Dr. Jack Singer weighs in on Nittany Lion Scandal that rocks Penn State University

The following is a guest post by famed sports psychologist Dr. Jack Singer who earlier this month was a guest on the PI Window on Blog Talk Radio in a segment titled “The Psychology of Professional Athletes,” providing his take on the sexual abuse scandal involving former Penn State Nittany Lion defensive coordinator Gerald Sandusky.

Dr. Jack Singer

What Has Happened to Accountability in Athletic Organizations?

by Jack Singer, Ph.D., Licensed and Certified Clinical & Sport Psychologist

This new and startling revelation about Coach Sandusky, the Penn State Defensive Coordinator abusing young boys, is yet another example of “Let’s hope this will just go away, by not making it public.”

Was there ever a concern for the victims in this case? Was there ever a concern that by not informing the police, that the perpetrator was free to carry out his demented desires with untold other victims?

We see this all the time:  athletes or coaches with addictive issues are protected so that they can continue to perform for the team; domestic violence is almost an acceptable behavior if the athlete is one of the stars of the team; coaches who abuse their athletes describe their victims as wimps, or worse (e.g., “This is nothing.  You should have seen how my coaches treated me!”).

Why is it that the everyday Joe is accountable, but many star athletes and coaches (as well as celebrities in any arena) get a free pass, unless the media get wind of their behaviors)?

It’s time to make every individual, regardless of his/her popularity, power or importance to the team accountable for their behaviors.  The Michael Vick’s of sports have paid for their deeds, but I fear that they represent only the tip of the iceberg.  Furthermore, these cover-ups tarnish the image of the majority of athletes and coaches who lead clean lives, tending to their families, and appreciating the gifts that the Almighty has bestowed on them.


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