In some ways, this might feel like the moment we've all been waiting for since November.
As a former coach was accused of unthinkable crimes against children and other university leaders came under fire for their roles in handling reports of abuse, it was hard not to come back to that line in the Alma Mater, “May no act of ours bring shame.”
And in the months that followed, we waited for the moment when we might see some kind of answers to the questions that emerged as a result of the Jerry Sandusky case.
Now that a verdict is rendered and Sandusky has been found guilty on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, it’s easy to assume it’s time to move on.
The former coach now awaits a sentence. National news teams are clearing out of town. A crop of new students is starting a new chapter of their own, greeted by a different president, a different football coach and a different university than what many of us found when we came to Penn State.
But the end of this trial is just one point in a much larger timeline that began when Sandusky was first charged last fall.
Former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz are still awaiting trial on perjury and failure to report suspected abuse charges. The university still faces a number of civil suits stemming from the Sandusky case — including several from men who said they were abused and one from former Penn State President Graham Spanier.
The results of the internal investigation led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh are still looming. Other investigations from the NCAA, the U.S. Department of Education and a U.S. attorney are also ongoing.
While it might be tempting to put your blinders on to avoid facing any harsh truths yet to be revealed, ignorance is not the answer. Don’t bury this in the past or avoid staying informed.
Even when the legal matters are resolved and more answers surrounding the Sandusky case start to surface, it still won’t be time to forget this chapter in Penn State history.
And for now, as an institution and as individuals, this is hardly the moment to stop reflecting.