Last month when I wrote about Penn State University and morals, I had to re-write that post a few times because my original draft was very angry. Â I was angry at so many people, and I wasn’t even sure why I was angry, I did not personally know any of the people involved. Â When I stepped back, I realized my reaction was due to shock…I was shocked that Coach Sandusky could do what he is accused of to children and, Coach Paterno and Penn State could turn a blind eye.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving, and now there is a similar scandal erupting at Syracuse, my alma mater, class of 1999. Â Again, I was shocked when I heard these allegations. Â I spent 4 years working in the athletic department, I got to know Jim Boeheim, his wife Juli, and the coaching staff. Â I never saw or heard anything to indicate that Coach Fine was abusing children.
The reaction that I had, and the inactions of Penn State University and definitely theÂ inflammatoryÂ remarks from Jim Boeheim come from the same place, shock. Â See, we never really know a person. Â You may be friends or work colleagues with someone for 30 years, but you cannot possibly know everything about that person. Â I first learned this lesson when my rabbi was caught on Dateline NBC to Catch A Predator back in 2005. Â I kept asking myself, how could this happen? Â I knew this man, I traveled to Israel with him, and was friends with his daughter, but you see, you never really know a person.
I thought Sean Keeley at the Syracuse SB Nation blog, Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, wrote a terrific piece about how everyone interpreted Jim Boeheim’s comments incorrectly. Â Coach Boeheim, Sean Keeley wrote, was scared, and he was scared because the person who he spent 40 years with turned out to be someone he never really knew.