The Jerry Sandusky scandal has caused many to speculate about the abuse at least 11 boys suffered at the hands of the Penn State coach. Reporters Robert Dvorchak and Bill Moushey decided to go to the beginning of the story and explore the numerous ways in which the boys' abuse was covered up in the interest of Sandusky's reputation.
"Game Over: Jerry Sandusky, Penn State, and the Culture of Silence" was released last week and has already become a best seller. The Christian Post was fortunate to be able to speak with author Bob Dvorchak about the book and its impact on society.
"This is a cautionary tale-horrible story to tell," Dvorchak stated. "One of the most heartbreaking moments of the book is that there were so many opportunities to stop this."
What led the men to investigate Sandusky's past?
"When the developments broke and you could just see the scope of this story and there were so many layers to it, we decided that though some of the stories were being told piece-meal," he explained. "We wanted to tell it from the start and get into it to connect all the dots in a story."
The men learned that the first documented case of abuse actually happened over 10 years prior to Sandusky being publicly accused, but nothing was done. Allegations continued to build, though the boys never knew each other's stories.
"We started to dig a little deeper for background and it was obvious that this was going to take an effort on both our parts to probe into this thing," Dvorchak explained.
"When we started to ask questions, we ran into an environment that was almost toxic. We were able to find the inside sources that allowed us to penetrate the culture of silence. Once your eyes were opened, it was a progression of things … once we understood how the investigation was conducted, that was the moment we knew things had changed," he continued.
The culture of silence was incredibly difficult to penetrate, and that is precisely what the Dvorchak and Moushey wanted to do. They wanted to write the book so that "if you didn't know anything about Sandusky, Penn State or main characters, you would be able to understand see it from the start, how this developed, and how it unfolded."
For Dvorchak, this story was extremely personal because he had a connection to Penn State. He actually attended the school for two years, "which made it all the more heartbreaking to see the impact on an institution I really respect."
"So far the book has been well-received. I think the subject matter drives it so much. Many people have heard about it and have heard bits and pieces, but to see it in a narrative form … the more you know, the more you see warning signs and can see ways it can be prevented," the author surmised.
"Unfortunately, with [allegations] of this nature, it's very difficult for victims of sexual abuse to come forward for shame and questioning of belief and credibility," he added. As unpleasant as it is to confront, [child sex abuse] happens more often than we want to admit. It's not a one-time thing that happens, but you have to live with this … it doesn't go away and you have to come to grips with it," Dvorchak stated.
Dvorchak feels his purpose is not only to expose the stories, but to make people aware of sex abuse.
"It transcends sports and Penn State … it affects all of us," he added. "If it can happen at Penn State, it can happen anywhere! Threats don't always come from the outside-If we make people think, we have done our job."
"Game Over" is available now.