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Social Theory, Second Paper Guidelines
Due: April 5, 5pm, hardcopy to my office by 5pm, or in class if you are in T,Th section.
For the second paper, you have received a series of articles (from NY Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal) concerning the Penn State sex abuse scandal. Beyond the deviance of one individual, Mr. Sandusky, the articles address the issue of institutional dereliction of duties and responsibility. The basic “substantive” value and goal of a university, as an educational institution, is the welfare of children. However, a number of people in positions of power seemed to have put the goal of protecting the football program and the university, as well as their own instrumental interests, ahead of the objective of protecting and supporting children and students.
The assignment is to analyze the information and evidence in the articles according to Weber’s theory, or some relevant part of it, and write a 7-8 page paper explaining your analysis – both the theory you are drawing on, and how its applied to the evidence.
This paper, and your question and analysis, are NOT to be about Mr. Sandusky’s pedophilia per se. It should be about how and why his behavior occurred in the institutional context of a major university, and how and why other people in of authority in the bureaucratic hierarchy allowed it to continue.
The following are possible (and certainly not exhaustive, or exclusive of each other) themes (not research questions – you must devise your own) of exploration and analysis:
- Rationalization in modern society – potential deleterious consequences for both individuals and society; neglect of values in order to achieve instrumental ends.
- Institutions of Domination, bureaucratically organized – increasing irrationality in the social system.
- Rational Legal Authority, implemented by bureaucratic organization – how both can be corrupted and/or lead to irrational outcomes.
- Rational Legal Authority – conflict between economic, political and cultural values and power.
- Power – relations and unequal distribution.
- Ideal Types of Authority – overlap and conflict in reality.
- Ideal Types of Social Action – overlap and conflict in reality.
- Sources of Power – Class, Status, Party.
I will be assessing your paper based on the following criteria:
- Identification of sociological problem/research question in a clear introduction, the latter also including a brief description of the concrete case, a thesis statement, and brief statement about the theoretical framework. Remember, the introduction should serve as a “map” of the paper for the reader.
- Development of theoretical framework (based on Weber’s theory) for analyzing the research problem, including reconstruction and creative use of major concepts.
- Application of theoretical framework to empirical evidence, including how well the empirical data (newspaper articles) is used.
- Strength of analysis, including coherence and cohesiveness of argument (remember to connect analysis back to theory).
- Conclusion – clear summary, suggestions for further research, and/or opinion (based on argument in paper).
- How well the paper is written – including paper organization, grammatical conventions (grammar, punctuation, spelling, and syntax), complete and proper citations.
- Use and reference of Weber readings from course, avoidance of outside course materials.
Style Guidelines/Mechanics for Paper
- Any recognized academic style is fine, as long as consistency is maintained throughout paper, including citations, foot or endnotes, bibliography or reference page.
- Font size: 12.
- Double space.
- Length: 7-8.
- Bibliography/Reference page required but not included as part of paper length.
- Any work or author mentioned must be cited including last name of author, year of
publication, page number (especially if quoting, see below #8). For newspaper citation, name of newspaper, and date (e.g. NYT, Nov. 6, 2011).
- Refer to style manuals, or UHD Library website, if unclear about citations or other style issues
- Quotations: you may use quotes from either the newspaper articles or readings. These should be rather short quotes, and must include the appropriate citation. I encourage quotes, as they can be very good support for analysis and argument; however, do not go overboard. Also, quotes from theorist don’t usually “speak for themselves.” You need to explain the quote and/or how it connects with the argument it is situated in.
- Paper must have either Bibliography (includes full citations of all works used in paper), or Reference page (includes full citations of works/authors mentioned in paper).
- Pages must be numbered. Do not include the Title page in pagination.
- Title page: with paper title, name, course name
- Check for typos, misspellings, incomplete sentences and improper grammar. I will deduct points for these. All word processing programs contain a spelling and grammar check, so there is no excuse
- Edit paper. Do not turn in first draft. Read, edit, and revise as needed.
Whatever you do: DO NOT PLAGIARIZE
Below are general guidelines. The UHD library website has further information.
How to avoid plagiarism
- Do not cut and paste text from websites.
- Do not even go on the internet while writing this paper.
- Do not use someone else’s paper, or have someone write the paper.
- Cite properly (this where students unintentionally get into trouble):
|Specific words and phrases||If you use an author’s specific word or words, you must place those words within quotation marks and you must credit the source.|
|Information and Ideas||Even if you use your own words, if you obtained the information or ideas you are presenting from a source, you must document the source.
Information: If a piece of information isn’t common knowledge (see #3 below), you need to provide a source.
Ideas: An author’s ideas may include not only points made and conclusions drawn, but, for instance, a specific method or theory, the arrangement of material, or a list of steps in a process or characteristics of a medical condition. If a source provided any of these, you need to acknowledge the source.
|Common Knowledge?||You do not need to cite a source for material considered common knowledge:
General common knowledge is factual information considered to be in the public domain, such as birth and death dates of well-known figures, and generally accepted dates of military, political, literary, and other historical events. In general, factual information contained in multiple standard reference works can usually be considered to be in the public domain.
Field-specific common knowledge is “common” only within a particular field or specialty. It may include facts, theories, or methods that are familiar to readers within that discipline. For instance, you may not need to cite a reference to Piaget’s developmental stages in a paper for an education class or give a source for your description of a commonly used method in a biology report, but you must be sure that this information is so widely known within that field that it will be shared by your readers.
If in doubt, be cautious and cite the source. And in the case of both general and field-specific common knowledge, if you use the exact words of the reference source, you must use quotation marks and credit the source.
Note: Just because it’s on the internet, for example – Wikipedia, does not mean it is common knowledge.
The Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal
Nestled in a mountain range, the idyllic community that surrounds the campus of Penn State is often referred to as Happy Valley. But on an otherwise sunny, peaceful day in November 2011, residents throughout the area awoke to blaring headlines and news of unthinkable child abuse crimes that led to the arrests of a prominent former assistant football coach and two top university officials.
Days later, on Nov. 9, the most celebrated and admired Happy Valley inhabitant, Penn State’s 84-year-old head football coach, Joe Paterno, was fired by the school’s Board of Trustees for his role in the matter.
Graham B. Spanier, one of the longest-serving and highest-paid university presidents in the nation, who helped raise the academic profile of Penn State during his tenure, was also removed by the Board of Trustees.
The scandal centered on the school’s handling of allegations involving Jerry Sandusky, 67, a former defensive coordinator under Paterno. Sandusky was charged Nov. 5 with sexually abusing eight young boys over more than a decade.
Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former finance official Gary Schultz were charged with failing to report an incident.
On Nov. 11, linebacker coach Mike McQueary was put on administrative leave. McQueary had testified to a grand jury that he saw Sandusky rape a child in the showers at a campus locker room in 2002 and said he reported what he saw to Paterno. The university said “multiple threats” had been made against McQueary. The anger at McQueary centers on his failure to stop the alleged rape and call the police. Instead, he told Paterno, who also chose not to call the police, directing McQueary to the school’s athletic director. Paterno claimed that McQueary did not tell him the whole story, only that he had seen something disturbing that was perhaps sexual in nature. McQueary testified to the grand jury that he saw Sandusky having anal sex with the boy.
Sandusky had access to hundreds of boys through Second Mile, a foundation for needy children that he founded in 1977. Though he retired from Penn State in 1999, Sandusky retained access to many athletic facilities and had an office in the Lasch Football Building. The alleged 2002 assault took place in the football building.
Nov. 16 Ben Andreozzi, a lawyer representing one of eight alleged victims in the Penn State sexual child abuse case, called Jerry Sandusky a “coward” and said that Sandusky’s recent comments on television had emboldened his client to pursue sexual assault charges against Sandusky. Andreozzi said his client, now in his 20s, met Sandusky through Sandusky’s charity, Second Mile. He said he had been around Sandusky for several years and was assaulted multiple times. Andreozzi has also advised other alleged victims in the case and said he was meeting with another potential victim this week.
Nov. 14 In a telephone interview with television host Bob Costas, Sandusky said he is not a pedophile, but admitted he showered with young boys. “I have hugged them and I have touched their leg without intent of sexual contact,” Sandusky told Costas.
In a full-court media press across two television networks, Sandusky and his attorney, Joe Amendola, said they have answers for all 40 charges that Pennsylvania prosecutors have leveled.
Meanwhile, the intertwined relationship between Penn State, its football program and The Second Mile charity continued to be a focus of the developing scandal. The charity said it had accepted the resignation of Jack Raykovitz, its chief executive for 28 years, and that it had opened an internal investigation. According to the grand jury report, the charity learned almost a decade ago that Sandusky had showered with a young boy. Like Penn State officials, it did not inform police.
Also, the Big Ten athletic conference said it will remove Paterno’s name from the trophy that will be given to the winner of its first-ever championship game, scheduled to be played in Indianapolis in December. “The trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement.
Investigation of Jerry Sandusky (if you want to read the Grand Jury Report, see link on last page)
A critical break in the investigation of Jerry Sandusky came via a posting on the Internet: a random mention that a Penn State football coach, years before, might have seen something ugly, but kept silent.
Investigators with the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office had by 2010 already come to the conclusion that Sandusky was a serial molester, according to two people with knowledge of the case. But what had started with a complaint of sexual assault from a high school freshman had grown to include another matter altogether: whether Penn State had acted to cover up Sandusky’s behavior, even crimes.
Working off the brief mention on an Internet forum where people chatted about Penn State athletics, according to the two people with knowledge of the case, investigators narrowed their list of coaches likely to have seen something to Mike McQueary, then an assistant coach and the football program’s recruiting coordinator.
Investigators set up a meeting in an out-of-the-way parking lot. There, McQueary unburdened himself. He needed little prompting. McQueary told of a horrific scene he had stumbled upon as a graduate assistant one Friday night in March 2002: a naked boy, about 10, hands pressed against the locker room wall of the Lasch Football Building, being raped by Sandusky. McQueary was explicit and unequivocal, the people said. He had told Paterno about the incident the next day, but he was filled with regret that nothing had happened.
And after McQueary had reported what he had seen to the university’s senior officials, those officials not only never told the police, but they also never even informed the university’s top lawyer. That lawyer, Wendell Courtney, has said that he would have been duty bound to report to law enforcement officials any allegations of inappropriate conduct toward children by Sandusky.
In 2009, when the case first landed in the office of the attorney general, no one knew where it would lead. The mother of a Clinton County, Pa., freshman called the local high school to report that her son had been sexually assaulted by Sandusky. Sandusky was barred from the school, where he had served as a volunteer coach, and the matter was reported to the authorities.
The district attorney in Centre County, where Sandusky was alleged to have molested the boy, passed the case on to the attorney general.
The Clinton County teenager — Victim 1, as he would become known in the grand jury report made public in November 2011 — alleged that he first met Sandusky through the Second Mile when he was 11 or 12. Sandusky had indecently fondled him and performed oral sex on him, the boy said.
But prosecutors, lacking physical evidence of an assault, worried about the fortunes of a case that might end up with little more than competing claims — by the boy and by Sandusky. To make a charge stick, they concluded, they needed to explore whether one boy’s claims were merely one among others, perhaps many.
The answer to their question, it turned out, lay in a voluminous police report sitting for a dozen years in the old case files of the Penn State University Police. Investigators for the attorney general’s office had heard rumors that Sandusky had come to the attention of law enforcement officials sometime in the past, but they were not sure when or where. The investigators began calling around to nearby police departments; they received a hit when they reached the campus police.
In 1998, an 11-year-old boy, now known as Victim 6, had come home with wet hair and told his mother he had showered with Sandusky at Penn State’s athletic complex. She immediately reported it to the university police, the grand jury report said.
As investigators leafed through the old report — it ran close to 100 pages — they came to believe that the campus police officers had truly wanted to make a case against Sandusky, according to those with knowledge of the investigation. The officers had gone so far as to set up a sting operation in which the boy’s mother called the coach, and, with the police listening in, confronted Sandusky.
According to the grand jury report, he admitted to showering with her son and another boy, said he did not think that his private parts had touched her son, but acknowledged that what he did was wrong.
Ultimately, the district attorney decided against taking the case to trial, a decision that, years later, the attorney general’s investigators could understand. According to people with knowledge of the current Sandusky case, the district attorney’s decision in 1998 was a close call, even with the evidence the campus police had.
But what most struck the investigators, according to people with knowledge of the current case, was that the university itself seemed to have done nothing in the wake of the police investigation. Whether that was because other senior officials at Penn State did not know of the investigation or because they knew of it, but chose to do nothing, is a central question for investigators today.
November 6, 2011
Penn State Scandal Shakes the Happy Valley Family to Roots
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Nestled in a mountain range, the idyllic community that surrounds the campus of Penn State is often referred to as Happy Valley. But on an otherwise sunny, peaceful Sunday, residents throughout the area awoke to blaring headlines and news of unthinkable child abuse crimes that led to the arrests Saturday of a prominent former assistant football coach and two top university officials.
Even the most celebrated and admired Happy Valley inhabitant, Penn State’s 84-year-old head football coach, Joe Paterno, was connected to the case, which turned an already horrendous story into a wounding body blow to the communal family.
“Penn State is such a national brand, so when something like this happens, it’s terrible,” said Adam Blaier, a 21-year-old senior from Marlboro, N.J., as he stood across from the university’s stately stone administration building. “I’m disappointed. Something like this is 10 times worse that any recruiting violation. This is messing with peoples’ lives.”
Amanda Surovec, a 22-year-old senior, said, “I think most people are concerned that this is going to ruin the reputation of Penn State.”
Jerry Sandusky, 67, the Penn State defensive coordinator during two of the team’s national championship years before retiring in 1999, was arrested Saturday on charges of sexually abusing eight boys across a 15-year period.
Two top university officials — Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business, and Tim Curley, the athletic director — were charged with perjury and failure to report to authorities what they knew of the allegations, as required by state law. The Penn State board of trustees held an emergency meeting Sunday night, after which the university president, Graham B. Spanier, announced that Curley had asked to be placed on administrative leave while he fought the charges and that Schultz had resigned.
In 2002, Paterno learned of one allegation of abuse by Sandusky and immediately reported it to Curley. The grand jury did not implicate Paterno in any wrongdoing, but Paterno did not contact law enforcement authorities himself.
Spanier, who the grand jury said had been made aware of the 2002 incident, said in a statement that he stood behind the two officials. The university is also paying their legal fees. Spanier’s statement prompted an angry response from one alumnus and former booster.
“If the board of trustees had one ounce of executive timber, they’d have resignations from Spanier, Curley and Paterno this week,” said the former booster, Bill Earley, who estimated he had donated a six-figure sum to the university over the years.
At a local radio station, WKPS-FM, the call-in volume had jumped about 400 percent with one topic on everyone’s mind, said Matt Steiner, president and general manager of the station.
“The biggest thing is that people are concerned Joe Paterno knew about it and hadn’t said anything,” Steiner said. “That’s the biggest concern — that he’s tied up in it and it will rub off and tarnish him.
“A lot of people are confused. They’re scared. The biggest thing is why Paterno didn’t go to the police. There is disappointment that he didn’t do that.”
Paterno, who has more career victories than any coach in Division I football history, issued a statement Sunday evening that concluded: “I understand that people are upset and angry, but let’s be fair and let the legal process unfold. In the meantime, I would ask all Penn Staters to continue to trust in what that name represents, continue to pursue their lives every day with high ideals and not let these events shake their beliefs nor who they are.”
Sandusky lives in a well-kept, two-story beige brick home with a large lawn at the end of a curving block of single-family dwellings in State College. Clarence Trotter, 94, has lived next door to Sandusky for about 30 years.
“I can’t believe it,” Trotter said of the allegations. “Everyone around here thought he was a good neighbor.”
Trotter said that there were often children around the house, which has an extensive backyard. Trotter said the children had been adopted by Sandusky, who is married. The backyard was a lively place for playing sports and family picnics, Trotter said, and he recalled one foster child the Sanduskys took in for only a short time.
“They couldn’t control him and they had to let him go,” Trotter said. “I think that’s what’s happening to him; it’s these kids who hold a grudge against him because he let them go who are saying these things.”
Trotter said he remembered giving the Sanduskys food from his garden and they, in turn, invited him over for many family meals. Trotter also attends church with Sandusky, though he declined to specify which one.
“When we first learned about what was going on back in March, the parishioners passed around a card and signed it in support of Jerry,” Trotter said. “We still do.”
News that Sandusky was being investigated first surfaced in March.
A woman drove up to the Sandusky house Sunday night and rang the front doorbell. After there was no answer, when a reporter identified himself, the woman said: “Please don’t bother us. Please respect our privacy.”
Late Sunday afternoon outside Beaver Stadium, where there is a larger-than-life statue of Paterno and a mini-shrine to him, a steady stream of people gathered in front of the statue to have their picture taken. Young parents brought babies to pose next to the statue and couples brought dogs with Penn State football handkerchiefs tied to their collars. Everyone smiled beside the statue of Paterno. To the left of the statue is Paterno’s full name and three words: Educator, Coach, Humanitarian.
Dorothy and Richard Howard of Columbus, Ohio, parked near the stadium and walked to the statue to take pictures. They had stopped in State College on their way to visit relatives in eastern Pennsylvania. Asked if the charges against Sandusky and Paterno’s part in the preceding investigation troubled them, both Howards winced.
“I hope Coach Paterno didn’t know more than he says he did,” Dorothy Howard said. “I want to believe that. People look up to him and it’s not just people from Pennsylvania. We all want to believe there are people of character who will do the right thing.”
“I don’t like reading about any of it; it’s horrible. I want to believe everything possible was done to prevent it.”
Mark Viera and Nate Schweber contributed reporting.
November 6, 2011
In Sexual Abuse Case, a Focus on How Paterno Reacted
By MARK VIERA
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — On Saturday, March 2, 2002, according to Pennsylvania prosecutors, a Penn State University graduate student went to visit Joe Paterno, the university’s football coach. The student had a horrific story to tell: the night before, the graduate student had witnessed one of Paterno’s former coaches sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in the football facility’s showers.
Paterno, according to the prosecutors, did not call the police. Instead, the next day, he had the university’s athletic director visit him at his home, a modest ranch house just off campus in State College. According to prosecutors, Paterno told the athletic director of the report regarding the former coach, Jerry Sandusky.
The authorities then say nothing about what, if anything, Paterno did in the subsequent days or weeks. They do not say whether he followed up on the allegation or whether he ever confronted Sandusky, a man who had worked for him for 32 years and who, even after retiring, had wide access to the university’s athletic facilities and students.
What prosecutors do contend in detail is that Sandusky went on to abuse at least one and perhaps any number of other young boys after Paterno and other senior officials at Penn State were told of an assault in 2002.
Sandusky, 67, was arrested Saturday and charged with 40 counts of sexually abusing children over 15 years, including his time as an assistant at Penn State. He was specifically accused of having assaulted the young boy in 2002. All the accusers were boys Sandusky had come to know through a charity he founded, the Second Mile, for disadvantaged children from troubled families.
The university’s athletic director, Tim Curley, and another senior administration official have been charged with lying to a grand jury about what they had been told about Sandusky’s conduct, and they are expected to surrender to the authorities Monday morning. While their lawyers have maintained they will be exonerated, and Sandusky, through his lawyer, has maintained his innocence, both men stepped down from their positions at the university late Sunday.
Earlier Sunday, Paterno issued a statement insisting that the graduate assistant had not told him of the extent of the sexual assault that he said he witnessed, only that he had seen something inappropriate involving Sandusky and the child.
“As Coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at the time, I referred the matter to university administrators,” Paterno said in the statement.
“I understand that people are upset and angry, but let’s be fair and let the legal process unfold,” Paterno said.
Paterno’s son Scott said in an interview Sunday that Paterno never spoke to Sandusky about the allegation, and that he never seriously pursued the question of whether any action had been taken by the university or any other authorities against Sandusky.
“From my imperfect recollection, once he referred it off, I do not believe he had a second conversation about it,” Scott Paterno said of his father and how he handled any follow-up on the allegation. He added: “The appropriate people were contacted by Joe. That was the chain of command. It was a retired employee and it falls under the university’s auspices, not the football auspices.”
It appears prosecutors believe that Paterno, whatever his personal sense of obligation to inquire or act further, met his legal requirement in reporting the graduate student’s allegation to his direct superior, Curley.
Under state law, if a staff member at a school makes a report of possible sexual abuse of a child, it is the responsibility of “the person in charge of the school or institution” to make a report to the state’s Department of Public Welfare. According to prosecutors, neither Curley nor the president of Penn State, Graham B. Spanier, who had been told by Curley of the complaint against Sandusky, made such a report to child welfare authorities.
Of course, there was nothing preventing Paterno from doing more, and some sexual abuse experts and those who have represented young sex victims over the years have begun questioning why he did not take more immediate, aggressive action.
“He reported what he knew and he had reason to expect that others would do their jobs,” said Nicholas P. Cafardi, who is dean emeritus and professor of law at Duquesne University School of Law and an expert on the Roman Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal. “I don’t know if he knew no action was taken after he reported it, but if he did, and if he believed the story he heard was credible, he had a moral obligation to do something more — to report it to civil officials.
“In many past cases with the Catholic Church, priests who reported incidents to bishops and then saw nothing happened took it upon themselves to contact the civil authorities,” Cafardi said. “It’s not enough to say you have done all that the law requires of you. If you know nothing is being done to stop the abuse, the moral obligation kicks in. One of the reasons child-protection laws exist is to prevent additional abuse.”
According to a person with knowledge of the 2002 episode, the graduate student who made the report — first to Paterno and later to Curley and others — is Mike McQueary, a former Penn State quarterback who now serves as a senior assistant to Paterno. Attempts to reach him were not successful.
The chronology of events laid out by the state attorney general’s office includes multiple episodes that seem to suggest a failure by a variety of Penn State officials or employees to act emphatically — whether out of fear, incompetence or, perhaps, self-interest.
Sandusky, for decades, had been a prominent face of Penn State football, credited as the architect of defenses that helped win national championships. And the Paterno football program was one of the university’s greatest engines of income and national prestige.
But as early as 1994, according to prosecutors, Sandusky began to prey on young boys he had come to meet through the charity he helped create years earlier, the Second Mile, which was designed to help disadvantaged boys from dysfunctional or broken homes.
The account of prosecutors makes clear Sandusky brought any number of boys, typically 10 to 15 years old, fully into the world of Penn State football — visiting the team’s field, going on trips to postseason games, eating meals in the team’s dining hall.
That did not seem to strike Paterno, or other members of the football staff, as odd, given that Sandusky was understood to be a good man doing nice things for needy boys. But it appears, according to the criminal complaint against Sandusky, that he abused the boys in various corners of that Penn State football world — in its showers, perhaps in hotel rooms on the road.
According to prosecutors, the first serious chance Penn State had to halt the abuse came in 1998, when Sandusky was still an assistant for Paterno. A mother of an 11-year-old boy Sandusky had befriended at his charity reported to the Penn State campus police that her son had been touched and held by Sandusky in a shower inside the campus’s football facility.
Prosecutors said a “lengthy” investigation — one that grew to include allegations about a second young child being similarly touched by Sandusky in a shower — was carried out by the campus police. But they offer few details about the nature of that investigation: who was interviewed, whether Paterno or other university officials were apprised of it.
They do, though, say that at least two campus detectives took the case seriously and heard Sandusky admit to the misconduct in a conversation with the mother of one of the boys. Additionally, prosecutors said Sandusky was interviewed by one of the detectives and an investigator with the state’s child welfare agency. In that interview, they said, Sandusky admitted to showering with the boys and conceded that it “was wrong.”
According to prosecutors, a decision not to prosecute Sandusky was made by the county district attorney, who has since died. The lead campus police detective was subsequently told to close the case by Thomas Harmon, then the director of the campus police force. It appears Sandusky was merely encouraged to never again shower with a child.
The prosecutors, though, do assert that at least one prominent Penn State official, a lawyer for the university, was told of the 1998 allegations and investigation. That official, Wendell Courtney, said in an interview Sunday that he had learned of allegations about Sandusky in 1998, but had left it to the police and prosecutors to investigate.
“Whatever they did, they did,” he said of the campus police and local district attorney.
Courtney said he never sought to find out why no action had been taken. He said he believed that Penn State’s athletic director, Curley, knew of the allegation and the investigation, but was unsure whether other people in senior positions at the university knew of the episode.
Scott Paterno said on Sunday that his father had not been aware of the 1998 investigation. If he had been, Scott Paterno suggested, his father would have acted differently when he learned of the episode in 2002.
“Speaking on behalf of the family, if Joe had knowledge in ’98, it’s impossible for us to conceive that he wouldn’t have remembered that in 2002,” Scott Paterno said. “Anytime he has been questioned whether he had prior knowledge to 2002, he’s answered the same way every time.”
After the 1998 investigation, Sandusky’s status with his charity appears to have remained unchanged. In 1999, he retired as a Penn State assistant. It was generally understood at the time that Sandusky was not going to replace Paterno as head coach, and Paterno told Sandusky as much in a meeting. Perhaps as a result, Sandusky had opted to leave. He said he wanted to work full time for the Second Mile.
On Sunday, Scott Paterno rebutted the widely held belief that Sandusky had been forced to retire as a consequence of the 1998 investigation.
Sandusky, as part of his retirement terms, retained extensive privileges on campus: an office in the athletic facility, keys to the locker rooms and more.
And, prosecutors say, he used that access to abuse a young boy the next year. That incident would be another occasion in which university employees say they came upon an awful scene of abuse, but ultimately did not act.
In the fall of 2000, according to prosecutors, a janitor found Sandusky in the showers of the football building performing oral sex on a young boy pinned against a wall. The janitor, distraught, told a fellow employee that he had seen people killed in the Korean War, but that he had just seen something he would never forget. The employee thought the janitor was at risk of a heart attack.
In the end, no report was made, not by the janitor or the fellow employee he had told, both of whom, according to prosecutors, worried about their job security. And not by the janitor’s supervisor, who also had been informed.
“The failure of top university officials to act on reports of Sandusky’s alleged sexual misconduct, even after it was reported to them in graphic detail by an eyewitness, allowed a predator to walk free for years — continuing to target new victims,” Linda Kelly, the state attorney general, said in a statement over the weekend. “Equally disturbing is the lack of action and apparent lack of concern among those same officials, and others who received information about this case, who either avoided asking difficult questions or chose to look the other way.”
Nate Schweber contributed reporting.
November 7, 2011
State Officials Blast Penn State in Sandusky Case
By PETE THAMEL
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The Pennsylvania attorney general and the state police commissioner excoriated Penn State officials on Monday for failing over several years to alert the authorities to possible sexual abuse of young boys by a prominent football assistant.
They said the university employees who declined to report the incidents to the police put countless more children at risk of being abused by Jerry Sandusky, the longtime assistant who has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span, including during his tenure as an assistant at Penn State. Frank Noonan, the police commissioner who spent more than 30 years with the F.B.I. and the attorney general’s office, said the nature of the alleged incidents was unprecedented in his experience.
Even after Sandusky “made admissions about inappropriate contact in the shower room” in 1998 to the Penn State campus police, “Nothing happened,” Noonan said. “Nothing stopped.”
He said that janitors witnessed a sexual act in the football facility’s showers two years later, and still “nothing changed, nothing stopped,” because the janitors feared for their jobs and did not report the incident. Then, in 2002, according to prosecutors, another sex act involving Sandusky and a young boy was witnessed by a Penn State graduate assistant coach, who reported it to Coach Joe Paterno — yet the police still were not contacted.
“That’s very unusual,” Noonan said Monday at a news conference at the Capitol in Harrisburg where he and Linda Kelly, the attorney general, summarized the cases against Sandusky and two university officials. “I don’t think I’ve ever been associated with a case where that type of eyewitness identification of sex acts taking place where the police weren’t called. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like that before.”
Through his lawyer, Sandusky has maintained his innocence.
Two Penn State officials charged with perjury in their grand jury testimony and failing to report the suspected sexual abuse surrendered Monday, a day after they stepped down from their positions. The officials — Tim Curley, 57, the athletic director; and Gary Schultz, 62, the vice president for business and finance who oversaw the university police — were not required to enter a plea. They have denied any wrongdoing, and their lawyers are expected to seek to have the charges dismissed.
“I think you have the moral responsibility,” Noonan said. “Anyone — not whether you’re a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building — I think you have a moral responsibility to call us.”
When asked if there might be more victims beyond the eight children mentioned in the grand jury report, Kelly said, “When you look at the totality of the circumstances and the number of victims that we have, I don’t think it would be beyond the realm of possibility that there are other victims that exist here.” She and Noonan encouraged any other possible victims to contact the attorney general’s office.
Kelly said Paterno had cooperated with investigators and fulfilled his legal obligation to pass the information to a superior when, in 2002, the graduate assistant told him about an incident involving Sandusky that he had witnessed in the football facility’s showers. Paterno is not considered a target of the investigation at this point, Kelly said.
After the graduate assistant told Paterno, Curley and Schultz about what he had seen, Curley briefed the university president, according to the grand jury report. No one at the university alerted the police or pursued the matter to determine the well-being of the child involved. In fact, Kelly said Monday, the identity of that child remains unknown.
“Those officials and administrators to whom it was reported did not report that incident to law enforcement or to any child protective agency,” Kelly said. “Their inaction, likely, allowed a child predator to continue to victimize children for many, many years.”
According to prosecutors, Sandusky preyed on young boys he met through the charity he founded years earlier, the Second Mile, which was designed to help disadvantaged boys. The charity released a statement Monday that said that Curley had told the organization’s chief executive in 2002 about the report from the graduate assistant, but that the matter had been reviewed internally and no wrongdoing was found. “At no time was the Second Mile made aware of the very serious allegations contained in the grand jury report,” the statement said.
The grand jury report has no mention of an internal review of the incident by Penn State.
According to prosecutors, Penn State could have halted the abuse in 1998, when Sandusky was an assistant for Paterno. A mother of an 11-year-old boy Sandusky had befriended at his charity reported to the campus police that her son had been touched and held by Sandusky in a shower at the football facility.
Prosecutors said an investigation — which grew to include allegations about a second young child being similarly touched by Sandusky in a shower — was carried out by the campus police.
When asked whether Paterno or the university president, Graham B. Spanier, was aware in 1998 of the investigation, Kelly said, “All I can say was that investigation was handled by Penn State University’s police department.”
Paterno’s son Scott said in a telephone interview Sunday that Paterno had not been aware of the 1998 investigation.
Gerald Lauro investigated the 1998 allegation for child protective services. He said he did not find enough evidence of sexual assault to determine that the charge was founded. “I did my investigation and I based my determination on all the available evidence,” he said.
Noonan, a former chief investigator at the attorney general’s office, said the methods Sandusky was suspected of using were common in these types of investigations. He said it was known as “grooming” victims, in which an adult identifies a child, becomes a mentor, gives him gifts and establishes trust.
Prosecutors say he took many of the boys to campus to visit the team’s field and eat in the dining hall, and took them on trips to postseason games.
Even after the 2002 incident that Paterno, Curley, Schultz and Spanier were told about, it appears the university continued to allow Sandusky on campus. And as recently as 2009, the university system was promoting the Sandusky Football Camp, a four-day, three-night clinic held at Penn State campuses in Erie and Harrisburg, according to an advertisement for the camp published Monday by Deadspin.
Nate Schweber contributed reporting.
November 9, 2011
Paterno Is Finished at Penn State, and President Is Out
By MARK VIERA
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Joe Paterno, who has the most victories of any coach in major college football history, was fired by Penn State on Wednesday night in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal involving a prominent former assistant coach and the university’s failure to act to halt further harm.
Graham B. Spanier, one of the longest-serving and highest-paid university presidents in the nation, who has helped raise the academic profile of Penn State during his tenure, was also removed by the Board of Trustees. When the announcement was made at a news conference that the 84-year-old Mr. Paterno would not coach another game, a gasp went up from the crowd of several hundred reporters, students and camera people who were present.
“We thought that because of the difficulties that engulfed our university, and they are grave, that it is necessary to make a change in the leadership to set a course for a new direction,” said John Surma Jr., the vice chairman of the board.
The university’s most senior officials were clearly seeking to halt the humiliating damage caused by the arrest last Saturday of the former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky. Mr. Sandusky had been a key part of the football program, but prosecutors have said he was a serial pedophile who was allowed to add victims over the years in part because the university he had served was either unable or unwilling to stop him.
Mr. Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span, and two top university officials — Tim Curley, the athletic director, and Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business — have been charged with perjury and failing to report to authorities what they knew of the allegations. Neither Mr. Paterno nor Mr. Spanier was charged in the case, though questions have been raised about if they did as much as they could to stop Mr. Sandusky.
Mr. Paterno had announced earlier Wednesday that he planned to retire at the end of the football season, but the statement was apparently released without the approval of the board.
“At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status,” Mr. Paterno said in his statement. “They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can. This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
Yet the board unanimously declined to let him finish out the season, his 46th as the head football coach and his 62nd over all at the college. The defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will take over as interim head coach. Mr. Paterno was told of his firing by telephone, according to Mr. Surma, who is the chief executive of U.S. Steel.
Late Wednesday night, Mr. Paterno issued another statement.
“I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees’ decision, but I have to accept it.
“A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value,” he said in the statement.
“This university is a large and complex institution, and although I have always acted honorably and in the best interest of the university, the buck stops here,” Mr. Spanier said in a statement. “In this situation, I believe it is in the best interest of the university to give my successor a clear path to resolve the issues before us.”
Rodney A. Erickson, the executive vice president and provost, will serve as acting president.
After the announcements about Mr. Spanier and Mr. Paterno, the news conference immediately took on a frenzied and somewhat vitriolic tenor. Angry questions were shouted at Mr. Surma, who responded to them while the other board members sat behind him and to his sides. One cameraman repeatedly said, “Your campus is going to burn tonight.”
The scandal, and the fallout from it, has left Penn State’s normally placid campus in a state of shock. Scores of students poured into the streets downtown in the immediate aftermath of the news conference. Many held up cellphones to take pictures and others blew vuvuzelas and air horns. A few climbed lampposts, tried to topple street signs and knocked over trash cans. Others set off firecrackers from the roofs of buildings, and a television news truck was flipped on its side. A lamppost was torn down and police pepper-sprayed some in the crowd.
“I just don’t think it’s right that JoePa’s losing his job,” Corey Davis, a 23-year-old senior studying international politics, said. “All the facts aren’t out, we don’t even know he’s done anything wrong. Joe’s the fall guy.”
Kathryn Simpson, 20, a junior studying graphic design, was weeping as she walked away from the university’s administration building, Old Main, with a friend.
“This is devastating for us,” she said. “I never in a million years thought I’d see this.”
A number of students went to the coach’s house, where Mr. Paterno and his wife, Sue, spoke with them.
Dressed in a baggy gray pullover sweater, Mr. Paterno waved his hand and started to walk back inside. A student yelled, “We are Penn State,” the frequent rallying cry. Mr. Paterno stopped and turned around to say: “That’s right. We are Penn State, don’t ever forget it.”
Many students have shown their support for Mr. Paterno with large rallies outside his home and at Old Main. After he was fired, thousands of people gathered in front of the administration building, throwing objects and chanting “We want Joe!”
A grand jury said that Mr. Spanier, the university’s president since 1995, was made aware of a report of an incident involving Mr. Sandusky. Upon learning about a suspected 2002 assault by Mr. Sandusky on a young boy in the football building’s showers, Mr. Paterno redirected the graduate assistant who witnessed the incident to the athletic director, rather than notifying the police. Mr. Paterno said the graduate assistant who reported the assault, Mike McQueary, said only that something disturbing had happened that was perhaps sexual in nature. Mr. McQueary testified that he saw Mr. Sandusky having anal sex with the boy.
The Department of Education announced Wednesday that it would investigate the university’s handling of the abuse allegations.
Mr. Paterno has had a contentious relationship with some members of the Board of Trustees. In 2004, Mr. Spanier, Mr. Curley and select board members twice went to his house in efforts to get him to retire. Mr. Paterno declined, and the moment was looked at in the narrative of Paterno’s career as an instance of his overcoming adversity. He revived the program, including victories in the Orange Bowl over Florida State in the 2005 season and the Outback Bowl over Tennessee in the 2006 season.
Mr. Spanier, 63, has helped to raise the academic prestige of Penn State during his tenure. A trained therapist with a Ph.D. in sociology, he was known among the students for playing the washboard with local bands and performing magic tricks at certain functions.
Yet it was Mr. Paterno who remained the public face of the university. He met with his team Wednesday in a gathering that players described as emotional. Stephon Morris, a junior cornerback, said Paterno was near tears when he told the team he was leaving. “I’ve never seen Coach Paterno like that in my life,” Mr. Morris said. Still, Mr. Paterno’s talk was not all about the turmoil. Mr. Morris said Mr. Paterno’s main message was “Beat Nebraska,” referring to Penn State’s next opponent. When he left, his players gave him a standing ovation.
Bill Pennington and Nate Schweber contributed reporting.
November 9, 2011
Investigation of Sandusky in 1998 Raises Questions
In 1998, the Penn State campus police and local law enforcement authorities investigated an allegation that Jerry Sandusky, then a prominent coach with the university’s football team, had engaged in inappropriate and perhaps sexual conduct with a boy in the football facility’s showers.
A lengthy police report was generated, state prosecutors said. The boy was interviewed. A second potential victim was identified. Child welfare authorities were brought in. Sandusky confessed to showering with one or both of the children. The local district attorney was given material to consider prosecution.
In the end, no prosecution was undertaken. The child welfare agency did not take action. And, according to prosecutors, the commander of the university’s campus police force told his detective, Ronald Schreffler, to close the case.
“Sandusky admitted showering naked with Victim 6, admitted to hugging Victim 6 while in the shower and admitted that it was wrong,” said the report issued last weekend by the Pennsylvania attorney general. “Detective Schreffler advised Sandusky not to shower with any child again and Sandusky said that he would not.”
Questions about that investigation abound: Who was interviewed? Who received the report? If the case was shut down, was Sandusky sanctioned in some way?
The New York Times has reached three of the principals involved in the investigation: the two men identified by prosecutors as the police officers who worked on the case, Schreffler and Ralph Ralston, and the investigator with the state welfare department, Gerald Lauro, who was charged with determining if a child had been harmed.
Schreffler — who appears to have been the lead detective, and who interviewed Sandusky — refused to comment when reached at his home in Bellefonte, Pa. He has retired from the campus police force and works at least part time for a security firm in Baltimore, according to his former wife.
“I’ve got nothing to say,” Schreffler said Tuesday night.
Schreffler’s current wife, Laurel, reached Wednesday, said, “I’m sorry, I’m not allowed to talk.”
In an interview this week, Ralston, who said he worked for the local State College police force, insisted he played only a peripheral role in the investigation. He said his role was merely to make sure that campus police had access to the boy, who Ralston said lived in his jurisdiction.
“I can’t even remember anything about it,” Ralston said.
He said he never followed up with campus police or child welfare authorities to find out the conclusion of their investigations.
“I didn’t think any more of it until I read the report over the weekend,” he said of the attorney general’s charges against Sandusky and other university officials. “There was stuff in there I never heard before.”
Lauro, the investigator for the state welfare department in 1998, said he was aware during the investigation that Sandusky was a prominent local figure, but that it did not affect his work.
“Was he a high-profile person?” Lauro asked. “I’d have to be stupid to tell you no. Everybody knew him.”
At the time of his investigation, Lauro said, all the child said was that Sandusky showered with him, and it made him uncomfortable. Lauro said he didn’t feel that was enough to substantiate a sexual-abuse complaint.
Lauro suggested that the child, now grown, had told the grand jury convened by the attorney general a much more explicit account.
Lauro said he has felt worse and worse as the scandal has unfolded, particularly when he read quotations in a newspaper from a victim’s mother blaming him and other officials for not doing more to stop Sandusky.
“I feel bad that there was not more information so I could have done something,” he said. “I feel bad that the mom thinks I should’ve done more. I just didn’t have all the information back then.”
In 1998, though, Lauro said his judgment was that the allegation fell under the category of what he termed “boundary issues,” not sexual assault.
“It was definitely boundary issues, and I worked with boundary issues a lot,” Lauro said. “But if I believed it was more than boundary issues, I would’ve gone to the mat.”
Lauro said he met Schreffler, the campus detective, twice during the investigation. Lauro said he was surprised to learn that the detective would not talk about the investigation of 1998.
“Wow,” he said. “That’s really saying something.”
November 10, 2011
Abuse Inquiry Set Tricky Path for a Governor
By JO BECKER
For months, Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania had reason to suspect a sexual abuse scandal was going to explode at Penn State University. He also had no way to talk about it, or to prepare for it.
Mr. Corbett, as state attorney general, had begun an investigation in 2009 into allegations that a former Penn State assistant football coach had abused young boys, and that university officials might have covered up the scandal. He had convened a grand jury, and his prosecutors had taken testimony. But when he ran for governor, and even after he took office, he was obligated to keep the investigation secret, even as he saw the university officials at the center of the investigation doing little to address the substance of the inquiry.
“He was upset about the inaction,” said Kevin Harley, who worked with Mr. Corbett in the attorney general’s office and is now his press secretary. “He knew what witnesses were going to the grand jury even though he was running for governor. So then he became governor, and he knew at some point that this day would be coming. He just didn’t know when it would be.”
That day came last Friday, when the charges became public against the former coach, Jerry Sandusky, and two senior university officials. Suddenly, though, Mr. Corbett faced a new challenge: as governor, he was effectively a member of Penn State’s board of trustees, the body that would decide how to handle the crisis, when to act and who, if anyone, to fire. But he also knew information about the investigation that he could not share with anyone, including other trustees, and was still bound by rules prohibiting prosecutors from making possibly prejudicial statements.
Over the next four days, then, Mr. Corbett, a Republican, kept his public statements spare, calling on trustees to act quickly and aggressively. But privately, he worked to move the board in what he believed was the right direction. He called multiple members, including Vice Chairman John P. Surma, the chief executive of U.S. Steel, and told them that the country was watching, that a change at the top was needed and that the issue was about more than a football program, according to a person with knowledge of his efforts.
Mr. Corbett eventually decided to send a public signal: he formally announced he would attend the scheduled meeting of the trustees on Friday, something he had never done before.
“It was indicative of him putting a thumb on the scale,” said a person with direct knowledge of the governor’s deliberations.
Frank Noonan, the commissioner of the state police, said: “You couldn’t have kept him away from that meeting with a troop of marines. He has very strong feelings about this case.”
At an emergency meeting on Wednesday night, the board removed both the university president, Graham B. Spanier, and Joe Paterno, the football coach. Afterward, the trustees said they had acted independently. But they conceded, without being specific, that the board had received some unsolicited encouragement about what action to take.
Thursday evening, Mr. Corbett addressed reporters in State College, Pa. “Their actions caused me to not have confidence in their ability to lead,” he said of Mr. Spanier and Mr. Paterno.
Raised in blue-collar Shaler, Pa., a town of 28,000 where a high school football game is a major event, Mr. Corbett spent most of his career as a prosecutor. A Roman Catholic, he was struck early on in the Penn State investigation by the similarities between the university’s failure to report allegations of sexual abuse involving Mr. Sandusky and the church’s failure to report pedophile priests, according to several people who work with him.
The Penn State case also had echoes of a prosecution Mr. Corbett had led as a young assistant district attorney. Mr. Sandusky is alleged to have used a foundation he created for disadvantaged children, called the Second Mile, to prey upon young boys. In the case earlier in Mr. Corbett’s career, he prosecuted a serial pedophile who ran a club for troubled children called the Children of the Wind.
In 2004, Mr. Corbett was elected attorney general, and quickly created a special unit to investigate child predators. He privately cited the Children of the Wind victims as the reason, saying he remained haunted by victims in the case, Mr. Harley recalled.
Once he became the state’s top prosecutor, Mr. Corbett did not shy from politically difficult cases, beginning a corruption inquiry that uncovered misuse of state funds on a grand scale by Democrats and Republicans.
“People would say that’s just politics as usual,” said John Brabender, a friend of the governor and a national Republican media consultant. “But that bothered Tom, because in his mind it was illegal, and there aren’t degrees of illegal.”
So when the Penn State case landed in Mr. Corbett’s lap in 2009, he did not hesitate, colleagues say, pressing forward on the investigation even as he ran for governor. Clinton County high school officials had reported charges to the local district attorney that Mr. Sandusky had molested a boy there, but, citing a conflict of interest, the prosecutor passed it on to the attorney general’s office to investigate.
“Here, he had a wildly popular football coach and a program which in Pennsylvania was revered, and this case lands in his office and without flinching he went down that path,” David Urban, a prominent Pennsylvania Republican lobbyist who was once former Senator Arlen Specter’s chief of staff, said of Mr. Corbett.
The more the attorney general’s office investigated, the more victims it found.
“At first, the sensitivity was, ‘Oh, my God, is this really happening?’ ” said Mr. Noonan, who at the time was Mr. Corbett’s chief investigator. Mr. Noonan said the thinking soon evolved into disbelief at the university’s lack of action. “We talked about how this would be a real shock to people, and how shocking it was to us,” he said.
When Mr. Corbett was elected governor in 2010, “he found it very difficult to let go of the case,” Mr. Noonan said. The only people he could talk to about it were the few people he had brought with him from the attorney general’s office; grand jury secrecy laws barred him from discussing it with outsiders, including university trustees he had appointed.
From the outside, the governor’s main interest in Penn State appeared to be budgetary: he and Mr. Spanier were at odds over deep cuts made to the state’s higher education budget.
Mr. Noonan, who remained involved because the governor had appointed him state police commissioner, was one of the few people in his administration in the know.
“He’d ask me, ‘How is it going?’ and I’d say, ‘Good, it’s going well,’ though I couldn’t share any details with him,” Mr. Noonan recalled. “I know that this case was always on his mind and that he’s been waiting for it.”
On Friday, the governor finally got the word. The grand jury indictment had been filed under seal, but because of a computer glitch it had mistakenly been made public. Soon Mr. Corbett’s office was inundated with calls. Mr. Harley reached the governor in his car.
Mr. Corbett took it in and said simply, “O.K.”
November 11, 2011
Penn State Has Exemption from Disclosure Law
By KEN BELSON
The criminal allegations against Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach accused of sexually abusing young boys, have prompted questions about what officials at Penn State knew and when.
But the public’s access to e-mails, phone records and other potentially critical evidence is restricted because Penn State has a special exemption from having to disclose a host of information that state agencies and many other state universities are forced to divulge under Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law.
Historically, Pennsylvania had one of the most restrictive open records laws of any state. All state records were presumed to be closed unless citizens could prove why the information they wanted should be disclosed.
But scandals involving campaign financing, pay for state lawmakers and spending abuses by a state agency led legislators in 2008 to drastically rewrite the law for the first time in a half century. Now, the assumption is that all state records are open unless public officials can argue otherwise.
When the wide-ranging overhaul of the state’s open records provisions was made three years ago, however, exemptions were included. Practically none of the revisions pertain to Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and Lincoln University, which have a special state-related status in Pennsylvania because they receive public financing but maintain independent administrative control.
They are required only to issue annual reports by May 30 and make public the salaries of their officers and directors and 25 highest-paid employees.
Representatives of these universities pushed for their colleges to be exempt because, among other things, they said they would have a harder time soliciting donations if the donors’ identities could be made public. That would put them on an uneven footing when competing for dollars with private universities.
However, critics then and now argue that any university that receives taxpayer funds should be open to scrutiny. This fiscal year, the four state-related universities will receive about $560 million in public money, with nearly half, or $272 million, of that money destined for Penn State.
“Any time you have dimes and dollars and put them in the dark, you have the potential for significant problems,” said Terry Mutchler, the executive director of the state’s Office of Open Records. “Having the strongest right-to-know laws wouldn’t have prevented what happened, but there might have been more availability, and it might provide a reverse road map.”
Mutchler said her office has received a flood of requests for information about how to request internal documents from Penn State since Sandusky was charged last week.
Because of the growing scandal at Penn State, State Senator John Blake, a Democrat from northeastern Pennsylvania, says he plans to introduce legislation that would end the exemption for state-related institutions.
“There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be held to the same provisions as any other institution of higher learning that gets state funding,” said Blake, who was not in office when the records law was rewritten. “It seems to me whether a citizen, organization, business or media interest wants to access to public records, the hurdles shouldn’t be any different.”
Blake does not have a co-sponsor for his bill, but he said he hoped that Dominic Pileggi, the majority leader in the state senate and the prime sponsor of the Open Records Law revision three years ago, would help close the loophole.
Erik Arneson, a spokesman for Senator Pileggi, said the Senate was considering various amendments to the law, but that there was no timetable for action on any proposed changes.
“It is always good and proper to review open records law as situations arise, and this is clearly one of those situations,” Arneson said.
Penn State Officials, Including Paterno, Could Face Civil Lawsuits
By BILL PENNINGTON November 11, 2011
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — It may take years, but Penn State, its administrators and possibly even the former coach Joe Paterno could be the targets of civil lawsuits seeking extensive monetary damages once the criminal case against a former assistant coach is concluded, trial lawyers with experience in similar cases said Friday.
“People say there might eventually be 20 victims identified in this case, but who knows if the number might not be 200?” said Michael Dowd, a New York lawyer who has represented hundreds of child abuse clients. “The damages sought could total $100 million.”
Other lawyers with experience in civil lawsuits agreed that Penn State was vulnerable because it appeared to have had warnings that the former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was suspected of preying on children and did not meaningfully act to prevent it.
“The damage to the victims is so profound — pain, suffering and perhaps lifetime injuries — that juries usually are unbridled as to how to calculate the damages,” said Harold Goodman, a Philadelphia lawyer who has represented multiple clients in similar cases. “The damages are likely to be immense.”
There were, however, law experts who saw obstacles to civil cases against the university and its employees.
“It’s a huge uphill battle to collect from the state,” said Saul Levmore, a professor and former dean at the University of Chicago Law School. “Plaintiff lawyers love to jump up and down about $100 million settlements, but there are a lot of hurdles in the way to that.”
Doriane Coleman, a professor at the Duke University School of Law, said that unlike the Catholic Church, which was the target of previous child abuse lawsuits, Penn State is a state institution and thereby should be protected by a doctrine known as sovereign immunity, which in essence protects state entities — and possibly state employees acting in the normal course of their jobs — from tort claims.
“I see this as very difficult to overcome,” Coleman said.
Generally, civil proceedings begin only after the criminal case has reached its conclusion. Current Pennsylvania statute of limitations restrictions allow a victim of child abuse to file a civil claim until the victim is 30 years old, although that law was amended in 2002 when the age limit was 20. It does not appear that the change will affect any of the victims recently identified in the Sandusky grand jury investigation. But if there are additional victims who come forward, the age limit could keep them from being eligible to file civil claims depending on their ages and the years that the assaults occurred.
Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span, including at least one in the football complex locker room. Two top Penn State officials — Tim Curley, the athletic director, and Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business — have been charged with perjury and failing to report to the authorities what they knew of the allegations. Neither Paterno nor Graham B. Spanier, who was removed Wednesday as university president, was charged in the case, although questions have been raised about whether they did as much as they could to stop Sandusky.
“There are certainly elements of a cover-up or something like a conspiracy,” said Stephen Rubino, a New Jersey lawyer who began specializing in clergy sexual abuse litigation in the late 1980s. “The university president went out of his way to support two of the principals on the day of their arrests.
“If Penn State was smart it would spend whatever it takes to find the victims, settle with them, provide treatment and begin rebuilding the image of the university as a place where the safety of children was put above the football program.”
Rubino also said he believed Paterno could be named in civil lawsuits. “Yes, he’s got vulnerability,” he said. “He’s the head coach. It was his locker room. It was his program and his assistant football coach.”
The consensus from other lawyers and law experts was that Paterno could be exposed to a lawsuit from one or more of Sandusky’s suspected victims, but it would be a case that hinged on the detailed specifics of what Paterno knew and when he knew it.
On the issue of sovereign immunity for Penn State and its employees, Gerald McHugh Jr., a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, said that because the Pennsylvania university system is structured differently than those in most other states, Penn State is categorized as a state-sponsored institution and would not be afforded the immunity defense.
Deliberations in the Pennsylvania law community have already begun on whether university officials were legally required to report the allegations and eyewitness testimony about Sandusky to law enforcement authorities since Penn State is not an institution that supervises children.
November 21, 2011
Rich in Success, Rooted in Secrecy
By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — One of the great paradoxes of the Penn State scandal is evident on the face of Graham B. Spanier, the university’s ousted president.
“You know how he’s got that prizefighter’s nose?” said Michael Oriard, an associate dean at Oregon State and a close friend. “It’s from his father breaking it for him several times.”
Spanier earned academic renown with research on family relationships. Oriard said he has seen his friend lose his composure just once, after witnessing one child hurting another. A man like that, then, might be keenly attuned to protecting the powerless, the downtrodden, and Spanier’s defenders say he is.
Yet he and other administrators have been blamed for failing to act to stop Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach who has been charged with 40 counts of child molestation, including rape. Two top Penn State administrators were charged with perjury, accused of lying about what they knew about Sandusky. Spanier and the university’s iconic head coach, Joe Paterno, have not been criminally charged, but on Nov. 9 Spanier left his job and Paterno was fired.
Spanier, who did not respond to interview requests, told a grand jury last spring that he was never told how serious the allegations against Sandusky were. With the Pennsylvania attorney general, the Education Department, the N.C.A.A. and the university’s board of trustees all conducting investigations into not only the sexual abuse allegations but the possibility of a cover-up, the actions — or inactions — of Spanier and others remain to be fully examined and made public.
On Monday, Ken Frazier, a member of Penn State’s board of trustees, announced that the former F.B.I. director Louis J. Freeh would lead an independent inquiry into the Sandusky scandal.
“No one, no one, is above scrutiny, including every member of the administration, every member of the board of trustees, and every employee of Penn State University,” Frazier said.
In his 16 years as president, Spanier and his administration had a history of circling the wagons in the face of criticism or scrutiny, fitting into what many say was an insular Penn State culture that preceded his tenure. It occurred when high-profile Penn State employees came under fire, when student actions threatened to embarrass the university, and when people sought to obtain information that almost any other public institution would be required to release.
That instinct might have accelerated Spanier’s downfall. On Nov. 5, when Gary Schultz, a senior vice president, and Tim Curley, the athletic director, were charged with perjury, Spanier released a statement saying he had “complete confidence” in their handling of the accusations against Sandusky — a statement that incensed university trustees, according to people briefed on their deliberations.
Paul McLaughlin said he experienced a prime example of that habit of closing ranks. A decade ago, he says, he told Penn State officials, including Spanier, a horrific story: years before, when he was a boy, a professor had sexually molested him repeatedly, sometimes on the Penn State campus. He even said he had a tape recording in which the professor, who still taught at the university, admitted to the abuse.
But McLaughlin said he was rebuffed.
“He told me whatever I wanted to get from the school, I wasn’t going to get it, and this was a guy with an impeccable reputation, and unless he was convicted of a crime, they weren’t interested,” McLaughlin, now 45 and a private investigator in Phoenix, recalled of his short phone conversation with Spanier. “When I offered to send him the tape, he said, ‘Don’t bother.’ That was his exact words.”
Bill Mahon, a university spokesman, said he could not say whether that phone call took place, and that no records were kept of calls Spanier received.
The professor was charged in 2005 with abusing McLaughlin, but the charges were later dropped.
The revelations of recent weeks were especially chilling to McLaughlin, and not just because of the horrible — and to him horribly familiar — allegations, or the suggestion that the university had shielded its own. It was also the timing: the most explosive charges — that Sandusky raped a pre-adolescent boy in the locker room showers and that university officials who were told about it failed to report it to the police — occurred in March 2002, just days after McLaughlin says he spoke with Spanier.
Until this month, there was a consensus, not only here on campus but among higher education experts nationally, that Spanier was a good president, according to interviews with dozens of students, alumni, faculty and administrators, including some who butted heads with him. He greatly expanded student enrollment and oversaw a campus building boom, elevated the university’s academic reputation, raised an enormous amount of money, and was tapped by fellow university presidents to lead a series of intercollegiate bodies.
He cut a quirky, impossibly energetic figure, helping students haul boxes into the dorms each September, donning a Nittany Lions mascot costume, performing magic tricks, running with the bulls in Spain, hosting two television shows and occasionally making use of his pilot’s license. In the evenings, he attended student social events and played washboard with a Dixieland band, then often stayed up past midnight answering e-mails.
“I can’t imagine a president of a major university being more involved in the lives of students,” said Sam Richards, a sociology professor who did not always approve of Spanier’s management. “He was everywhere.”
People who have worked with Spanier, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering the beleaguered administration, say that he was also a micromanager who centralized authority and could be overly sensitive about how internal matters might affect Penn State’s reputation.
“If you’re always focused on promoting the brand and there’s no scrutiny, that leads to covering up,” said E. Paul Durrenberger, an anthropology professor nearing retirement.
Born in South Africa, Spanier grew up in the Chicago suburbs and was the first member of his family to go to college, graduating from Iowa State in 1969. By 25, he had a doctorate in sociology from Northwestern and a faculty position at Penn State. At 42, he became chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His wife, Sandra, is a noted Hemingway scholar and professor at Penn State. They have two grown children.
At Nebraska, Spanier raised admissions standards and pressed for equal treatment of gays, drawing criticism that he was too liberal for the state. He also clashed there with a powerful and legendary football coach, Tom Osborne, during the 1992 search for a new athletic director. Osborne, according to news reports at the time, wanted to make the choice, in effect picking his own nominal boss. Spanier defied the coach and hired Bill Byrne. Three years later, Spanier returned to Penn State.
The university stands out among its sports-powerhouse peers because of the relatively high graduation rates of its athletes, and because Paterno, though well paid — more than $1 million in 2009 — earned far less than other top coaches. It also is home to the largest charity run by college students, known as Thon, which raises money for pediatric cancer research.
Penn State is a dominant presence in this state’s rural midsection, sitting in a small town that people here call, without a trace of sarcasm, Happy Valley. Newly hired faculty are struck by how many of their colleagues remain for decades.
The university’s fiercely loyal alumni descend here by the thousands for major sports events, especially football games, something Spanier embraced. He hosted a program about college sports on the Big Ten Network, attended games and spent heavily on expanding and upgrading Beaver Stadium.
Two former department chairmen said one of the expectations of their jobs is that they tailgate before football games, mingling for hours.
“The football games, that’s where the money is,” one said. “Several times a year, thousands of alumni come back, and it’s a chance to stroke them and show off to them, and I was told I should be a part of that.”
In 2004, as is now well known, Spanier and Penn State’s athletic director, Curley, went to Paterno’s house near campus to tell him that the previous season, with its 4-7 record, should be his last. Instead, Paterno told his superiors he had no intention of going.
“It’s not really a boss-employee relationship with these power coaches, not at all,” said Byrne, now athletic director at Texas A&M. “Someone like Paterno, he’s helped choose the trustees, he owns the community. When a popular coach gets fired, usually pretty soon the president and the athletic director are gone, too.”
When Spanier returned to State College in 1995, Penn State had a star coach in women’s basketball, Rene Portland, who had a reputation for not allowing lesbians on her team, which she denied. The university had a policy barring discrimination based on sexual orientation, but Portland, many believed, continued to operate by her own rules.
A former player sued, accusing Portland of harassing her and dropping her from the team because of her perceived sexual orientation. Several former players came forward to say they had seen or experienced similar treatment, prompting questions about whether the administration knew of Portland’s actions and tolerated them.
The university investigated and found in 2006 that Portland had created a “hostile, intimidating and offensive environment.” She was fined and forced to undergo diversity training, but she kept her job. Portland resigned a year later, shortly after Penn State settled the lawsuit on undisclosed terms.
That and other court settlements have been kept secret because Pennsylvania’s public colleges are exempt from state law on open government records. As president, Spanier went to some lengths to maintain such secrecy.
When The Patriot-News of Harrisburg obtained the salaries of Penn State’s highest-paid officials, including Paterno, from the state retirement system, Spanier spent five years trying to block the release. The university lost before the pension board, the Commonwealth Court and, in 2007, the State Supreme Court.
Craig J. Staudenmaier, the lawyer who represented The Patriot-News, said he was amazed by how hard the university fought.
“It just made no sense,” he said. “Penn State guards their information very closely and jealously.”
While that case was under way, state lawmakers were drafting a tougher right-to-know law. Spanier lobbied personally — and successfully — against a proposal to end the colleges’ exemption.
As well, students whose political activism threatened to embarrass the university have sometimes met harsh responses.
In 2000, Penn State hosted the National Governors Association meeting, a showcase moment for the university. Five student members of a political group were arrested by the campus police for refusing to take down a banner hung from Osmond Laboratory to promote what they called “a socially responsible alternative to the Governor’s Convention.”
“I was furious,” said William A. Pencak, a history professor. “This was the place students are always allowed to place banners, if it’s banners to honor the alumni, or support United Way, or rally for football. But when it was important political discussion, they weren’t allowed to do it.”
A group that pressures colleges not to sell apparel made with sweatshop labor had similar experiences. Members of the Penn State chapter said they tried for years to get a meeting with Spanier, with no luck. Instead, they were fined for writing anti-sweatshop messages on sidewalks and walls, though students and professors say that apolitical chalk writing was commonly tolerated.
In 2008, the group staged a sit-in at the administration building, Old Main, leading to the arrest of 31 students for misdemeanor trespassing.
“We finally got a meeting with Spanier,” said Chris Stevens, one of those arrested. “The year after the sit-in.”
McLaughlin, the private investigator who said he was abused on campus decades ago, never got that far.
In an interview last week, he said that when he was 11 to 15 years old and lived in Delaware, he was sexually assaulted by three men, in State College and on trips to other states. One man was his neighbor, and he introduced him to the others, including John T. Neisworth, a professor of education and nationally recognized expert on autistic children.
Neisworth, who could not be reached for comment, has consistently denied the accusation.
McLaughlin said he suppressed the memory for two decades. After it flooded back, he said, he was appalled to learn that Neisworth still taught at Penn State.
In 2001, he said, he called Neisworth, acting as though his memories of their time together were pleasant, and pretended to have an underage male lover. He recorded the call. In a transcript later prepared by the Sheriff’s Office of Cecil County, Md., one of the places McLaughlin said he was abused, Neisworth seems to acknowledge abusing McLaughlin and giving him alcohol.
McLaughlin sued Neisworth, leading to a settlement that he described as “six figures.” He said he also called university officials, and that one of them sent back, unopened, a package with a copy of the recording.
One of those officials, David H. Monk, dean of the college of education, said he had “no personal contact from Mr. McLaughlin at any point,” though he did hear from a member of McLaughlin’s family, and that he was not offered the recording. He added, “I did take the charges seriously and immediately determined that Mr. Neisworth’s Penn State duties did not involve direct contact with children.”
Neisworth retired in 2002, though he continued teaching a distance-education course for a few more years.
Of the states in which McLaughlin said he was abused, only Maryland permitted criminal charges more than 20 years after the events. Neisworth and his two friends were charged there in 2005, and Penn State officials told reporters at the time that it had no reason to act unless he was convicted.
But Maryland law also barred the recording of phone conversations without the consent of both parties, so the court would not allow McLaughlin’s incendiary tape into evidence. One defendant was acquitted, and the charges against Neisworth and the third man were dropped.
That was hard to take, McLaughlin said, but no harder, he asserted, than being dismissed by Spanier and other Penn State officials.
“They just didn’t want to hear it, didn’t want to investigate to make sure,” he said of the university and the professor he had accused. “He was their guy.”
Tamar Lewin contributed reporting from New York.
November 18, 2011
N.C.A.A. Begins Penn State Inquiry
By PETE THAMEL
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The N.C.A.A. has sent Penn State a letter announcing it will begin an inquiry into the university’s institutional control and ethical conduct stemming from the sexual abuse charges against the former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
The N.C.A.A.’s move, which Penn State announced Friday, was called “very unprecedented” by Tom Yeager, a former N.C.A.A. investigator. Yeager, who was a longtime member of the N.C.A.A. committee on infractions, also expressed concern about the N.C.A.A.’s looking into issues that occur outside the organization’s typical rules purview.
In the letter, the N.C.A.A.’s president, Mark Emmert, said that the acts described in a grand jury report — including allegations that Sandusky raped or sexually assaulted eight boys over a period of 15 years — “try not only the integrity of the university, but that of intercollegiate athletics as a whole.” Emmert said that the N.C.A.A. would examine both a lack of institutional control, one of the most serious charges the N.C.A.A. can make against a university, as well as “the actions, and inactions, of relevant responsible personnel.”
“The circumstances are uncharted territory in many ways,” Emmert said in a telephone interview. “This is not in my mind or in many other people’s mind an unprecedented application of our bylaws and our constitution. It is a very unusual set of circumstances.”
Since the Nov. 5 release of the grand jury report in the Sandusky case, four prominent Penn State employees, including the president, Graham B. Spanier, and the football coach, Joe Paterno, have lost or stepped away from their jobs. The other two officials — the athletic director, Tim Curley, and the university vice president Gary Schultz — have been charged with perjury and failing to report the allegations to authorities.
State officials have questioned why Penn State officials did not do more to stop Sandusky’s suspected abuse, which the university first investigated in 1998.
Emmert stressed that the letter sent to Penn State was different from a formal N.C.A.A. investigation letter. It includes a series of questions for Penn State to answer, and Emmert said that the N.C.A.A. would monitor the case throughout the legal process. The N.C.A.A. will not send investigators to Penn State’s campus.
“That’s going to be the difficult part, untangling what parts are criminal and what parts are relevant to our bylaws,” Emmert said. “Those are two different things.”
Yeager, who is the commissioner of the Colonial Athletic Association, said he generally disagreed with Emmert’s notion that this was not an unprecedented set of circumstances for the N.C.A.A. to apply its bylaws. He said that the move could be “a little slippery” for the N.C.A.A.
“I think that N.C.A.A. enforcement relates to N.C.A.A. rules,” he said. “And I’ll be interested to see how it plays out. If the board and membership wants the N.C.A.A. to get involved in these other issues, fine. Historically, they sure haven’t.”
Emmert’s tenure so far has been defined by a flurry of off-field scandals at high-profile universities like Miami and Ohio State and the general unpleasantness that has been connected to conference realignment. None of those compare to the seriousness of the Penn State charges.
“We believe that this was a proper and important role for the N.C.A.A. to play in all of this,” Emmert said.
Emmert said the N.C.A.A. sent the letter after careful consideration and consultation with the Division I board of directors, waiting for a period of time to let the raw emotion from the case begin to fade.
He said that this would not mark the start of the N.C.A.A.’s punishing people in college athletics for individual actions that would seem to fall outside of the organization’s purview.
“If a coach is off somewhere and gets a D.U.I.,” Emmert said, “it’s completely different than allegations of covering up a crime being committed in your locker rooms.”
Mark Viera contributed reporting.
November 18, 2011
Charity Founded by Accused Ex-Coach May Fold
By MARK VIERA, JO BECKER and PETE THAMEL
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The local charity founded by Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State defensive coordinator who earlier this month was charged with 40 counts of sexually abusing young boys, is preparing to fold as it tries to reconstruct what it knew, and did, about any suspicions or allegations against Sandusky over the years.
David Woodle, the interim chief executive of the charity, known as the Second Mile, said in an interview Friday that the foundation was seeking to transfer its programs to other nonprofit organizations. The Second Mile’s leaders are looking at organizations that could, and would, carry forward the foundation’s work with disadvantaged youths. He would not say which organizations would be candidates.
In a subsequent telephone interview, after an earlier version of this article was posted on The Times’s Web site, Woodle said he was talking to donors and soliciting feedback about whether it was possible to save the organization in some form, but failing that, was moving to shutter it in a way that ensures some continuity for the programs.
“We’re working hard to figure out how the programs can survive this event,” Woodle said. “We aren’t protective of this organization that it survives at all costs.”
The Pennsylvania attorney general has said that Sandusky used the Second Mile to prey on young boys, and that Sandusky met each of the eight boys he has formally been accused of raping or otherwise assaulting through the foundation. Thousands of children passed through the foundation, which was formed by Sandusky in 1977 and offered mentoring, sleep-away summer camps and other services.
On Sunday, the charity’s board of directors authorized the hiring of Lynne M. Abraham and the law firm Archer & Greiner to conduct an independent investigation into the Second Mile. The investigation will seek to discover the extent of contact Sandusky had with children who went through the program, when the program learned about various allegations against Sandusky, and how it handled them.
According to testimony given before a grand jury in Harrisburg, Pa., Penn State’s athletic director, Tim Curley, informed the charity’s chief executive in 2002 that Sandusky had been directed not to bring youngsters onto the Penn State campus after a graduate assistant reported that Sandusky had engaged in inappropriate conduct with a boy in a shower. (The graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, testified that he was far more specific and told administrators that he saw Sandusky raping the boy.)
Woodle declined to answer questions about what, if anything, was done after that. Nor would he say if the charity took steps to limit or monitor Sandusky’s interactions with the program’s youths after Sandusky himself informed the Second Mile in 2008 that he was under investigation for a separate incident involving inappropriate behavior. Woodle said that those were matters that fall under the scope of Abraham’s investigation. He said the board would publicly address those issues and others, but not before she finishes her inquiry, which he said he expected to take until the end of the year.
“The board agrees that these are good questions,” said Woodle, the board’s vice chairman.
Abraham served as the district attorney for Philadelphia from 1991 until last year. A tough-minded prosecutor who frequently sought the death penalty, she earned the nicknames Deadliest D.A. and Queen of Death.
Abraham, now a partner at Archer & Greiner, led a five-year investigation into sexual abuse by priests in Philadelphia.
Sandusky has maintained his innocence in the case, but since a televised interview on Monday night he has remained out of the public eye. His lawyer said in a television interview that Sandusky was fearful that he would not be able to lead a normal life, noting that Sandusky’s home in State College was vandalized Thursday night for the second time in the past week.
Woodle said he heard from numerous people who had called to express hope that the Second Mile’s programs would continue, but he added that a number of donors said they could no longer support the foundation, which had roughly $9 million in assets in the year ending Aug. 31, 2010. The Second Mile reached thousands of children through educational outreach and mentoring programs.
Several board members have expressed dismay that the allegations against Sandusky were minimized whenever they were brought up, according to people on the board. They are also concerned that after they were told that Sandusky would not be at the Second Mile’s events, he nonetheless appeared at the annual golf fund-raiser in June.
While declining to go into detail about complaints the charity has received, Woodle said it was natural for people to ask, “How come I didn’t know about this earlier?” noting, “That’s a sentiment that exists across the country right now.”
Woodle took over as the head of the foundation this week after Jack Raykovitz resigned after 28 years as chief executive. The closing of the charity would be the latest casualty in a scandal that has led to the departures of Joe Paterno, the longtime football coach at Penn State, and the university’s president, Graham B. Spanier.
Ex-FBI Director Freeh to head PSU Sandusky probe
Mon, Nov. 21, 2011
By John P. Martin
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Pennsylvania State University on Monday named former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh to lead its investigation into the people, policies, and campus culture that may have enabled former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to molest young boys on campus and on team trips.
Freeh, 61, said he would assemble a team of ex-prosecutors and agents to undertake the review.
Its primary goal, Freeh said, will be to recommend steps the university can take “to rectify such failure of leadership and control of environment in Penn State that allowed anyone to prey on children with impunity.”
His hiring marked the latest step in the school’s effort to repair its reputation since Sandusky was charged Nov. 5 with molesting eight boys over more than a decade. Sandusky has denied any wrongdoing.
The board of trustees fired longtime coach Joe Paterno and president Graham B. Spanier and pledged a thorough investigation after Sandusky’s arrest.
Still, critics have been skeptical of the school’s ability to police itself, citing the grand jury report that said university police, janitors, and ranking school officials missed or ignored clues about Sandusky’s conduct.
That report said Paterno and Spanier allegedly failed to tell law enforcement that a Penn State graduate coaching assistant reported seeing Sandusky rape a boy in a locker-room shower in 2002. Two former university administrators, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, face perjury charges for allegedly lying to the grand jury about the incident.
Last week, Penn State’s faculty senate passed a resolution urging trustees to cede their probe to outsiders.
That’s one reason the board turned to Freeh, a former judge and prosecutor who ran the FBI from 1993 to 2001.
“We picked Judge Freeh in large part because he has no connections to the university,” said Kenneth Frazier, a Merck executive and chairman of the special trustee committee overseeing the investigation. “In fact, he has no connections to Pennsylvania to speak of. So we have someone who can make a report on wherever the evidence leads.”
Besides Frazier, the committee includes five other trustees, a graduate student, a faculty member, and alumnus Guion Bluford Jr., a retired Air Force colonel and astronaut.
Theirs is one of at least six investigations sparked by the case.
Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) and two other senators on Monday announced plans for a Dec. 13 hearing exploring how the nation protects children from abuse and neglect. The hearing will occur before a panel of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
And the education association that accredits colleges and universities on Monday joined the list of other groups reviewing actions by Penn State officials. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, whose accreditation helps universities get federal student grants, asked Penn State to deliver a report by Jan. 2 showing that its handling of the Sandusky allegations did not violate commission standards.
“Whenever the Commission becomes aware of something out of the ordinary at one of the institutions it accredits, it typically writes to the institution for clarification and additional information,” spokesman Richard J. Pokrass wrote in an e-mail.
Already under way are similar examinations by the U.S. Education Department, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, state lawmakers, and the Second Mile, the charity for underprivileged children where prosecutors say Sandusky met and targeted his victims.
Freeh agreed late last week to lead the trustees’ investigation, he said. He and Frazier announced his role at a morning news conference at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.
Frazier said the location was convenient for Freeh, whose law firm has offices in Washington, New York, and Wilmington.
Freeh offered no timetable for completing his investigation or delivering a report, but said it would be public. He and Frazier declined to say how much he or his law firm – Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan – would be paid.
Frazier said the trustees did not discuss the costs before hiring the former FBI director.
“It’s important to recognize that we’re at the very outset of this investigation,” he said, “and what we pledged is to go as far as we need to uncover the facts.”
Freeh said his investigators will look at records and incidents back to 1975, two years before Sandusky formed the Second Mile, although he didn’t explain the significance of the date.
In particular, he said, the team will review university policies, procedures, compliance, and internal controls related to identifying and reporting sex crimes.
He also announced an e-mail address – PSUhelp@freehgroup.com– and a telephone tip-line, 855-290-3382, for witnesses to report information. He said that his probe wouldn’t interfere with the criminal investigation into Sandusky that but he expected to work cooperatively with those agencies.
“Being on the law enforcement side of this, there are many parts of what they can do that can be shared,” he said.
Freeh said he discussed the case Sunday night with state Attorney General Linda Kelly and pledged to immediately turn over any evidence of crime to law enforcement.
A spokesman for Kelly said investigators welcomed any assistance.
“All of the entities that have been in touch with us have gone out of their way to make it clear that they’re not going to intervene with an ongoing criminal investigation,” said the spokesman, Nils Frederickson.
He said witnesses may also call state police investigators at 814-470-2238 or prosecutors at 814-863-1053.
Speaking to reporters at the Pennsylvania Press Club, Gov. Corbett, who sits on the Penn State board of trustees, praised Freeh’s hiring.
“He understands the role of a grand jury and the role of prosecutors,” said Corbett, who as state attorney general supervised the investigation into Sandusky.
A Discipline Problem
Paterno Fought Penn State Official Over Punishment of Players
By REED ALBERGOTTI
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.—Legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno clashed repeatedly with the university’s former chief disciplinarian over how harshly to punish players who got into trouble, internal emails suggest, shedding new light on the school’s effort to balance its reputation as a magnet for scholar-athletes with the demands of running a nationally dominant football program.
In an Aug. 12, 2005, email to Pennsylvania State University President Graham Spanier and others, Vicky Triponey, the university’s standards and conduct officer, complained that Mr. Paterno believed she should have “no interest, (or business) holding our football players accountable to our community standards. The Coach is insistent he knows best how to discipline his players…and their status as a student when they commit violations of our standards should NOT be our concern…and I think he was saying we should treat football players different from other students in this regard.”
The confrontations came to a head in 2007, according to one former school official, when six football players were charged by police for forcing their way into a campus apartment that April and beating up several students, one of them severely. That September, following a tense meeting with Mr. Paterno over the case, she resigned her post, saying at the time she left because of “philosophical differences.”
In a statement Monday, Dr. Triponey said: “There were numerous meetings and discussions about specific and pending student discipline cases that involved football players,” which she said included “demands” to adjust the judicial process for football players. The end result, she said, was that football players were treated “more favorably than other students accused of violating the community standards as defined by the student code of conduct.”
Mr. Paterno’s lawyer, Wick Sollers, said through a spokesman that “the allegations that have been described are out of context, misleading and filled with inaccuracies….Penn State’s record of producing successful student athletes under coach Paterno’s guidance is unquestioned.”
Mr. Spanier didn’t respond to requests for comment. A Penn State spokesman declined to comment.
For years, Penn State’s football program, which has won two national championships, was regarded as a model. Its players graduated at rates far above average, and it is one of only four major-conference athletic programs never to have been sanctioned for major violations by the sport’s governing body, the NCAA. In recent weeks, a sex-abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, a longtime assistant coach of Mr. Paterno’s, has badly tarnished that reputation. Mr. Sandusky has said he is innocent.
Messrs. Paterno and Spanier have been ousted from their jobs in the wake of the scandal. Athletic Director Tim Curley was indicted for perjury in the case and has been removed from his job and placed on administrative leave. Mr. Curley has denied any wrongdoing. A representative for Mr. Curley said he had no comment on any email traffic, but that, as athletic director, he tried to make sure all student athletes were treated equally with regard to the code of conduct.
On Monday, Penn State’s Special Committee of the Board of Trustees said at a news conference in Philadelphia that former FBI director Louis Freeh will lead the investigation into the school’s handling of child sexual-abuse allegations.
Penn State, like many universities, saw its endowment swell in recent decades, to about $1.7 billion, thanks to the contributions of loyal alumni. Sports brought in $106.6 million in revenue in the school’s 2010 fiscal year.
Students at Penn State are subject to a code of conduct administered by the office of judicial affairs—an arm of the student-affairs department. The office can open investigations of any incident on or off campus. It can order a range of punishments, including, if it sees fit, expulsion.
When Dr. Triponey arrived from the University of Connecticut in 2003 to become vice president of student affairs, she was charged with overseeing the department that enforced the code.
Just before she arrived, Penn State faced an episode in which Mr. Paterno had decided to let cornerback Anwar Phillips play in a bowl game, even though he had been charged with sexually assaulting a woman and had been temporarily expelled from school. Mr. Paterno declined to field questions about the incident at the time. Mr. Spanier referred to it as a case of “miscommunication.” Mr. Phillips was acquitted of the charge in a subsequent trial.
In 2004, after several incidents involving football players, Mr. Paterno told the Allentown Morning Call newspaper that the players weren’t misbehaving any more than usual, but that such news was now more public. “I can go back to a couple guys in the ’70s who drove me nuts,” he said. “The cops would call me, and I used to put them in bed in my house and run their rear ends off the next day. Nobody knew about it. That’s the way we handled it.”
In the spring of 2005, Dr. Triponey’s office suspended Penn State offensive lineman E.Z. Smith and a teammate for the summer after they were caught shooting arrows through an off-campus apartment wall, according to news reports at the time. In an email that August to Dr. Triponey, Penn State athletic director Curley said that Mr. Paterno was “frustrated” because Mr. Smith couldn’t participate in preseason practice.
In August 2005, Mr. Spanier, the university president, suggested that Dr. Triponey meet with Mr. Paterno. Athletic director Curley, assistant athletic Director Fran Ganter and Joe Puzycki, the assistant to Dr. Triponey, also attended the Aug. 11 meeting, according to two people knowledgeable about the meeting. Mr. Paterno loudly criticized Dr. Triponey at the meeting for meddling, these people say.
The following day, Dr. Triponey sent an email to Messrs. Spanier, Curley and Puzycki summarizing the meeting and sharing her thoughts and concerns. In the email, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, she said that football players were getting in trouble at a “disproportionate rate” from other students, often for serious acts. She said her staff had tried to work with the athletic department, sometimes sharing information, but that whenever her department initiated an investigation into a football player, the phones lit up. “The calls and pleas from coaches, Board members, and others when we are considering a case are, indeed, putting us in a position that does treat football players differently and with greater privilege.”
Dr. Triponey also wrote that Mr. Paterno believed that the school’s code of conduct should not apply to any incidents that take place off campus—that those should be handled by police—and they shouldn’t be allowed to affect anyone’s status as a student.
“Coach Paterno would rather we NOT inform the public when a football player is found responsible for committing a serious violation of the law and/or our student code,” she wrote, “despite any moral or legal obligation to do so.”
Dr. Triponey ended her note by asking Mr. Curley and Mr. Spanier if these were accurate impressions of Mr. Paterno’s views—and whether they shared them.
Email from then-athletic director Tim Curley to the school’s then-chief disciplinarian Vicky Triponey.
Mr. Curley’s response, also reviewed by the Journal, was sent three days later and was copied to Mr. Spanier. “I think your summary is accurate,” it said.
Mr. Curley, who had played for Mr. Paterno’s team, explained what he said was the coach’s “frustrations with the system.” Mr. Paterno, he wrote, felt that “it should be his call if someone should practice and play in athletics.” He said Mr. Paterno felt the school had “overreacted” by deciding to allow reporting of off-campus incidents, and that the NCAA had gone “overboard” with new rules on academic-eligibility requirements.
In an email to Mr. Spanier on Sept. 1, Dr. Triponey wrote of Mr. Paterno: “I do not support the way this man is running our football program. We certainly would not tolerate this behavior in our students so I struggle with how we tolerate it in our coach.”
That same fall, Dr. Triponey’s office suspended Dan Connor, a Penn State linebacker, who had been accused of making harassing calls to a retired assistant coach. Shortly after the suspension was handed down, Mr. Paterno ordered the player to suit up, according to a person familiar with the matter. Dr. Triponey informed the player that if he suited up for practice, he would be in violation of his suspension and could face expulsion. Mr. Connor says he recalled being suspended only for games, not practice.
The incident prompted Mr. Spanier to visit Dr. Triponey at her home. Dr. Triponey confirms he told her that Mr. Paterno had given him an ultimatum: Fire her, or Mr. Paterno would stop fund-raising for the school. She says Mr. Spanier told her that if forced to choose, he would choose her over the coach—but that he did not want to have to make that choice.
Later, Mr. Connor’s suspension was reduced to 10 days, allowing him to return to football.
In 2007, as many as two dozen players broke into an off-campus apartment, sparking a melee that captured headlines and prompted the police to file criminal charges against six Penn State football players. “Pretty much the entire Penn State defense broke in and started swinging bar stools and stuff,” says John Britt, then a third-year criminal-justice major who was beaten up in the incident. Mr. Britt says he took a beer bottle to the back of the head—and that players apparently continued to beat him after he’d lost consciousness. (Now 25, Mr. Britt serves warrants for state court in Philadelphia.)
Dr. Triponey’s department began an inquiry. According to a Penn State employee’s record of the proceedings, Mr. Spanier was involved in at least nine meetings with representatives of the judicial-affairs department, and Mr. Paterno was involved in at least six.
In a meeting with Messrs. Paterno and Spanier and others, Dr. Triponey complained that the players were stonewalling her and suggested that Mr. Paterno ought to compel them to be truthful, according to one person familiar with the meeting. Mr. Paterno angrily responded that his players couldn’t be expected to cooperate with the school’s disciplinary process because, in this case, they would have to testify against each other, making it hard to play football together, these people say.
In the end, police dropped many of the charges against the players, and two pleaded guilty to misdemeanors. The school’s inquiry led to four players being suspended for a summer semester. They did not miss any games.
Coach Paterno imposed his own punishment: he said the whole team would spend two hours cleaning up the stadium after home games that fall.
After Dr. Triponey’s departure, the university hired Bob Secor, a former vice provost at the school, to head a committee to examine the judicial-review process. Mr. Secor says that Mr. Paterno told him that he didn’t think other people should be able to decide whether a football player should be able to play or not. “And we agreed with that,” he says.
On Oct. 1, 2007, Mr. Spanier accepted the committee’s recommended changes. Under the new rules, the judicial-review process would have only a limited ability to end a student’s participation in activities—including football.
“The committee’s rationale, which I fully support, is based on the assumption that involvement in student activities is for the most part a healthy influence on student behavior,” Mr. Spanier wrote. “Removing such involvement as a way of getting a student’s attention to correct misbehavior may or may not be productive.”
—Rachel Bachman, Kevin Helliker and John W. Miller contributed to this article.
Sandusky scandal intertwined with economic disparities
By Jeremy Roebuck and Jeff Gammage
Inquirer Staff Writers
Mon, Jun. 11, 2012
At the Centre County line, two worlds collide.
Inside, the Pennsylvania State University economic juggernaut has attracted thousands of students, a highly educated workforce, and billions of dollars. But beyond that county boundary, little of that prosperity has bled over. Storefronts lie vacant. Unemployment is high. And the local economy struggles.
On Monday, those two worlds will meet in a Bellefonte, Pa., court room as testimony in the child sex abuse trial of Jerry Sandusky begins.
It is impossible to fully understand the allegations against the former Penn State assistant football coach without delving into the economic disparities that made his purported victims vulnerable.
Those disparities are also likely to prove central to Sandusky’s defense.
A judicial gag order bars many of the central figures from commenting on the case outside court.
But in an interview last year, Sandusky’s attorney Joseph Amendola said: “I can think of nine million reasons boys like these would claim to be a sex-abuse victim,” he said. “What better motivation than money – the financial gain that could come from saying, ‘I’m a victim’?”
Prosecutors allege that Sandusky, a local sports and philanthropic icon, groomed his victims – all culled from the Second Mile, the charity for underprivileged youth he founded in 1977.
He lavished them with gifts including computers, cross-country trips, and tickets to sporting events. He showered them with attention. Many, who grew up in single-parent households, would later describe Sandusky as a father figure.
To the young boys now known worldwide as Victims 1 through 10, Sandusky offered entrance into a world of money, success, and manhood of which they could otherwise only dream.
At first, the mother of the young man identified as Victim 1 encouraged that relationship, according to court filings. She saw Sandusky as a positive male role model for her then-12-year-old boy.
Sandusky – who volunteered as an assistant football coach at her son’s high school in Clinton County – began asking her permission to take her son to nice restaurants, Eagles games in Philadelphia, and the sidelines of Penn State football practice.
It seemed worlds away from the life the boy led growing up in rural Lock Haven in a cramped public housing duplex with his mother and two siblings, his father long gone.
To others, including the boy known as Victim 4, Sandusky offered something more – a surrogate family.
He, too, received presents and vacations, including two trips with Sandusky’s family to Penn State bowl games. The former coach purportedly promised the teenager a spot on Penn State’s football team once he enrolled.
More meaningful than any of those material gifts, however, his attorney Benjamin Andreozzi said in an interview last year, was the role Sandusky’s family played in the young man’s life.
Within months of meeting the former coach, the boy, now 28, “became a fixture in the Sandusky household, sleeping overnight and accompanying Sandusky to charity functions and Penn State football games,” grand jurors noted in a report released upon Sandusky’s arrest.
All the while, the coach was forcing himself sexually upon the boy, Andreozzi said.
“He had a very close relationship with Mr. Sandusky,” he said. “I think that’s part of the reason it was initially so hard for my client to come forward. He viewed him almost as a family member.”
The profile of both boys, now young men, is common in the area surrounding Centre County and Penn State.
Per-capita income is well below the state average, according to U.S. Census data. The poverty rate and number of single-parent households is higher.
In Clinton County, where Victim 1 lives, 15.5 percent of the population falls below the poverty line, compared with 12.4 percent statewide. The percentage of single-parent households is nearly twice that of neighboring Centre County.
“State College is a cultural island,” said Matt McClenehen, a Centre County defense attorney. “You have some of the most intelligent, educated people in the world around Penn State. But once you leave the confines of State College, you’re practically in Appalachia.”
In his autobiography Touched, Sandusky said he started the Second Mile hoping to address that poverty and its effects on local youth.
And in 2010 alone, more than 73,000 children in the counties surrounding Penn State had some contact with the organization whether through its summer camps, counseling services, or foster family activities, according to the charity’s annual reports.
Sandusky now finds himself defending that record. He has repeatedly denied any abuse and maintained that his charitable instinct has been twisted by a few rogue beneficiaries.
His attorney alleges his accusers colluded in hopes of bilking Sandusky, Penn State, and the Second Mile out of money.
“I had kid after kid after kid who might say I was a father figure,” Sandusky told the New York Times in December. “And they just twisted that all.”
Hearing those words, three years after her son first came forward, still makes Victim 1’s mother’s blood boil.
Sandusky’s affluence, his stature in the community, his record of charity – far from making him an easy target – made coming forward all the more difficult for her son.
Though she has repeatedly denied interview requests in recent months since Sandusky’s arrest, she told the Huffington Post in November that officials at her son’s school initially warned her against going public, confirming his suspicions that no one would believe Sandusky had abused him.
“Jerry has a heart of gold,” she recalled them saying at the time. “You really should just go home and think about what this is going to do to your son and your family if you do that.”
Now, days before her son is expected to take the stand to testify, the tide of public opinion has shifted.
“We’re very concerned about the alleged injustice to our young individuals,” said Jeffrey Snyder, a Clinton County commissioner. “We want to make sure justice prevails.”
July 12, 2012
In Report, Failures Throughout Penn State
Behind the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal at Penn State lay a series of failures all the way up the university’s chain of command — shortcomings that were the result of an insular and complacent culture in which football was revered, rules were not applied and the balance of power was dangerously out of whack.
In an investigation lasting more than seven months, Louis J. Freeh, (link to report below, reading it is optional but you may find extra info you want) a former director of the F.B.I., found a legendary football coach bending his supposed bosses to his will, a university staff that was mostly unaware of its legal duties to report violence and sexual abuse, and a university president who hid problems from the board of trustees and was guided by a fear of bad publicity.
The trustees, who hired Mr. Freeh to explore the university’s failings, fare little better in Mr. Freeh’s formal report on his investigation: they are portrayed as passive overseers, so in thrall to the president and the coach that they failed to demand even the barest displays of accountability.
The failure of top officials to stop Mr. Sandusky, a former football assistant who was convicted last month of sexually assaulting 10 boys, “reveals numerous individual failings, but it also reveals weaknesses of the university’s culture, governance, administration, compliance policies and procedures for protecting children,” Mr. Freeh wrote.
The findings have implications for universities across the country, experts said, particularly those where popular sports programs can take on outsize influence.
“This really should be a clarion call to trustees across the country to ask questions, to demand answers, to insist that the president is responsible to them, not the other way around,” said Anne D. Neal, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. “For too long, the boards have been viewed more as boosters than as legal fiduciaries. And where athletics are involved, I think there is an urgent question whether some institutions have lost touch with their purpose.”
Penn State’s trustees and its new president, Rodney A. Erickson, said they accepted the findings and the blame, and said change was already under way.
“We, the Penn State board of trustees, failed in our obligation to provide proper oversight of the university’s operations,” said one trustee, Kenneth C. Frazier. “Our hearts remain heavy, and we are deeply ashamed.”
But while the trustees were clear about their failings last year, officials continued to tread lightly around the role of previous trustees going back more than a decade, the role of football and the legacy of the former coach Joe Paterno, who died in January.
At a news conference, Mr. Erickson did not answer directly when asked if there had been excessive reverence for the football program. “It’s been an important part of student life; it’s been an important part of alumni life,” he said.
Karen B. Peetz, a trustee for two years and the chairwoman of the board since January, was asked if Mr. Paterno should still be venerated on campus.
“The whole topic of Joe Paterno being honored or not being honored is a very sensitive topic,” she said. “This is something that will continue to be discussed with the entire university community.”
Lawyers for the former university president Graham B. Spanier, who was forced out last fall, released a statement saying that some of Mr. Freeh’s conclusions were “simply not supported by the facts,” and that Mr. Spanier did not know until last year of any child abuse allegation against Sandusky.
But they did not address the point made by Mr. Freeh that when concerns were raised about Mr. Sandusky, in 1998, in 2001 and again last year, Mr. Spanier kept the board in the dark. Mr. Freeh found that the board did not follow the common practice of having the president report routinely on looming problems and legal liabilities.
“Because the board did not demand regular reporting of these risks,” Mr. Freeh wrote, Mr. Spanier and other officials “did not bring up the Sandusky investigations.” Some trustees told Mr. Freeh that the board was little more than a rubber stamp for the administration.
Yet last year, when the first news reports were published of a criminal investigation into Mr. Sandusky, saying that Mr. Spanier and other officials had testified before a grand jury, only one trustee insisted that Mr. Spanier tell the board about it. Officials gave the board a cursory briefing weeks later, with Mr. Spanier assuring them that the problem was minor and the trustees not demanding more, Mr. Freeh reported.
He cited the university’s tendency to prize loyalty, promote people from within and keep them for decades, and “a resistance to seeking outside perspectives” as part of the problem.
The Jeanne Clery Act, enacted in 1990 and named for a student who was raped and murdered at Lehigh University, requires colleges to pull together information on crime from a variety of sources and warn the university community about potential threats. The law holds a wide range of college employees — including coaches — responsible for contributing to that reporting.
But at Penn State, Mr. Freeh found, officials did not know until recently that anyone but the campus police had that obligation, and the police paid little attention to the law until 2007. The first plan for complying with the law was drafted in 2009, but it still had not been adopted when Mr. Sandusky’s case exploded into public view in November.
The football program, Mr. Freeh reported, chose not to participate in most of the university’s efforts to train people in recognizing and reporting violence and sexual abuse.
“Unfortunately, there are other universities like this, but it’s fewer than in the past, and I think the publicity around this case is helping change things,” said Alison Kiss, executive director of the Clery Center for Security on Campus, founded by Jeanne Clery’s parents.
“In our experience, when an athlete or coach is involved, many times it does get treated differently,” she said. “We have to change that culture.”
A Pennsylvania law requires certain officials to report suspected child abuse to state agencies. A former Penn State senior vice president, Gary Schultz, and Athletic Director Tim Curley face criminal charges under that statute, along with charges of perjury.
The episode involved occurred in 2001, when a graduate assistant coach, Mike McQueary, reported that Mr. Sandusky had sexually assaulted a boy in a locker room shower. Whether or not Mr. Spanier understood the nature of the charge, e-mails uncovered by Mr. Freeh show that Mr. Spanier, Mr. Schultz and Mr. Curley agreed to report the episode to the state child welfare agency.
But they did not. Mr. Curley suggested a different approach after “talking it over with Joe” Paterno. Mr. Freeh quoted an unnamed senior official as calling Mr. Curley the “errand boy” of Mr. Paterno.
The impression that Mr. Paterno had more power than the officials ostensibly above him is not new. In 2004, Mr. Spanier and Mr. Curley — who, in theory, could fire the coach at will — told Mr. Paterno he should retire; Mr. Paterno refused to go, and that ended the discussion.
Timeline: The Penn State Scandal
On June 22, 2012, Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team, was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys, completing the downfall of a onetime local hero. All of his victims were children from disadvantaged homes whom Sandusky, using his access to the university’s vaunted football program, had befriended and then repeatedly violated. Sandusky, who had worked with needy children through his Second Mile foundation, was prominent both in the college football world and in the university’s community. The legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno was fired after the scandal.
Jerry Sandusky, a starting defensive end at Penn State under Coach Rip Engle from 1963 to 1965, joins Joe Paterno’s coaching staff as the defensive line coach.
Sandusky establishes the Second Mile, a foundation to help needy children. The organization plans activities and programs for the children.
A boy identified as Victim 7 in the grand jury report meets Sandusky through the Second Mile at about the age of 10.
A boy identified as Victim 6 meets Sandusky at a picnic put on by the Second Mile when he is 7 or 8.
Victim 5 meets Sandusky through the Second Mile when he is 7 or 8.
Victim 4 meets Sandusky through the Second Mile when he is 12 or 13.
Victim 5 is taken by Sandusky to the locker rooms and showers at Penn State. He was 8 to 10 years old.
Jan. 1, 1998
Victim 4 is listed as a member of the Sandusky family party for the 1998 Outback Bowl.
May 3, 1998
Victim 6 is assaulted in the locker rooms and showers at Penn State when he is 11. His mother reports that Sandusky showered with her son to university police.
May 4-30, 1998
University vice president Gary C. Schultz is informed. His notes of that date say: “Behavior — at best inappriate @ worst sexual improprieties.” He also notes, “Is this opening of pandora’s box?” and “Other children?”
During the course of the investigation, police listen in on a conversation between the mother and Sandusky, who admits to showering with the boy, and says: “I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.”
University police chief Harmon emails Schultz: “We’re going to hold off on making any crime log entry. At this point I can justify that decision because of the lack of clear evidence of a crime.”
Tim Curley, the athletic director, notifies Schultz that he has told Penn State Coach Joe Paterno about the incident, and later emails: “Anything new in this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands.” Paterno maintained before his death that he didn’t know about the incident.
A university police detective and a state public welfare caseworker interview Sandusky, who admits hugging victim 6 in the shower, but says there was nothing “sexual about it.” He says he has done this with other children. District Attorney Ray Gricar decides there will be no criminal charges.
Paterno informs Sandusky at a meeting that he will not become the team’s next head coach. Victim 4 later testifies that Sandusky appeared emotionally upset after the meeting and that he was told by Sandusky to not tell anyone about the meeting.
Curley says Paterno gives Sandusky an option to stay on as an assistant, but Sandusky proposes instead running a middle school football camp, and finding “ways to continue to work with young people through Penn State.” The university agrees to “work collaboratively” with Sandusky on Second Mile, and gives him free lifetime use of the East Area Locker Room.
Victim 3 is assaulted in the athletic department’s building and other places several times from July through December 2001.
Dec. 28, 1999
Victim 4 is listed as a member of the Sandusky family party at the 1999 Alamo Bowl, Sandusky’s final game as defensive coordinator. Sandusky is said to have threatened to send the boy home after the child resists sexual advances. Sandusky reportedly tells the boy that he can walk on the field with Penn State’s football team. The boy is in a photograph with Sandusky that appears in Sports Illustrated.
Jim Calhoun, a janitor, finds Sandusky in the showers of the football building performing oral sex on a boy pinned against a wall. The boy is identified as Victim 8 in the grand jury report. Neither the janitor nor a fellow employee he told about the incident made a report because, according to prosecutors, they were worried about their job security. The janitor’s supervisor, who also was informed, did not file a report either.
Feb. 9, 2001
Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant, enters a Penn State locker room and hears “rhythmic, slapping sounds” that he believes are related to sexual activity. He later says under oath that he sees Sandusky raping a boy who appears to be 10 years old. He leaves and meets with his father and decides to report the incident to Paterno, according to prosecutors.
Feb. 10, 2001
The next morning, McQueary reports what he saw to Paterno. Paterno tells him: “you did what you had to do. It’s my job now to figure out what we want to do.” Before he died, Paterno insisted McQueary did not tell him of the extent of the assault that McQueary said he witnessed, only that McQueary had seen something inappropriate involving Sandusky and a child.
Feb. 11, 2001
Paterno reports the incident to Schultz and university president Graham B. Spanier on Sunday because he did not “want to interfere with their weekends.”
Feb. 25, 2001
Schultz, Spanier and Tim Curley, the athletic director, decide to report the shower incident to the state Department of Public Welfare.
Feb. 27, 2001
Curley informs Shultz and Spanier that he has changed his mind after “talking it over with Joe” Paterno. Instead of reporting the incident, he says they should offer Sandusky “professional help” and tell him to stop bringing guests to the locker room. Spanier worries that if Sandusky continues, “we then become vulnerable for not having reported it,” before agreeing the approach is “humane.” They do not report the incident.
March 5, 2001
Curley tells Sandusky the university is “uncomfortable” with the incident, and will report it to his foundation. He also tells Sandusky to stop bringing children to the athletic facilities. Sandusky offers to give Curley the boy’s name, but Curley did not want to know, according to Sandusky’s counsel. McQueary is never questioned by police.
Sandusky assaults Victim 5 in the shower at Penn State.
Sept 21, 2001
The university sells a parcel of land to Second Mile without any disclosure from officials to the Board of Trustees about the Sandusky events. Schultz approves a press release praising Sandusky’s work with Second Mile.
Sandusky meets the boy identified as Victim 1 through the Second Mile. He is 11 or 12 years old.
Ray Gricar, the former district attorney who chose not to prosecute Sandusky in 1998, disappears. The circumstances are murky: his car is found abandoned, his laptop is recovered months later in a river without a hard drive and his body is never found.
Victim 1 is now a freshman in a Clinton County high school. His mother calls the school to report a sexual assault, and Sandusky, who was a volunteer coach at the school, is barred from the school district. The matter is reported to the authorities.
An investigation by the Pennsylvania attorney general begins. Victim 1 tells the authorities that Sandusky has inappropriately touched him several times over a four-year period. A grand jury subpoenas university documents in 2010, but no one tells the Board of Trustees of the university’s potential complicity.
Sandusky steps down from the Second Mile, saying he wants to spend more time with his family and to handle personal matters.
The grand jury summons Schultz, Spanier, Curley and Paterno to testify in its investigation. On Mar. 31, a newspaper reports their appearance. No report is ever made to the university’s Board of Trustees about the events.
May 11, 2011
A trustee who has read the newspaper article inquires about the investigation, and at the May 11 meeting, Spanier briefs trustees but does not raise the issue of its impact on the university. The board takes no action to investigate further.
Nov. 5, 2011
Sandusky is arrested on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period. He is arraigned and released on $100,000 bail after being charged with 40 counts.
Curley and Schultz are charged with perjury and failure to report what they knew of the allegations.
Nov. 7, 2011
Penn State announces Curley and Schultz will step down. Curley will take an administrative leave to defend himself against perjury charges, and Schultz will retire.
Nov. 9, 2011
Joe Paterno announces he plans to retire at the end of the football season, but the statement is apparently released without the approval of the university’s Board of Trustees.
Later in the day the board fires Paterno and the university’s president. The Department of Education says it will investigate the university’s handling of the abuse allegations.
Nov. 13, 2011
Jack Raykovitz, the chief executive of the Second Mile for 28 years, resigns. Raykovitz’s failure to do more to stop Sandusky had been a focal point of criticism.
Nov. 14, 2011
Sandusky makes his first extended public comments since his arrest. In a phone interview with Bob Costas that is broadcast on the television program “Rock Center,” Sandusky says he is innocent of the charges against him and declares that he is not a pedophile. He did say, “I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.”
Nov. 18, 2011
The Second Mile is preparing to fold as it tries to reconstruct what it knew, and did, about any suspicions or allegations against Sandusky over the years.
Dec. 1, 2011
A lawsuit by Victim 4, which was meant to prevent Second Mile from transferring its assets, is settled. The charity will notify the Pennsylvania attorney general and seek court approval before the transfer of assets or before closing the charity.
Jan. 22, 2012
Joe Paterno dies in State College, Pa. He was 85. The cause was lung cancer.
June 11, 2012
Prosecutors open their sexual abuse case against Jerry Sandusky, who is charged with more than 50 criminal counts of abusing 10 boys over a number of years.
June 21, 2012
Lawyers for one of Jerry Sandusky’s adopted children, Matt Sandusky, say that he had been abused by Sandusky and had offered to testify in the case. No details are given why prosecutors did not call Matt Sandusky to testify.
June 22, 2012
Jerry Sandusky is convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys. He was found guilty of 45 of the 48 counts against him.
July 12, 2012
Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the F.B.I., releases his report after leading an independent investigation of the scandal. The report accuses Paterno, the university’s former president and others of deliberately hiding facts about Sandusky’s sexually predatory behavior.
July 22, 2012
The bronze statue of Joe Paterno located outside of Beaver Stadium is removed because it would be a “recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse,” according to Rodney Erickson, the university’s president.
July 23, 2012
The N.C.A.A. fines Penn State $60 million, bans the football team from postseason play for four years, reduces scholarships for four years, and vacates the university’s football victories from 1998-2011.
To read the Grand Jury Report:
Timeline of Penn State Scandal (up until July 2012):
To read Freeh Report (very long, but with table of contents so you can find text on certain topics):