Editorial by John Ziegler

Penn State vs. Syracuse Equals Massive Media Double Standard

11/18/2011

It is early yet, but from here it seems pretty clear that the media has decided that the allegations of sexual abuse against a current Syracuse basketball coach are not going to be treated with nearly the gravity as those against a former Penn State football coach. This double standard is particularly obvious when it comes to the scrutiny of the two head coaches "involved."

While in the media's world the Penn State scandal is far worse (Sports Illustrated, which didn't even do a news story on the grand jury indictments last week, suddenly called it on this week's cover the worst in college history), a look at some of the facts might tell a very different story.

Here is a starting tale of the tape:

Number of known victims who are accusing Jerry Sandusky of engaging in overt sex acts with them: 2

(Learning this fact has confused quite a number of people, including some in the media, who have not carefully read the grand jury report. The reality is that, at most, depending on how you interpret "sex acts," only two witnesses currently claim Sandusky engaged in such activity with them and one of those could be open to interpretation. What has led to this confusion, other than the sensationalistic media coverage, is the fact that the two most talked about allegations do NOT currently have victims attached to them.)

Number of known victims who are accusing Bernie Fine of engaging in overt sex acts with them: 2
 
Number of Sandusky sex victims to go public: 0
 
Number of Fine sex victims to go public: 2
 
Number alleged Sandusky victims directly connected to Penn State football program: 0
 
Number of alleged Fine victims directly connected to Syracuse basketball program: 2
 
Number of years Sandusky was on Penn State staff after the school became aware of allegations of inappropriate behavior: 1

Number of years Fine was on Syracuse staff after school become aware of allegations of inappropriate behavior: at least 8 (and still going)

Number of audio tapes in the Syracuse case from the suspects wife admitting to a victim she knew her husband was assaulting him which ESPN sat on for several years: 1

Number of victims publicly called a liar by Joe Paterno: 0
 
Number of victims publicly called a liar by Jim Boeheim: at least 1
 
Number of times Paterno has publicly asked for prayers for the victims: several
 
Number of times Boeheim has publicly asked for prayers for the victims: 0
 
Number of positive statements sent out by Joe Paterno supporting Jerry Sandusky after the allegations became public: 0
 
Number of positive statements sent out by Jim Boeheim supporting Bernie Fine after the allegations became public: 1
 
Number of libraries at Penn State built by Joe Paterno: 1
 
Number of libraries at Syracuse built by Jim Boeheim: 0
 
Number of national championships won by Joe Paterno:2
 
Number of national championships won by Jim Boeheim: 1
 
Number of times Penn State football has been on NCAA probation: 0
 
Number of times Syracuse basketball has been on NCAA probation: 1
 
Number of major media calls for Paterno to be fired: infinite
 
Number of major media calls for Boeheim to be fired: 0
 
Yes, there have been indictments in the Penn State scandal (getting an indictment is notoriously easy) and yes there are far more anonymous accusers of “misconduct” (not sex) and one more apparent witness, but the similarities in the two cases are far more than the differences.
 
Despite that, there seems little doubt that the media will not presume Jim Boeheim had the same knowledge as they have with Joe Paterno and won’t hold him to a brand new standard that they have seemingly made up after the fact in order to justify an obsession with a very juicy story during a slow sports week.
 
Both Paterno and Boeheim might be “guilty” and both might be innocent. We just don’t know yet. But we do know that one is getting the benefit of the doubt that the other did not.
 
 

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