From the Penn State sex abuse scandal to student protests, 2012 offered us no shortage of college news stories that took the media by storm. Individual colleges were propelled into the public eye by national headlines that shocked, inspired, and caught the attention of news audiences around America.
As this year comes to a close, let’s reflect on some of the year’s biggest stories, stories that were not only relevant to college students, but that also spurred national debate on issues facing the country. With that, HC gives you our top college-related news stories of 2012!
Jerry Sandusky Found Guilty, Sentenced for Penn State Child Abuse Scandal
A little more than thirty years ago, Jerry Sandusky could be found whipping the Penn State football team into shape and helping troubled youth as founder of The Second Mile. Now, the former Penn State defensive line coach and convicted child molester will only ever be found spending the rest of his life in prison.
Eight witnesses came forward in the high profile case to testify that Sandusky sexually abused them when they were boys, with the earliest incidents dating back to 1994. Many of these men had participated in The Second Mile, through which they had met Sandusky and reportedly fallen victim to him when the Penn State coach abused their trust.
After more than a decade of uninvestigated reports, eyewitness accounts, and even more victims, Sandusky’s trial formally began on June 11 this year with 52 counts of sexual crimes levied against the former coach. On June 22, he was convicted on 45 of 48 counts of sexual abuse over a 15-year period, a verdict that was quickly followed with a jail sentence of at least 30 years and a maximum 60 years.
The repercussions of the trial were immense. Penn State president Graham Spanier was forced to resign while now-deceased head football coach, Joe Paterno, and athletic director Tim Curley were fired for dismissing and failing to investigate claims against Sandusky. The NCAA also imposed crippling fines and a four-year ban on the Penn State football program, sanctions that reveal the case’s severe impact on the nation.
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