Living In PA (PSU Country) means we are hearing every detail with every hourly news cycle. It has been so depressing and upsetting. Then I read this article and cried. I am so impressed with LaVar Arrington and applaud his determination to speak out. I hope more of the players will do the same.
LaVar Arrington apologizes to one of Sandusky
LaVar Arrington apologizes to one of Sandusky’s victims for not recognizing the abuse
By Graham Watson | Dr. Saturday – Tue, Jun 12, 2012 6:12 PM EDT.. .
The Jerry Sandusky scandal has affected many in and around the Penn State football program, but former linebacker LaVar Arrington was especially taken aback Monday after he realized he personally knew one of the victims.
Sandusky, a longtime defensive coach at Penn State, is currently on trial for the molestation of several young boys, and in some cases the molestations allegedly occurred in the Penn State locker room.
In a column he penned for the Washington Post, Arrington said he knew "Victim #4" and that he went out of his way to talk with him, say hello to him, ask about school and his life when "Victim #4" was a young man hanging around the Penn State football program. Arrington remarked that the boy always seemed mad and that he chalked it up to a poor home life because the victim was a part of Sandusky's "Second Mile" foundation, which typically catered to youth from troubled backgrounds.
But when he heard "Victim #4's" testimony, which included mentions of Arrington by name, he quickly realized that the boy, whom he thought he knew, was a victim and he did nothing to help.
So it's mind-blowing to realize that a kid I took an active interest in during my time at school was suffering right in front of me and I had no idea that the pain allegedly came from someone in my own football program.
20-20 hindsight brings so much more clarity. But at the time I thought we were his place of refuge from what he was going through at home or in school. As much as I saw and talked with him, I felt, in my own way, I was making a difference in his life.
I hate everything that has happened, and now I must admit I feel even worse, knowing what allegedly was happening so close to me, and that I was unaware. [...]
My anguish and disappointment doesn't compare to that of the victims. All I can do is hope that Victim 4 finds this entry and can see that I'm offering my sincerest apologies. I am so sorry this happened.
Arrington beats himself up pretty good in the column, but no one could possibly blame him for not doing more. He was a college athlete with a lot going on. The fact that he took time to even spend time with the young man is a tribute to Arrington's character. He could have never known that someone so close to him was betraying the trust of everyone around him.
Arrington should be applauded for acknowledging the victim and essentially making a public apology for not doing more. It's just unfortunate Sandusky put Arrington in a position where he'd have to write a column like that in the first place.