Gagliardi’s Silence a Problem

Nine of the men remain on campus. The published allegations against these nine include acts every bit as heinous and despicable as those alleged against Sandusky — perhaps even more so when one considers the spiritual adviser role assumed by the monks at St. John’s.


[Webmaster's Note: The following  piece appeared in the January 31, 2012 edition of the St. Cloud Times [ View].  More info regarding Gagliardi’s silence is available…. Here ]

Your Turn: Gagliardi Part of SJU’s Problem
St. Cloud Times
January 31, 2012

Last year, St. John’s University football coach John Gagliardi finally commented publicly on the topic of sexual misconduct (“Gagliardi shocked by Penn State scandal” — St. Cloud Times, Nov. 9.) Gagliardi was asked to comment because the alleged sexual abuse occurred at Penn State University, where Gagliardi’s friend and coaching legend Joe Paterno roamed the sidelines.

Gagliardi was reportedly “shocked” at the news and, when asked about suspect Jerry Sandusky, Gagliardi said he that did not know “if there was enough punishment in the world for a guy like that.”

Local allegations

Both comments seem fair until you consider that:

Penn State University, where Paterno coached, there is one suspected perpetrator (Sandusky) facing more than 50 charges of abuse.

St. John’s University, where Gagliardi coaches, there are 18 suspected perpetrators with (do your own math) allegations of abuse.

In April, St. John’s University Chancellor Abbot John Klassen released the names of 18 monks (members of the St. John’s Abbey monastic community) with credible allegations of sexual misconduct. The list, it is worth noting, did not include several other members of the St. John’s community (including other monks, visiting faculty and lay personnel) with credible, even published, allegations of sexual misconduct.

But for comparison’s sake, let’s call it 18.

Consider that each of the 18 men lived in a monastery attached to the building that houses the St. John’s University’s admissions department, several classrooms, a bookstore and the campus cafeteria which shared by students (high school and college), faculty, as well as children from sports and academic camps in the summer.

Each of the 18 monks on the list was on campus at some point during Gagliardi’s 59-year reign as football coach. At least seven of the 18 taught at St. John’s Preparatory School, where Gagliardi’s children attended high school. One of the men was chairman of the psychology department, another worked in the health center and at least two were resident advisers, living with male students in the college dorms. One even drove bus for the football team, according to a former player.

Nine of the men remain on campus. The published allegations against these nine include acts every bit as heinous and despicable as those alleged against Sandusky — perhaps even more so when one considers the spiritual adviser role assumed by the monks at St. John’s.

No comment

Gagliardi, however, has yet to make a public comment about the perpetrators who shared the St. John’s campus with his players, his children and now his grandchildren. The victims of these perpetrators, and the perpetrators themselves, deserve to hear from the most respected man in Collegeville that “there is not enough punishment in the world for guys like that.”

But Gagliardi hasn’t sent that message to the perpetrators at St. John’s. And he had an altogether different message for victims and their supporters.

In a published article about the death of Paterno last week, Gagliardi claimed that Paterno’s connection to the scandal was “undeserved” and that “the Pontius Pilate group hastened his death.”

Those who seek accountability, including victims and their supporters, are not a Pontius Pilate group, just as a legendary football coach is not Jesus.

Gagliardi demonstrated extremely poor judgment with his words and his unconscionable comparison. He has offended victims of sexual abuse and their supporters, further embarrassed an already tainted St. John’s community and, for far too long, has looked the other way when, like Paterno, he had a moral obligation to do more.

John Gagliardi should immediately apologize to victims of sexual abuse and, for the health and future of his St. John’s community, Gagliardi should step down as football coach. He has become part of the problem on a campus still searching for solutions.

This is the opinion of Patrick J. Marker, a graduate of St. John’s Preparatory School and a survivor of clergy sexual abuse.

January 31, 2012
St. Cloud Times
Original Article and Comments… Here

Topics: Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, John Gagliardi, John Klassen, Opinion

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