The trial of Jerry Sandusky, which began in earnest Monday and should conclude fairly quickly (a few weeks at most), will be a fairly straight-forward affair.
It will be prosecuted and defended just like any other sexual abuse case, and the verdict will more than likely be black or white; he either is guilty or innocent.
As heinous as the crimes he is charged with are, the larger issues that brought this case national attention still fester beneath the public radar, churning through secret grand jury investigations and other probes on both a state and federal level. The principals in those investigations aren't suspected of sexual abuse, but rather linked to a possible institutional coverup of alleged crimes by Sandusky.
By now anyone who hasn't lived at the South Pole over the past 18 months knows that the Sandusky affair toppled not only an iconic college football coach, but key members of a major university administration, including the long-time president of that institution.
In many respects, the investigation of the institution is far more complicated than the investigation into the alleged actions of a single man perpetrated on 10 young men under his supervision. The former will entail months more of meticulous digging, the exhaustive interviews of dozens, if not scores of individuals who, until a year ago, were respected members of a respected institution.
While the Sandusky trial will occupy the attention of people across the country for the next few weeks, the issues that are being sorted out in the closed confines of attorney generals' offices and grand juries portend to have more far-ranging and long-term implications for not only Penn State, but how institutions deal with situations like the one Jerry Sandusky foisted upon his former employer.