HURST (CBSDFW.COM) – The disturbing child sexual assault allegations and subsequent cover up at Penn State University has shaken parents and student athletes alike.
But many say that while they’ve discussed the incident, what lies in the forefront of their minds is more immediate matters.
“His mind is on basically winning this game tonight,” said Pamela James as she proudly watched son, Joshua Craig, and the L.D. Bell Raiders take on Cedar Hill’s Longhorns Friday night.
But for parents and players, there is a mostly unspoken burden: The innocence of the game they love so much could be tarnished by the child sex abuse allegations at college, the next level of competition.
“It’s really a sensitive subject matter,” admitted Cathy McNair.
She and her son, Elliot Souter, talked about it and decided they would probably never know what anyone in the Penn State scandal was thinking.
“However it puts us in a position to think about what we should do if we’re ever confronted with it and to see if you can make a rational decision versus an emotional one,” she said.
And on the minds of parents – and their children– are the fates of the unknown victims in a place called Happy Valley.
On the Cedar Hill side of the stadium, Pam Mixon said the events of the week did come up for discussion with her son, Will.
“He was saying how awful it was in seeing that happened, but no, it didn’t affect him, he was preparing for the game.”
The parents agree. They say there is a resiliency among kids, especially student athletes, to put the dirt behind them and focus on the task at hand: playing winning football.
“They were really focused on practicing and doing their very best,” McNair summed up, adding, “and bringing whatever they could to a victory tonight.”