to be the saddest, most disturbing “sports” headline of the year. The Sandusky scandal had nothing to do with actual sports

    It has a lot to do with sports. Specifically, the coverup and it’s relation to Penn St sports and money.

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