- Not this Charleston
It was spring and I was attending a symposium in Charleston, South Carolina.
Late in the afternoon, a recently-retired Army Colonel leaned across the table and asked me: Ensign, are you going to PT this afternoon?
Yes, Sir. I was planning on heading to the gym.
Let’s go on a run.
- Not this one either
I met him later in front of his hotel. Those were the days before I fell victim to this monster called blogging and I was still putting in a fair amount of mileage.
He was in shape, after retiring out of West Point as a professor. And we pushed it out along the lower inlet of the Charleston Bay as close to the water as the sidewalk, and then the trail, would let us. Our goal: the Citadel.
The Colonel chatted on about the Army. His duty stations. I was not sure he was ready to admit he was retired. I always looked at the Army as for folks who liked to camp. And I was not much of a camper. But I listened carefully.
We ran through some park just south of the Citadel and the wind was cold, knifing off the water. It caught my breath just right and in breathing out, I suddenly felt blood trickling out my nose. It was a nasty feeling, this. Oddly, blood drips real quick and heavy. Faster than mucus. Ask anyone who gets nosebleeds. They, we know the second it starts to dribble.
- The Citadel Military College
I tried to act normal, but the Colonel noticed. The Citadel was looming and we were running in the side gate to campus. My sweatshirt was streaked angry with blood. The guard gave us a strange look. I don’t think he stood there to restrict access, just as a guide to direct people.
By this time, my hands were red and my face looked like I lost a fight to a blind guy with a baseball bat. With good hearing. And a grudge.
We had better turn back, the Colonel said, hardly ten feet inside the gate. We spun around and hoofed it back to town. I apologized to the man and he waved it off. The next day, I did a quick drive around the Citadel.
I had known a couple of Citadel naval officers and I wanted to see their stomping grounds. Also, The Lords of Discipline had instilled in me a morbid curiosity of where Pat Conroy had come up.
- The Lords of Discipline, by Pat Conroy
Have you heard of the latest allegation concerning sexual molestations, this time against a man affiliated with the Citadel, a counselor at the military school’s camp?
After the issues at Penn State, Happy Valley, and Joe Paterno’s staff, I hoped the Citadel would not be as deep. The facts:
In the wake of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, another university, The Citadel military college in South Carolina, revealed on Saturday that it had investigated accusations against a camp counselor but took no action.
The man has since been jailed on separate charges of molesting five boys in Mount Pleasant, near Charleston, South Carolina.
“We regret that we did not pursue this matter further,” Citadel President Lt. General John Rosa and Board of Visitors Chair Doug Snyder said in a statement.
- Penn State, not Happy Valley
The solution to this issue is to be proactive. Vow to be the truth-teller. We can’t allow this to happen in our communities and schools. Personally, I commit always be a whistle-blower no matter how unfavorable to my career or place in society. Even if I get death threats:
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Nov. 10 (UPI) — Penn State officials said Thursday assistant football Coach Mike McQueary would not attend Saturday’s game against Nebraska because of death threats.
McQueary has told a grand jury that as a 28-year-old graduate assistant coach in 2002 he witnessed former assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in a shower at the school.
That revelation was the first step leading to Sandusky being indicted on 40 counts of sexual crimes.
Coach Joe Paterno was fired Wednesday in the wake of that scandal, as was school president Graham Spanier.
I love college football and have most of my life. And I worry that we have lost sight of our most important asset, our children. And they were sacrificed in the name of continued victory on the football field.
I heard on the radio that Joe Paterno had earned Penn State upwards of a billion dollars in his tenure at the university. Yes, he has coached for 44+ years (62 years on staff) and has 409 victories over his career. Which is amazing. But this is a black mark against him and his staff. Are those wins worth the pain inflicted on the abused children? I like Joe Pa and appreciate that he said this:
- Joe Paterno, Penn State Head Coach, Fired
“The kids who were victims or whatever they want to say, I think we all ought to say a prayer for them.
It’s a tough life when people do certain things to you.”
Should the NCAA shut down the Penn State program for a year? I don’t know. What I do know: this will not happen on my watch. . .