Jerry Sandusky

COACHES ARE role models. They impact the lives of the athletes they mentor. Unfortunately, not all coaches can be positive influences. In fact, they can prove destructive.

Jerry Sandusky was such a coach. He was once the poster boy of high profile Division I college football assistants. Sandusky was defensive coordinator in the 1980s and 1990s and was thought of as the likely successor to Joe Paterno.

Sandusky’s life in society virtually ended Friday night in a Pennsylvania courtroom. A jury returned guilty verdicts on 45 of 48 counts Sandusky was facing in his child sexual abuse trial.

The maximum sentence for his heinous crimes is more than 300 years. Pending a successful appeal, the 68-year-old will be behind bars the balance of his life.

Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years. He may face additional charges as one of Sandusky’s six adopted children said he had told authorities that his father abused him.

Eight young men testified about a range of abuse, from kissing and massages to groping, oral sex and anal rape. The testimony was painful.

Sandusky should spend the rest of his time incarcerated. His actions are horrific.

Unfortunately, the Sandusky ordeal is not over.

More charges are looming against him, which may yield another trial. Two former Penn State officials — athletic director Tim Curley and now-retired vice president Gary Schultz — have been charged for failing to properly report suspected child abuse and perjury.

Sandusky’s reign of terror has left the once-proud football program a blackeye which may take years to remove.

Lastly, and most disturbingly, Sandusky victimized 10 defenseless and innocent boys. He tragically altered their lives. They will all bear that burden forever, dealing with it in varying fashion.

For that Jerry Sandusky can never be forgiven.