Seriously? Jerry Sandusky named among ‘intriguing’ people of 2011


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Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is among People magazine’s year-end list of the ‘most intriguing’ people of 2011 and that’s not sitting well with many in America.

Sandusky faces allegations that he sexually abused several ‘at risk’ youth that his charity was supposed to be helping. Sandusky says he did nothing wrong. Earlier this week, he and his attorney chose to waive a preliminary hearing in the case -- a hearing which would have given him an opportunity to begin to publicly fight the charges against him.


The allegations against Sandusky have rocked Penn State and its legendary football program, and has so far let to several firings and the dismissal of legendary football coach Joe Paterno.

A court hearing is underway Friday in Pennsylvania for two school officials who lost their jobs amid claims that the school cared more about protecting its image than protecting children.

So far, it has featured graphic testimony from assistant coach Mike McQueary, who testified that he had walked into a Penn State shower room and seen Sandusky molesting a child. McQueary, who said he told Paterno about the incident, also faces criticism for not doing more -- such as immediately calling police.

FULL COVERAGE: Penn State sex-abuse scandal

Sandusky has a spot on People magazine’s list of the 25 most ‘intriguing’ people of the year, along with the likes of Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, and courageous gunshot victim Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. USA Today points out that the popular issue of the magazine, due on newsstands Friday, has a Hall of Shame list. But Sandusky didn’t make that list.

There is no doubt that much of this decision revolves around one’s definition of the word ‘intriguing.’ The black-and-white definition suggests someone deeply interesting and captivating. To be sure, Sandusky has had his share of headlines this year. But ‘intriguing’ is often considered a positive attribute, and not many readers appear to be willing to use it to describe Sandusky.


‘I hope whoever gave this the green light loses their job,’ said one commenter on USA Today’s website. ‘I can see how the story might be intriguing, but how about we look at the victims rather than him....I am absolutely horrified, and am seriously considering why I buy the magazine.’

People magazine has not replied to a request for comment.


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--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch