While reading my local paper today, the Sarasota Herald, I came across something that I guess I could say is a positive that has come out of the IT situation.
Charges were filed today against four Manatee High School administrators for allegedly failing to report suspected child abuse by a prominent assistant football coach.
Manatee High School in Bradenton, Florida is traditionally one of the best football-playing high schools in Florida and sometimes in the country. Tommy Frazier, formerly of Nebraska circa the mid 90's, is one of many great players to have played at Manatee High School. Frazier’s Nebraska team, coupled with the involuntary coercion of Warren Sapp’s Miami team (da U), robbed me of the national championship that I deserved as a junior at PSU.
It didn’t hurt that Nebraska’s famed coach was retiring and there was sentimental favor for him over Joepa in the voting...and also that the Big Ten sports writers in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois resented PSU for getting a chance to run the table in the Big Ten and win a national championship so soon in joining the league that they actually voted en masse for Nebraska over PSU for the title. (Deep Breath)
I digress. It’s just really hard for me to talk about Tommy Frazier and not make a case for why PSU should have won the title in 1994.
Tommy Frazier’s brother is an assistant coach for Manatee High School football. Rod Frazier. He resigned his job on July 26th due to allegations that he had improper relations with a Manatee High School student. Words like ‘lewd’ were used to describe his actions. Texts were sent, no sex to this point has been reported that I know of, but Rod Frazier allegedly had a situation with a high school student or two or three at the school that he was an assistant football coach.
And here is the PSU tie-in. Florida passed a law in the wake of the IT deal to make sure that teachers, etc, had the legal obligation to report any wrong-doings that they knew of or suspected, or else face charges. I know that Pa. already has a law like that, but Florida had not until after the IT fiasco.
So the law went into effect in October here in Florida, and apparently four Manatee High School officials have been charged in violating that law. Failure to report a suspected child abuse is what the officials have been charged with. We still don’t know if Frazier did anything other than text the student, child, under-aged potential victim of grossness, but we know that four school administrators are charged with knowing that he was suspected of this, and did not report it.
It should be noted that the head coach at Manatee, Joe Kinnan, was a 1963 graduate of Manatee High School. As head coach, Kinnan has coached his team to five Florida state championships, a few runner-ups, and a half a dozen more semi-final appearances. In this area that I live in, Sarasota, there are two major high school football powerhouses, year in year out, Manatee, and Venice (Dri Archer of Kent State). IMG academy (PSU qb recruit Micheal O’Connor), which is only 3 miles from Manatee High, is gaining ground on the local scene, but Manatee is the old guard of high school football in this area. And Joe Kinnan is the old ball coach, the old guy who has been here since the early 60‘s. He was elected to the Florida coaches hall of fame in 1999. Joe Kinnan coaches his Manatee High football team on a field named Joe Kinnan Field at Hawkins Stadium. He’s a big deal. He’s the local Joepa of high school football.
So the four school administrators have been charged with not reporting suspected child abuse by a prominent assisstant football coach at Manatee High. Rod Frazier, brother of Tommy. At this point, no one is tying-in the head coach to this situation. No one is accusing the school administrators at this point of trying to protect the legacy of Joe Kinnan. No statues, to this point, have been removed. Order and civility still remain, as of 7:45pm Eastern time, Friday the 8th of August, 2013.
The charges against the four school administrators would not have been filed had the new law not been passed in the wake of IT. People here in Florida thought about the PSU situation, and said...’Hey, maybe it should be a law that school teachers and administrators have to report all suspected acts of child abuse’. Then they scratched their butts and went back to wrestling gators and picking their noses. But at least it’s illegal to not report suspected child abuse in Florida now.
I’m not feeling content, or justified for what happened to of us all because of IT, but at least something positive has come of this. The local paper reported this as being the first case in which such charges were filed under this new law. Let’s all hope that the accused get due process and if are innocent are found innocent and remembered to be have been innocent, but also if they are guilty, they should be found guilty of a crime that did not exist before IT; failure to report suspected child abuse in the state of Florida.
Much like I felt until the day of the Sandusky verdict, I hope that there was no child abuse. I hope that these administrators, if found guilty of not reporting suspected child abuse, set a precedent. Whether or not there is child abuse, you have to say something no matter what if you suspect that there was child abuse. It’s the law in Florida as a result of IT.
Thinking about Joe Paterno made me want to assert the way that I feel about him. This kid from Maine never would have went to PSU had Joe Paterno not been the head football coach. I went to PSU to pursue the ideals that Joe Paterno spoke of. I respected the ideas that he strove to achieve.
Success with honor. Doing things the right way. Achieving your goals while helping others along the way, not stepping on heads to move forward toward your goals in life. Hard work, diligence. In my mind, Joe Paterno was a success, and he holds the highest rank of honor there is to hold in my thoughts. His marriage, children, and family alone are enough of a reason for me to say that. Joe Paterno is everything that we thought he was before IT happened. He is still a role model for me.