The Latest

Can Penn State recover from this public relations disaster?

It will take time, and drastic change

It may take a Master Chief to lead Penn State out of this mess. Getty Images.

In a case involving sexual abuse of a minor, or minors in this particular instance, there are no winners or heroes, legends or leaders. It is the sad truth that nobody from Penn State‘s administration or football offices reported suspected or witnessed crimes by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who appears to have attempted to hide his grotesque acts when nobody was watching.

Not Mike McQueary, who reportedly witnessed one of the acts taking place in 2002.

Not the janitorial staff in 2000.

Not the wrestling coach at Clinton County High School who walked in on Sandusky and a student at the school in 2006 or 2007.

Not Joe Paterno, who did report the matter in 2002 to his superiors but still failed to make a phone call to the police himself, which many say he should have done.

Not Tim Curley or Gary Schultz, who will now face a legal battle for perjury.

“The graduate assistant and his father decided that the graduate assistant had to promptly report what he had seen to Coach Joe Paterno (“Paterno”) and went to Paterno’s home, where he reported what he had seen. Joseph V. Paterno testified to receiving the graduate assistant’s report at his home on a Saturday morning. Paterno testified that the graduate assistant was very upset. Paterno called Tim Curley (“Curley”), Penn State Athletic Director and Paterno’s immediate superior, to his home the very next day, a Sunday, and reported to him that the graduate assistant had seen Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Football Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.”

According to the state, Paterno reported the incident in question as the law requires. He informed his supervisor of the situation without much of a delay. Curley and Gary Schultz, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business held a meeting with McQueary a week and a half later, where the graduate assistant reported what he had seen. McQueary was told the case would be investigated and further action would be decided on. As the report states, “Paterno was not present in this meeting.”

Paterno was involved in an earlier meeting with Schultz and Curley, in which the state says “Paterno reported “disturbing” and “inappropriate” conduct in the shower by Sandusky upon a young boy, as reported to him by a student or graduate assistant.” Curley later denied having this incident reported by Paterno or the graduate assistant, which is why he is being charged with perjury by the state and expected to turn himself in Monday.

Paterno’s name is mentioned one more time in the presentment, on page 11, when Schultz says that Sandusky retired after “Paterno felt it was time to make a coaching change,” which was in 1999.

As far as the state is concerned, that is the last tie Paterno has to Sandusky and the alleged sexual abuse. Sandusky was granted access to campus facilities, including football buildings, by the university as part of his retirement negotiations and settlements. This has nothing to do with Paterno, who would not have been privy to these kinds of decisions.

As read on Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Links

About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.
Sort: Newest | Oldest

Joe Paterno, who recently became the coach with the most wins in Division I football history, wasn't charged and the grand jury report didn't implicate him in wrongdoing. It appears that the PA Attorney General, Linda Kelly and State Police Commissioner, Frank Noonan, are trying this case out of the courtrooms and in the media. Yes the allegations against Mr. Sandusky are very serious and need to be investigated and punishment dealt in an appropriate manner. Any adult who takes advantage of minors, especially of a sexual nature, deserves the maximum punishment allowed by law. In the case of Joe Paterno he took the action required by law and reported the incident as he knew it. The grand jury did not find any fault with him yet the Attorney General and State Police Commissioner see fit to demand actions against him. This case has been under investigation for several years, where was Ms Kelly and Mr. Noonan all this time. This is publicity ahead of the trial and Joe Paterno should not be dismissed by the university at this time. Wait for him to decide to retire and let the legal system do its job with Mr. Sandusky and those above Joe Paterno who he reported the incident to. As I see it Mike McQuery has some culpability in this matter since he is the alleged witness to one of the incidents. Why did he not report this to the State Police as they claim Joe Paterno should have? Just another case of media trials.


The bigger and far more important question is: Can those molested children ever recover from this disaster?