Unless you’ve been living under a rock without WiFi for the past 48 hours, even the sports unconscious will have heard the names “Joe Paterno” and “Jerry Sandusky.” Last night’s firing of Penn State head coach Paterno and school president Graham Spanier by the board of trustees over how the school has handled child-sex abuse allegations against assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with 40 counts of sexually abusing minors, spurred riots from Penn State students who really should know better.
On the other side of things, there is the Internet. Namely, the commenters on Amazon.com who are not happy at all that Jerry Sandusky’s 2001 book, horribly titled Touched, and co-written with Kip Richael, a Penn State grad and former student equipment manager with the team, is still on the site, even if it’s “temporarily out of stock.”
From the Amazon description:
Touched is the story of Jerry Sandusky’s life in his own words. From his childhood to his professional career, this book goes behind the scenes to explore the successes and challenges that Jerry Sandusky has faced in life, both on and off the football field. After graduating from Penn State in 1966, Sandusky went on to coach collegiate football for 34 years. Thirty-two of those years were with Penn State, as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach under Joe Paterno, until his retirement in 1999. The book also explores Sandusky’s involvement in children’s charities, including the founding of his charity, “Second Mile.”
A sampling of the comments:
Amazon has defended themselves against censorship in the past, although in the fall of 2010, after threats of a boycott, they removed an e-book titled The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct from the site. It remains to be seen what will happen with Touched, which, in a context-free environment, features far less disturbing content, and they have yet to comment.
The choice of Touched as the title (dedicated to “all the people who have touched my life,” said Sandusky) is just one of the many awful elements of this story. But we say, far from removing traces of this book from the Internet, let’s leave it up there as a reminder of what’s happened. And, hey, let’s put an instruction guide inside that tells people how to report sex crimes, and why they MUST, IMMEDIATELY, do everything in their power to stop such crimes from happening, as much as perhaps they don’t want to consider the truth. And let’s distribute it in schools and in locker rooms and all over the place, in an effort to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.
For the record, Sandusky has other books, too.