SAPAKOFF COLUMN: Courageous fight against molestation
Some guys pretend not to notice. Others go the “How ’bout those Cubs?” route. They change the subject to something funny or fuzzy.
Dan Scott digested the sordid stories of child molestation that rocked the sports world last fall, took a few very deep breaths and made one of the hardest decisions of his life. Moved by constant media coverage of the Penn State scandal and one day after interviewing a Post and Courier reporter about the Lowcountry’s Skip ReVille molestation case, the popular Upstate radio personality announced he is a victim of childhood sexual abuse.
Scott, 44, revealed on-air that he was molested as a 10-year-old by older boys during a trip to Kentucky.
Before Scott went public, he questioned himself.
“I’d wonder, ‘What do you hope to accomplish with this?’ ” said Scott, who as the voice of Furman athletics will be in town for tonight’s Paladins basketball game at the College of Charleston and Saturday night’s game at The Citadel.
The answer was something heroic. Scott’s effort to reach out to others went way beyond: The non-profit “Every Day Foundation” was born.
“I’ve sent the corporate paperwork to the state and federal government,” Scott said. “Basically, the focus is going to be whatever I can do to help at-risk kids or help other organizations that help at-risk kids.”
Scott last week was unceremoniously bounced from his longtime stint at Clemson radio station
WCCP-FM, but is close to another talk-show deal with an announcement expected shortly. Between gigs, “Every Day Foundation” contributions and financial commitments keep coming via social networks and Furman appearances.
“I know my audience well enough to know I was going to get support — that was never a question,” said Scott, a West Virginia native. “But I was really overwhelmed and humbled by the response I got. Not only are people telling me how proud they are of me, and using words like
‘courageous,’ but the thing that really gets me is the number of people who have sent messages telling me they were abused as children, too.”
Scott says 40-plus people have confided about their abuse, including six who said they had never told anyone and planned to seek counseling.
That was the goal when Scott startled listeners and readers with a multimedia campaign against child molestation.
“Yes, I’m an adult victim of childhood sexual abuse,” Scott said in his initial statement. “The reasons I came forward? Two: First, to let other victims know that it’s OK. There is hope. Talk to a counselor, your clergy. ... But begin the healing process. Second, if you suspect abuse is happening to a child, report it. Don’t stay silent. We must protect our children.”
Those are words you don’t often hear on sports talk shows, and a sad reminder.
Thankfully, Dan Scott was willing.
“With the Penn State stuff going on and talking about the ReVille stuff, I just decided maybe if someone like me comes forward, I’ll be able to help somebody who has gone through this,” Scott said, “or if they see something like this in the future not to be quiet about it. I wanted to put a human face on it and let people know it can happen to anybody.”
For more information or to make a donation to Scott’s foundation, go online to danscottshow.com.
Reach Gene Sapakoff at 937-5593 or Twitter.com/sapakoff'