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sickening penn state football allegations

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http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=dw-wetzel_penn_state_child_sex_case_110511

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Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports5 hours, 20 minutes ago

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At approximately 9:30 p.m. on March 1, 2002, a Penn State graduate assistant entered what should have been an empty football locker room. He was surprised to hear the showers running and noises he thought sounded like sexual activity, according to a Pennsylvania grand jury “finding of fact” released Saturday.

When he looked in the shower he saw what he estimated to be a 10-year-old boy, hands pressed up against the wall, “being subjected to anal intercourse,” by Jerry Sandusky, then 58 and Penn State’s former defensive coordinator. The grad assistant said both the boy and the coach saw him before he fled to his office where, distraught and stunned, the grad assistant telephoned his father, who instructed his son to flee the building.

jerry-sandusky-ap.jpgThe next day, a Saturday, the grad assistant went to the home of head coach Joe Paterno and told him what he had seen. The day after that, Paterno called Penn State athletic director Tim Curley to his home to report that the grad assistant had told him he had witnessed “Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.”

A week-and-a-half later, according to the grand jury report, the grad assistant was called to a meeting with Curley and Gary Schultz, the school’s senior vice president for finance and business, where he retold his story.

Sandusky had retired from the Penn State program in 1999, a surprise to many who saw him as a possible successor to Paterno. He instead dedicated himself to “Second Mile,” a group home he founded in 1977 dedicated to helping troubled boys. He often brought troubled kids through the Penn State facilities, including the famed Beaver Stadium, bought them gifts and took them to sporting events.

Curley did not notify university police or have the graduate assistant further questioned involving the incident. No other legal or university entity investigated the case.

Merely alerting police would’ve been significant since they investigated Sandusky in 1998 for “incidents with children in football building showers.” Curley never asked for a background check on Sandusky.

Curley instead took it upon himself to inform the director of “Second Mile” about the charge, although it didn’t concern potential sodomy of a minor.

Curley told the grand jury he was merely told that Sandusky was “horsing around” with the boy. The grand jury did not find that credible in part because Schultz said he had gotten the impression “Sandusky might have inappropriately grabbed the young boys’ genitals while wrestling around.” Both Curley and Schultz are charged with perjury for claiming the grad assistant didn’t inform them of “sexual activity.”

Curley later met with Sandusky and told him he was no longer allowed to bring children onto the Penn State campus. He forwarded the report on to university president Graham Spanier, who approved of Sandusky’s ban from bringing children onto campus and himself never reported the incident to police.

On the base of the grand jury findings Sandusky was arrested Saturday morning and charged with seven counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse; eight counts of corruption of minors, eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child, seven counts of indecent assault and other offenses. He was released Saturday on $100,000 bail.

Pennsylvania’s attorney general cited incidents involving Sandusky that ran from 1994 until 2009, including the above act.

[Grand jury findings: Read the press release]

Curley and Schultz are expected to turn themselves in to authorities on Monday. The attorneys for both men released statements proclaiming their innocence.

“This is a case about a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys,” attorney general Linda Kelly said. “It is also a case about high-ranking university officials who allegedly failed to report the sexual assault of a young boy after the information was brought to their attention, and later made false statements to a grand jury that was investigating a series of assaults on young boys.”

It is actually even more than that, a stomach-turning 23-page grand jury report that could be the ugliest scandal in the history of college athletics.

jerrysandusky220b_1105ap.jpgThe failure of Penn State officials to call in the proper authorities potentially allowed the alleged sexual predator to live free for an additional nine-and-a-half years.

This case demands answers to deep and troubling questions right up the chain of command at Penn State, including Spanier and the legendary Paterno.

Instead, thus far, all we’ve gotten is a pathetic statement from Spanier who quite incredibly deemed Sandusky’s charges as merely “troubling” (and said little more) and then expressed continued support for Curley and Schultz.

“The allegations about a former coach are troubling, and it is appropriate that they be investigated thoroughly,” the statement read. “Protecting children requires the utmost vigilance … I wish to say that Tim Curley and Gary Schultz have my unconditional support.”

Really, that’s it? That’s what the guy who is running Penn State has to say? That’s all he thought was appropriate?

Curley and Schultz need to be suspended immediately. Some actual adult in Pennsylvania needs to step in and sit Spanier down also and not merely for issuing a statement that expressed no concern for the victims, no shock at the charges, some of which occurred on his campus, and little concern about crimes this despicable.

More importantly, Spanier needs to be immediately removed from an authority position since his culpability is tied to Curley. After all, Spanier both knew of the allegations against Sandusky and approved of Curley’s handling of the case.

That includes an act almost unfathomable in its insensitivity. According to the attorney general, no one at Penn State ever tried to find the boy. At worst, he was raped in a shower. At best, according to testimony that law enforcement finds non-credible, he was either “horsing around” with or being “inappropriately grabbed” by an old man in an empty locker room.

Yet no one thought they should go find the kid so he and his family could get proper help or further protection. Not even the university president?

“Despite a powerful eyewitness statement about the sexual assault of a child, this incident was not reported to any law enforcement or child protective agency, as required by Pennsylvania law,” said Kelly, the attorney general. “Additionally, there is no indication that anyone from the university ever attempted to learn the identity of the child.”

How? How could all these people of power, people of education, people of authority simply look the other way? And how could Graham Spanier maintain a level of arrogance to release that statement on this day?

There can simply be no tolerance, no leniency, no looking the other way with any charge involving an adult and a child. None. There isn’t a gray area here, not only in the letter of the law, but in the spirit of any semblance of ethical conduct.

The legal process will and should be allowed to play out and determine the guilt and innocence of all involved. The accused have the right to a proper defense in a court of law.

In a broader sense, however, an immediate, thorough and limitless investigation must be launched by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to find out why this wasn’t turned over to the proper authorities. This isn’t just about what it is and isn’t a crime, it’s about what is and isn’t right.

[Related: Sandusky, others charged in child sex case]

The chief question is this: If Curley, Schultz and Spanier believed it was no longer appropriate to allow Sandusky to bring children onto the Penn State campus – an act that suggests some concern over his behavior – how could they possibly believe his actions didn’t warrant a full police investigation?

And then there is the conduct of Paterno, the 84-year-old legend. He is beloved for being the winningest coach in college football history and for running a program for more than five decades that never ran afoul of NCAA statutes.

While he may have committed no crime, he must fully explain the actions he took after hearing such an unspeakable allegation.

Did he really listen to this story and think merely telling the AD was enough? Why did he wait a day to summon Curley to his home? Wouldn’t a charge like this take precedent over pretty much everything? Why didn’t he personally look into it further? This is something that allegedly happened in his locker room, by a man he both coached and employed as a trusted assistant for a combined 33 years?

Technically Paterno may have done the right thing, reporting the allegation to his superior, but he isn’t just some middle manager. Tim Curley worked for Joe Paterno more than Joe Paterno worked for Tim Curley. He could’ve called in the police himself.

Paterno was 75 at the time and his advancing age and the limits of his participation in the program are well known. That simply can’t be used as an excuse. Positions of authority come with great responsibility and advancing age does not excuse someone of merely accepting the plaudits of success while avoiding the more difficult duties of the position.

Paterno may very well have appropriate answers to all of the above questions and more. He needs to give them. Four-hundred-plus victories shouldn’t absolve anyone from being accountable in a case such as this.

This is a scandal that goes beyond nearly anything college athletics has ever witnessed. These are the most horrific charges that can be made, the worst of the worst kind of crime that haunts victims forever.

The time for hiding behind statements and closed doors and parsed explanations from so-called leaders are over.

This demands real investigation conducted by real adults, something that’s at least eight years and who knows how many unnecessary victims overdue.

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I have long refused to have even a passing interest in college athletics because it has always been quite evident to me that the "people" running the college sports programs are a bunch of Grade A scumbags who turn loose a bunch of Grade A scumbags onto the rest of the world.

From personal experience, I know that Penn State is one of the worst offenders in this area. I have called it "Middle Linebacker U" for decades.

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Just disgusting. Not just the act, but also the imagery of a bunch of suits sitting around a campus office deciding the best way to "handle" it. How can a person hear this type of allegations from a first-hand report and not be compelled to shout it from the rooftops? The sheer hubris that some campus suits think they should substitute their authority for that of law enforcement's makes me sick to my gut.

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You can read the entire grand jury report on pennlive.com; there's also lots of coverage at centredaily.com (site for the local newspaper in State College).

The phony "charity" that Sandusky set up has been heavily promoted throughout central PA for many years - there were/are fund drives and collection tins in restaurants and other public places. And now - to know that it was a front for him to troll for victims. This is sickening beyond words.

The grad student whose eyewitness report was ignored for 10 years ... that is literally criminal, in many senses.

Graham Spanier knew about this stuff and covered it up. (He makes a big deal out of his approachability; hosts a couple of TV and radio shows focused on public welfare and education that are pretty much geared to giving him a Mr. Wonderful image.) imo, he and all the athletic department staff who were in on it should be thrown in the slammer.

For decades, Joe Paterno (and university PR) have presented a very clean-cut image of the team - kids have to attend classes, get good grades, etc. or they can't play.

It really makes me angry to think that all the time, there was truly sordid stuff going on and nobody had the guts to blow the whistle on Sandusky and his cohorts, let alone do anything to help those kids!

Edited by seeline

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You're either very naive or heavily in denial if you've believed the Penn State PR all these years. Our great nation's educational system is in a whole heep o' trouble.

Why do you think that Paterno did not accept the Mara's offer to coach the Giants right around the time of the dry Bill Arnsparger years? Little comfy, cozy over there at State College, perhaps???

Personally, I'm hoping his whole legacy is wiped out.

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Oh, I don't believe their PR and never have. But the juxtaposition of the squeaky-clean image (and I literally mean "image," not reality) with this is especially disturbing, imo.

although I'm not really a football fan, my take is that Paterno should have gone at least 15 years ago, if not sooner. And... I have to wonder how much of a part Sandusky played in getting the team into the Big 10. It seems like that's one plausible (if sickening) reason that people looked the other way.

Am not exactly sure if the State College PD would have handled things properly, supposing they had been contacted about one or more of the incidents described in the grand jury report. The thing is, there have to be more... people who are afraid to talk or, for whatever reason, literally are not able to speak up.

(I have very strong opinions on the moneyed alums, too, but.)

Edited to add: I can't help wondering about what's been going on with Penn State's women's basketball team, too, and just how much Renee Portland got away with (possibly) before she was fired.

At any rate, recruitment etc. scandals are one thing, but Sandusky's offenses are another kind of thing entirely.

Edited by seeline

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It just amazes me how badly Penn State officials have mishandled(and continue to mishandle) this situation.

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I'm perplexed as to how/why this could possibly amaze anyone. I mean, it's like a huge freight train a-comin'. You should be able to see it from a mile away.

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It just amazes me how badly Penn State officials have mishandled(and continue to mishandle) this situation.

The more that is coming out the more I'm thinking that everyone, Paterno included should go. They all knew that something very wrong was going on there and they didn't act in a manner that was intended to make it stop. They were more interested in preserving the image of the school and the folks running the athletic department. If I'm in the shoes of any of these people and I hear 'inappropriate' 'child' and 'Sandusky' in close proximity I CALL THE COPS! I also make damn sure that this guy doesn't even get to breathe the surrounding air of the college or any of its satellites. Nobody did any of that to their eternal shame.

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I'm perplexed as to how/why this could possibly amaze anyone. I mean, it's like a huge freight train a-comin'. You should be able to see it from a mile away.

Unless you had knowledge of this whole event before it broke or are familiar with Penn State's football program I don't see how one could not be amazed by how Penn State/Paterno have handled this situation. As a causal(at best) college football fan who only knows of Joe Paterno's reputation as a class guy and one that had no knowledge of this investigation before Sunday night, yeah, I'm amazed.

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Agreed. How could anyone see this coming unless you had prior knowledge of Sandusky's vileness? There's nothing here that was predictable, including the administration's offensive response. Who expects an AD to respond the way he did if he was told a ten year old was being raped by Sandusky? The only thing that makes sense is if the student who saw it didn't communicate the full nature of what he saw. And even then its no excuse.

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I have knowledge (and associated common sense) of the overall vile tendencies of athletic programs that have existed in America's universities since the beginning.

I did NOT mean that I had prior knowledge of this particular scandal.

Naivete is no excuse for ignorance.

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Apparenty in Jetman's world, "vile" includes an extraordinarily wide variety of behavior, from recruiting violations and scholastic fraud to defensive coordinators who butt-f*ck young boys.

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When it comes to me, you can only guess. With you, however, one can see your vileness coming from a mile away. You are as predictable as you are transparent.

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To quote a Facebook post by a friend who was a sportswriter for decades:

"Re the Penn State thing and no one doing right by those kids: Closing your eyes/turning your back/wearing blinders/etc. is the only way big-time college sports exists on most campuses. This is merely a tragic extension of an already corrupt culture."

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Another aspect of this (can't find the story now, but I read it yesterday) is that pro-Paterno and anti-Paterno forces (at the upper levels of the school's administration) at Penn State have been locked in behind-the-scenes combat for more than a decade -- the latter wanting to get rid of/ease out the cranky, dictatorial "I get whatever I want" Joe P., the former fiercely defensive of Joe P. and their own prerogatives that stem from him. Exactly how that strife played into the handling (or nonhandling) of this scandal, I'm not sure, but one could see where it might have led all sides there to see it primarily through the lenses of their own goals and antagonisms rather than thinking of the allegedly abused kids, not to mention all the kids who might be (and allegedly were) abused down the road.

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According to the NYT, Joe Paterno will be out as coach of Penn State's football team within a matter of days. That's as it should be. Sweep the whole house clean and start from scratch. This is only the first step in the long and winding road to recovery.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/sports/ncaafootball/penn-state-said-to-be-planning-paternos-exit.html?_r=1&emc=na

Edited by Dave James

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It just amazes me how badly Penn State officials have mishandled(and continue to mishandle) this situation.

The more that is coming out the more I'm thinking that everyone, Paterno included should go. They all knew that something very wrong was going on there and they didn't act in a manner that was intended to make it stop. They were more interested in preserving the image of the school and the folks running the athletic department. If I'm in the shoes of any of these people and I hear 'inappropriate' 'child' and 'Sandusky' in close proximity I CALL THE COPS! I also make damn sure that this guy doesn't even get to breathe the surrounding air of the college or any of its satellites. Nobody did any of that to their eternal shame.

It's worse than that - by doing nothing, they all enabled Sandusky in his preying on kids.

If you all knew how highly respected his Second Mile foundation is (the phony "charity" he used to troll) - and how high-profile they are in terms of their supposedly "helping" at-risk kids - this would snap into focus fast. It's a very wealthy "charity," and I doubt people are going to stop donating unless it is shut down. (Not so coincidentally, Sandusky and Second Mile have held sports camps on Penns State campuses - and recently.)

Me, well... I want that stupid statue of Paterno toppled today!

What really sickens me is that so little attention is being paid to the welfare of former and current victims. They must all be suffering, yet the attitude seems to be "Well, they'll get over it."

Which is one of the reasons that both Spanier's and Paterno's true colors have been shown (with their unconditional public support for Curley et. al.).

The board of trustees needs to fire some people now, but that's only the beginning...

Edited by seeline

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Check the Daily Collegian - its Twitter feed especially (http://www.collegian.psu.edu/ )

Scott Paterno reported 45 minutes ago that the NYT story about his father leaving is false. I wonder...

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What perplexes me is how anyone could even suggest Joe Paterno had anything to do with the cover-up.

By law, he reported the incident to his superiors. By law, it is up to them to pursue the issue including contacting authorities. Yet there are those in the media who insist upon saying he needed to do more. What more can he do?

Edited by GoodSpeak

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Follow up to find out what was done? Ask his close friend what the fuck he was doing with that ten year old boy?

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Report it to the cops immediately (and not just the campus cops), because it was a criminal matter - a 10 year-old kid was being raped by Sandusky.

Get medical care and counseling for the kid who was victimized and abused.

Failure to do these things: sorry, the man should be under investigation for what he didn't do. The minimal response might be legal, but ethical?! Responsible?! Compassionate?!

It's just like the good old boy network in the Roman Catholic church re. protection of priests who continue(d) to abuse kids.

I could make a short list of the other things he should have done, but plenty of columnists and commenters (elsewhere) have already done that.

Edited by seeline

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To quote a Facebook post by a friend who was a sportswriter for decades:

"Re the Penn State thing and no one doing right by those kids: Closing your eyes/turning your back/wearing blinders/etc. is the only way big-time college sports exists on most campuses. This is merely a tragic extension of an already corrupt culture."

Thank you, Mr. Kart. This is the point I've been trying to make. You've taken a more direct approach.

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Can't remember now who said it but someone noted how whenever you see a "cult of personality" coach like Paterno, treated as being in a different category because of his personal morality rather than simply a skilled football coach, it's invariably a sign that something is deeply rotten within. The main case I'm thinking of is Jim Tressel, who was portrayed as this saint by Ohio State fans and then found of course to be just as corrupt as everyone else in college football.

Thought this was a good if slightly melodramatic piece of writing on the current scandal: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7205085/growing-penn-state

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