Posts Tagged Penn State Nittany Lions football
July 12, 2012
Will Penn State Ever be Held Accountable?
Matt Rourke/Associated PressFormer FBI director Louis Freeh spoke about his investigation into the Penn State child sex scandal on July 12, 2012. Freeh said the most “saddening and sobering” finding from his group’s report is Penn State senior leaders’ “total disregard” for the safety and welfare of the child victims.
Since the disclosure of the serial rape, abuse and betrayal of young boys by Jerry Sandusky, lieutenant to the Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, a lot has been said about how shocking and damaging the revelation was to Penn State, its alumni, its football program, Mr. Paterno’s reputation and other irrelevant things.
I never cared much about any of that, or bought the premise that Penn State and its leaders were somehow victims of Mr. Sandusky’s crimes. The only victims were the young boys. A trial, in which Mr. Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts, including rape, revealed that those boys were drawn in by Mr. Sandusky, who pretended to be their mentor and protector. They were attacked by him and then betrayed by every adult and every institution around them.
That point was driven home vividly by the release today of an independent investigation headed by Louis Freeh, the former head of the F.B.I. and former federal judge. It concluded that the most senior leaders at Penn State systematically organized a cover up of Mr. Sandusky’s crimes for over a decade, even though they had strong reason to believe that he was a serial sex criminal.
“The most saddening finding by the Special Investigative Counsel is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,” the report said. It pointed to Penn State’s president, Graham Spanier, who was forced to resign; the senior vice president for finance and business, Gary Schultz; the athletic director Timothy Curley; and Mr. Paterno, who was fired and later died.
Mr. Schultz was allowed to retire and Mr. Curley was permitted to go on “administrative leave” before they were charged with failing to report allegations of child abuse and for committing perjury before the grand jury investigating the case. I never understood why they were not fired, but Mr. Freeh’s report shows how heightened the sense of self-protection at all costs is at Penn State.
The Freeh report said that these four people “exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims.” Actually, it was much worse than that.
Michael McQueary, a junior member of the football staff, reported to Mr. Paterno and other university leaders that he saw h Mr. Sandusky rape a-10 year-old boy in the shower in 2002. They not only failed to try to identify and help the child, or report the case to the police—they actually told Mr. Sandusky what Mr. McQueary saw, putting the boy at great risk.
Since 1990, Penn State, like all educational institutions that receive federal funds, has been legally required by the Clery Act to identify and report crimes committed on campus, particularly sex crimes. The report shows Penn State had utter disregard for that responsibility. It never created a Clery protocol, and obviously had no intention of reporting these crimes.
The law provides for the suspension of federal funds to colleges and universities that fail to abide by its provisions, along with a civil penalty of $27,500 for each infraction.
So, let’s see, that’s 45 times $27,500, which covers only the criminal counts on which Mr. Sandusky was convicted. That gets us to$1,237,500, plus suspension of federal money. The fine will be devastating to the school and certainly harm blameless students and faculty.
But laws have no purpose if they can be so flagrantly disregarded, with such impunity.
- Freeh report: The investigation of Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children implicates Penn State’s top leadership. – Slate Magazine (mbcalyn.com)
- Michael McCann: Freeh Report finds Paterno, PSU leaders concealed Sandusky abuse (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Someone Actually Thinks The Freeh Report Exonerated Joe Paterno, And It’s Bill James [Penn State Scandal] (deadspin.com)
- Report: Penn St. disregarded children’s welfare (espn.go.com)
- Paterno’s legacy may now be damaged beyond repair (mysanantonio.com)
- Freeh Report On Penn State’s Handling Of Sandusky Scandal Set To Be Released (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)
- Freeh Report Finds PSU Officials Concealed Facts About Abuse (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)
- Louis Freeh Penn State Report: Alleged Cover-Up Damages Joe Paterno’s Legacy (bleacherreport.com)
- Analysis: FBI Director Louis Freeh, state’s results differ greatly. Why? (pennlive.com)
- Penn State probe accuses Paterno of cover-up|With related stories, videos in Sports (rep-am.com)
After Sandusky verdict, neighbors release emotions
In an ordinarily quiet cul-de-sac about 10 miles down the road in Lemont, the triumphant crackle, burst and flare of fireworks lit up Sandusky’s front lawn. His closest neighbors — expressing their collective relief — had cause for celebration, too.
Said Paul Kletchka, whose house is next to the Sanduskys’: “It really hit me last night how this has been occupying my thoughts every waking moment. Now, I don’t have to worry about it anymore.”
Sandusky was a revered figure in nearby State College. He was a longtime assistant football coach under Joe Paterno and he founded a respected charity for underprivileged children.
That a jury of his peers determined Friday that Sandusky had used the Second Mile charity to lure victims into his basement bedroom shocked an already divided community.
Karl Rominger, Sandusky’s co-counsel, had stayed up past midnight smoking a cigar and drinking a beer at the Hotel Do-De bar, across the street from the courthouse. He said Saturday morning, in between several television interviews, that the appeals process will vindicate his client.
Rominger said the judge turned down a request by Sandusky’s lawyers to resign from the case on the eve of the trial.
According to Rominger, he and Joe Amendola made a sealed motion as jury selection began saying they had not been given enough time to adequately prepare, but that after discussion in the chambers, Judge John Cleland ruled against them.
“We told the trial court, the Superior Court and the Supreme Court we were not prepared to proceed to trial in June due to numerous issues, and we asked to withdraw from the case for those reasons,” Amendola told the Associated Press.
In Bellefonte, the television crews were mostly gone by 9 a.m. Saturday.
Eric Perryman, the owner and operator of the J & E Guns shop, across the street from the courthouse, said the past week had been business as usual despite all the commotion. He sold several guns throughout the week, he said, including some to out-of-towners here for the trial.
Kathy Sulkowlski, a longtime friend of the Sandusky family, said she was appalled by the jury’s verdict.
“The man I know would never have done this,” she said. “I think he was tried and convicted by the media when this first came out. He didn’t even stand a chance.”
For the time being, Sandusky is incarcerated at the Centre County Correctional Facility, a low-slung brick building with very few windows. It’s on a two-lane road dotted with cornfields and signs that say “DO NOT PICK UP HITCHHIKERS.”
While Sandusky spent his first day behind bars, Paul Kletchka enjoyed Saturday afternoon with his toddler son, playing in the grass next to Sandusky’s home. The neighbors had seen Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, return home in the early afternoon, and the house’s blinds were drawn. They’ve been neighbors for 11 years.
“I kind of feel like as a neighborhood we are over one big hurdle but there are still many to go,” he said.
Inside, his wife, Dana, made a snack for their daughter, a first-grader at Lemont Elementary School. Sandusky’s property backs up to the school’s playground.
“It shakes your foundation,” Dana Kletchka said. “Your town isn’t what you thought it was. Your neighborhood isn’t what you thought it was. We’re looking back and thinking, was there something we should have known? Something we might have missed?”
Strauss, a Pennsylvania State University linguistics professor, spoke to The Washington Post last November but did not allow the paper to quote her by name. She was afraid to speak publicly because tensions were so high in the leafy cul-de-sac.
“There were always rumors around town, pieces of a puzzle about Jerry that you could never put together,” Strauss said. “People would say ‘Keep your boys away from Jerry Sandusky.’ And yesterday that puzzle took a very vivid shape.”
Strauss and the Kletchkas gathered Friday night after the verdict was announced to launch fireworks to ease some of their tensions and also to make a statement.
“It was about us speaking up and going public,” Strauss said. “We have voices now. We’re not being silent anymore.”
- Jerry Sandusky trial juror: Sandusky ‘knew it was true’ as guilty verdict was read (pennlive.com)
- Jerry Sandusky’s attorneys tried to get out of case because they felt unprepared, Karl Rominger says (pennlive.com)
- Juror: No Doubt on Sanduskys Guilt – Daily Beast (thedailybeast.com)
- Jerry Sandusky’s crimes made verdict easy, juror says (pennlive.com)
- Sandusky Lawyers Raise Appeal Issue on Timing – ABC News (abcnews.go.com)
- Jury finds Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 counts (espn.go.com)
- Jerry Sandusky Jury Reaches Verdict: Guilty On 45 Counts (webpronews.com)
- Jerry Sandusky Verdict: Guilty on 45 Counts of Child Abuse (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Judge denied lawyers’ request – ESPN (espn.go.com)
- Jerry Sandusky on Suicide Watch (theroot.com)
Sandusky Angry He’s Not Going To Be Allowed To Tell The Tender, Romantic Side Of The Story | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source
Sandusky Angry He’s Not Going To Be Allowed To Tell The Tender, Romantic Side Of The Story
BELLEFONTE, PA—As jurors began deliberations Thursday on charges that he sexually abused 10 boys over a 15-year period, former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky—who did not testify during his trial—expressed regret over being denied a chance to tell “the sweet, loving, tender, and romantic part of the story” that he felt the jury had a right to hear.
“Everything they’re saying happened is just wrong,” Sandusky told reporters while awaiting a verdict. “The sordid stories about the locker room shower, the terrible testimony about what happened in my basement… None of these things really expresses the depth and intensity of my feelings as I opened my heart of hearts to these kids.”
“I have no idea why [defense attorney] Joe [Amendola] didn’t want me to talk about that stuff,” Sandusky added. “What we had together, those boys and I, was truly special to me.”
Sandusky faces 48 criminal counts in the trial, and the jury heard from eight alleged victims—now ages 18 to 28—who said the coerced sexual contact with the former defensive coach ranged from kissing to fondling to showering together to forced oral and anal sex. Sandusky said he was surprised and disappointed none of the boys mentioned the beautiful, special times he tried to share with them.
“Maybe it was just me, all along,” said Sandusky, burying his face in his hands. “Oh, God, it was, wasn’t it? I can’t believe I let myself fall for the oldest trick in the book. I’m such a fool.”
Prosecutors have called him a predator who used gifts and the draw of Penn State football to target boys with unstable family lives, a charge Sandusky said completely neglects the emotional side of his “very caring and giving” relationship with at least 10 troubled youths.
Although many of the 28 witnesses called by the defense vouched for his reputation, Sandusky noted that not one of them mentioned the sweeping, epic passion between him and his alleged victims—the tender moments and the establishment of deep, lasting emotional bonds he said are vital to an understanding of events.
“I’ve been forced to sit here and listen to my special memories of those nights in the showers be reduced to a series of wet rhythmic slapping sounds,” Sandusky said. “Nothing about the way the steam made it a little wonderland, the elemental mood lent by the running water, the way I trembled—nothing. They made me sound like some sort of monster. I simply don’t understand anything about this.”
Sandusky maintained that had he been allowed to give testimony regarding his soaring, once-in-a-lifetime romance with several boys between 8 and 17, the jury would have been forced to admit that what he and the young men had was one for the ages.
“My lawyer said the jury wouldn’t care about my emotions, about what I once felt for them or my heartbreak over what’s become of us now,” Sandusky said. “I guess in that way the jury’s a lot like those boys are, huh? Because they don’t care either, I guess. It’s like they want to see me get hurt for some reason.”
“I’m devastated, to be honest. I thought what we had was real. But it seems it was nothing more than sex to them,” added Sandusky, his voice cracking as he shook his head. “Well, live, love, and learn, I always say. I guess that’s just how kids are.”
- Jerry Sandusky case: Sandusky’s adopted son, Matt, says he is a victim and would have testified, lawyer says (pennlive.com)
- Sandusky Son’s Bombshell (thedailybeast.com)
- Sandusky’s son says his father abused him – CBS News (cbsnews.com)
- Following closing arguments, jurors begin deliberations in Sandusky trial (cbssports.com)
- Jerry Sandusky’s son says his father abused him (newsday.com)
- Following closing arguments, jurors begin deliberations in Sandusky trial (cbssports.com)
- Sandusky case goes to jury… (pennlive.com)
- BREAKING: Sara Ganim of the Harrisburg Patriot-News reports that Matt Sandusky, the adopted son of Jerry Sandusky, now claims that he was also a victim of the former Penn State coach, according to his lawyer. (shortformblog.com)
- Now Jerry Sandusky’s Son Says Penn Coach Abused Him (theatlanticwire.com)
- Judge throws out three of Sandusky’s 51 counts (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
Penn State trustees fire football coach Joe Paterno and PSU president Spanier
By Associated Press
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State trustees fired football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier amid the growing furor over how the school handled sex abuse allegations against an assistant coach.
The massive shakeup Wednesday night came hours after Paterno announced that he planned to retire at the end of his 46th season.299
But the outcry following the arrest of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on molestation charges proved too much for the board to ignore.
One key question has been why Paterno and other top school officials didn’t go to police in 2002 after being told a graduate assistant saw Sandusky assaulting a boy in a school shower.
Paterno says he should have done more. Spanier has said he was not told the details of the attack.
Sandusky has denied the charges.
Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will serve as interim coach while Rodney Erickson will serve as interim school president.
Earlier in the day, Paterno said in a statement he was “absolutely devastated” by the case, in which Sandusky, his onetime heir apparent was charged with molesting eight boys in 15 years, with some of the alleged abuse taking place at the Penn State football complex.
“This is a tragedy,” Paterno said. “It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
John Surma, the vice chair of the board of trustees said, “these decisions were made after careful deliberations and in the best interests of the university as a whole.”
“The past several days have been absolutely terrible for the entire Penn State community. But the outrage that we feel is nothing compared to the physical and psychological suffering that allegedly took place,” he added.
Sue Paterno opened the door of the Paterno home briefly when a reporter knocked, then closed it and turned off the light.
- PSU trustees fire Paterno, Spanier (thegazette.com)
- Joe Paterno fired along with Penn State president Graham Spanier (guardian.co.uk)
- Penn State Trustees Fire Joe Paterno And Universirty President (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Joe Paterno to retire at the end of Penn State football season (pennlive.com)
- Report: PSU President Graham Spanier Will Quit Or Be Voted Out By End Of Day [Penn State Scandal] (deadspin.com)
- Paterno, president Spanier out at Penn State (espn.go.com)
- What they’re saying: Reaction to Joe Paterno’s retirement (aol.sportingnews.com)
- Joe Paterno’s Coaching Career Is Over [Penn State Scandal] (deadspin.com)
- Penn State board sources call rumors about former Pa. Gov. Tom Ridge taking over the university’s reins from Graham Spanier unfounded speculation (pennlive.com)