Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Yes, It's the Money

This blog is not a sex abuse hotline, but my proximity to Central NY and Syracuse University thrusts the institution's nationally infamous headlines about fired basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine and his accusers in my face every day. And the story never ends, apparently.

As predicted here, national and local legislators are busily legislating "for the children" and the alleged child sexual abuse here has taken a back seat, and now the real issue has popped out of the slime -- money. Syracuse University and head coach Jim Boeheim are now in the cross hairs of a notorious attorney who probably would just be your typical ambulance chaser today if not for continuous publicity on national TV. I mean, why don't we just take this mess and air it on Judge Judy's TV show?

Coach Boeheim, when initially informed of allegations against assistant coach Fine, angrily snapped back in disbelief, accusing Boy Number One and Boy Number Two of lying and just out for financial gain.

It appears that he was at least half right, from what I glean from news reports. Maybe the sex abuse reports were true, or maybe not, but eventually it always happens -- folks start thinking and lawyers show up and before you know it, wham! A lawsuit emerges. Visions of dollar signs.

Strangely, as if forgotten during all of this, Syracuse University fired coach Fine before any evidence against him surfaced, so maybe Fine himself should sue S.U. So could his wife, one supposes, because her alleged sexual relationship with S.U. students and Boy Number One also hit the media minus solid evidence.

So Boys One and Two are suing because they feel their reputations were defamed due to Boeheim's comment. He has already apologized nationally, and several people in the law business seems to believe that winning this case will be very difficult for the boys-turned-men whose allegations of abuse go way back and are no longer covered under the statute of limitations in NY.

What will happen? An out-of-court settlement with the university and Boeheim will probably occur, and the public will know nothing of the monetary figures involved, and both the publicity-grabbing attorney and her clients will depart this situation far better off economically than they were at the start. The cure will be complete. Forget the tears and protests of being done wrong. It's the economy, stupid. It's the money, stupid.

Not that S.U. can't afford the price. Many universities are drunk with endowment monies kept aside for rainy days which never materialize (young people and students currently directing their efforts in mass protests on Wall Street might instead ask institutions of higher learning why their tuition rates continuously hit the roof, making education costs astronomical for murky reasons).

Questions: Yes, child sexual abuse is horrible, and it is not a new phenomenon, as some in the media would have us believe. But are there times when victims become even more victimized because we live in a society that craves victims for financial gain and notoriety? Are there instances when victims wouldn't even consider themselves victims if society didn't throw the victim card in their faces endlessly via TV and other media? When the victimized immerse the psychological pain that will haunt them "forever" into huge financial payoffs, doesn't that become something akin to being paid for sex after the fact?

Funny how money is always thrown out as the cure to end all cures. Funny how the hysterical child sex abuse witch hunt has reached maddening proportions as supposedly rational human beings have become pod people. The power. The money. The panic. The most pathetic human horror story I've seen played out in a long time.