According to this article in the Buffalo News, Sabres’ owner Terry Pegula has declined to comment on the child sex scandal that has been uncovered at Penn State. This is a bit disconcerting to me. While I can understand that Mr. Pegula may not want to comment directly on the scandal given the gravity of the charges being thrown around, I can’t understand why he couldn’t have at least given a “thoughts and prayers to the victims” statement. Pegula donated $88 million to Penn State in 2010 to help the university launch a Division I men’s hockey program. That donation was facilitated, in part, by Cliff Benson, who was just named the Sabres Chief Development Officer. Benson’s main function is to improve and develop the team’s presence in the community and run the Buffalo Sabres’ Foundation, the team’s main charity wing. Benson was a key player in Pegula’s purchase of the Sabres and the Amerks, in addition to the donation to Penn State. According to the Buffalo News one of Benson’ previous positions was in a “role as former finance chair and current state board member of The Second Mile, the agency founded by Sandusky in 1977″. Sandusky and his charity are at the heart of the Penn State scandal. This would seem to make it even more imperative for Mr. Pegula to distance himself and his friend from this scandal. In no way is this meant to imply Pegula or Benson had anything to do with the scandal, but given Mr. Pegula’s position as one of the university’s high profile donors, I think his opinion and condolences would carry a lot of weight and perhaps help to pull the curtain on this cover up aside as quickly as possible. The reputation of the university is nothing compared to the damage done to the victims, it’s not a time for no comment. It’s the time for good men to speak out.
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