There is no doubt that the NCAA's sanctions levied against Penn State football on Monday will affect the program for the next few years. But according to the attorneys for some of the people referred to as "Victims" in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case, those sanctions do nothing to help the men who were abused.
Harrisburg attorney Benjamin Andreozzi, who represents the person referred to as "Victim 4," said in an interview with WGAL News 8, "The victims were not Penn State or the NCAA, the victims were the young men who testified in the courtroom and I think NCAA and Penn State owed it to them to at least consult with them before rendering a decision."
Andreozzi, who is preparing a civil lawsuit against the university, said the young man he represents might have had something to say about the penalties.
This presents the question about whether or not these sanctions are helping the boys Sandusky was convicted of abusing.
Debby Tucker, Executive Director of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, said, "The NCAA has limitations on what sanctions they can put into place, which provides serious messages about conduct."
Tucker feels that the sanctions show validation for those affected by sexual abuse by showing that this was not their fault, and that the NCAA is "holding the right people responsible."
Founder and President of The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network Scott Berkowitz also weighed in on the sanctions.
"I [liked] the fact that the NCAA didn't just focus on punishment of the football program," Berkowitz said. "The sanctions also go toward prevention and helping victims...It is very significant that the NCAA paid attention to the impact this case has had on survivors across the country."
Berkowitz also said he feels that the NCAA was right in paying attention to the impact the sanctions would have on the young men Sandusky abused.
However, Andreozzi said the people referred to as "Victims" should have a say in what happens with the football program in the future. His client did not want these sanctions to happen, he said in the interview.
"I think you at least owe it to these young men to hear what their positions are regarding the Joe Paterno statue, regarding whether Penn State should be sanctioned from participating in athletic events," he said.
With regard to the civil lawsuit against Penn State, the role the people referred to as "Victims" will play in the decisions the university will make in the future will soon be decided.
This case shows how prevalent sexual abuse is nationwide, and the sanctions show how universities should conduct themselves, Tucker said.
Tucker said that the sanctions will show schools to pay more attention to policies and training so that "they don't hold any important information in the future."
"This is bound to happen again somewhere," Tucker said.