Dividends and Game Over

The book Game Over is subtitled Jerry Sandusky, Penn State and the Culture of Silence by Bill Moushey and Bob Dvorchak published by HarperCollinsm, NY, 2012.

While the book is a sports book, it also deals with Jerry Sandusky who is a sex offender with young boys. The sports aspect of the book is college football – many of us watch the games and cheer the players. If the coaches are doing consistently well, they get treated better than most by fans and law enforcement. At Penn State – the coach was Joe Paterno who was an excellent coach and tried to ensure his players graduated because most would not play professional football, some would and are playing.

Jerry Sandusky was an assistant coach, concentrated on defense and could easily have moved to other colleges to be the head coach. Mr. Sandusky was instrumental in the 2nd Mile Center – think of Boys and Girls Clubs for kids and particularly kids of lower income. He raised funds for it, he assisted in programs and he took an interest in some young people before dropping them for other young boys. In the world of child molestation, it takes patience, time, developing relationships, giving gifts and ensuring secrecy. It also usually takes place away from the eyes of reasonably responsible adults so it is hard to use the force of law and order. In the book, Mr. Sandusky was caught in the shows at Penn State late in the evening with a young boy. By all accounts it seemed to be wrong, but was it illegal because no one saw illegal acts. What should the college do? What should happen to Mr. Sandusky?

The administration of Penn State saw the activity as a once, not a continuous event. Was it weird yes, was it illegal? hard to know. Particularly when the person is someone who is known by all. Is it best to deal with internally or externally? Hopefully now if someone saw an adult in the shower with a minor who was not their child, alarm bells would ring and notifications would go to various outside agencies to investigate.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, the culture of silence exists all over the world. We see people for the good they do, we do not know if they are the “killer” next door. We only want and wish to see the good. In the culture of silence, it is very hard to raise the negative and then what to do when you hear it. It is important all companies have a program to hear the negative and people willing to do something. It is easier to work on customer fixes than dealing with people. How well the company does that makes it a better company for it.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

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