Penn State Scandal
By Leonard Shapiro, The Washington Post
Joe Paterno, the former Penn State football coach who was among the most admired figures in the annals of collegiate sports but whose reputation was shattered in the wake of a child abuse scandal involving one of his longtime assistants, died Sunday morning of complications from lung cancer.. He was 85.
The death was announced by his family.
"It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today," the family said in a statement. "His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled.
"He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community."Read more...
By Express-Times opinion staff
The Penn State sex abuse scandal churned into a public relations whirlwind last week, culminating with an interview of Joe Paterno by the Washington Post. The university went outside its close-knit fraternity to hire a new football coach.
Yet at the heart of the tragedy, nothing changed. Former coach Jerry Sandusky is awaiting trial. We don't know the extent of his alleged attacks on boys entrusted to his care and whether more victims will come forward. On Friday, former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz pleaded not guilty to perjury and failing to report allegations of a sexual assault of a child by Sandusky in a Penn State locker room in 2002.
In a series of meetings, President Rodney Erikson tried to explain how the university is dealing with the crisis. The reaction to his presentations showed how divided the public remains over Sandusky, the mishandling of the crisis and the dismissal of Paterno. The key issue, however, is unchanged: How, when credible reports of sex abuse were made in 1998 and 2002, no one picked up the phone to call a prosecutor, the police, a child-welfare worker.Read more...
By JEREMY ROEBUCK AND JOHN P. MARTIN, The Philadelphia Inquirer
In the days after Jerry Sandusky's arrest on child sex-abuse charges, thousands of letters and e-mails poured into Gov. Tom Corbett's office from every corner of the world advocating every conceivable action:
Fire Pennsylvania State University president Graham B. Spanier.
Reinstate coach Joe Paterno.
Cancel the Penn State football season, some said.
Others offered high praise or criticism for the governor:
You are a hero and should run for president.
You are a scoundrel who covered up sex abuse and belong in jail.
"Act, act quickly and decisively on the Penn State issue," read one. "Do your due diligence, but act."Read more...
By Sally Jenkins, Washington Post
STATE COLLEGE, PA. — Joe Paterno sat in a wheelchair at the family kitchen table where he has eaten, prayed and argued for more than a half-century. All around him family members were shouting at each other, yet he was whispering. His voice sounded like wind blowing across a field of winter stalks, rattling the husks. Lung cancer has robbed him of the breath to say all that he wants to about the scandal he still struggles to comprehend, and which ended his career as head football coach at Penn State University. The words come like gusts. "I wanted to build up, not break down," he said.Read more...
By SARA GANIM, The Patriot-News
The investigation of Jerry Sandusky took three years.
And it took Sandusky himself — through the pages of his autobiography, "Touched" — to help police find Victims 3, 4, 5 and 7.
At the end of 2009, police had spent almost a year trying to corroborate claims by a single boy — a 17-year-old Clinton County teen later known as Victim 1 — who had alleged years of sexual abuse by Penn State's legendary defensive coach. Only one state police investigator had been tasked to handle the case.
Finally, they discovered a campus police report from 1998, in which a boy had said he was forced to take a naked shower with Sandusky in the Penn State locker room and was inappropriately touched. With that, investigators learned the key had been right in front of them.Read more...
A Heart Without Compromise; Advocating for Children by Jerome Elam
DALLAS, January 7, 2011 — As I sat listening to the pretrial hearing for former Penn State Officials Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, my mind was gripped by one compelling question "Why?"
Why did two men in the position to stop the sexual abuse of so many young boys simply do nothing? They are accused of failing to report the molestation of a child by former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I could not deride my anger as I watched Mike McQueary report the graphic details of what he witnessed in the showers of the Penn State Athletic Facility.
His detailed account left no room for confusion about what happened: McQueary saw Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a child.
McQueary came under fire after the details of his grand jury testimony were revealed for taking little or no action both at the scene and in reporting the crime he witnessed. However, officials later revealed he spoke with Athletic Director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz and in stunning detail told them what he saw.
So why did two such powerful men – Curley and Schultz — walk away from investigating what was clearly a case of child sex abuse? The answer is a combination of ignorance, fear and ego.Read more...
By MARK SCOLFORO, Associated Press
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Penn State's board of trustees and president focused on repairing the school's tarnished image and braced for financial backlash in the immediate aftermath of the child sex-abuse scandal that erupted two months ago, going so far as to recommend reminding any outraged donors that they wouldn't get their money back, according to internal memos obtained by The Associated Press.
Four memos sent Nov. 14-18 and released to the AP this week describe the school's scrambling response less than two weeks after former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on child molestation charges. Two Penn State administrators also were charged with lying to a grand jury and failing to properly report suspected child abuse.
In the first memo, issued nine days after the charges were filed, new school President Rodney Erickson told the 47-member Board of Trustees that the public-relations teams of the university and the athletic department had met to "align our messages" and that he had received positive feedback after two network television interviews.Read more...
By Mike Wise, sports columnist, Philadelphia Inquirer
As the year in sports comes to a close, we remember those we lost: Joe Frazier, Al Davis and Harmon Killebrew. Proud Oriole Mike Flanagan, golfing great Seve Ballesteros, Indy champion Dan Wheldon — gone, long before their times.
But the friend we mourn the most has yet to have a proper burial. His name was Trust. He was officially pronounced dead on Nov. 5 in a Pennsylvania attorney general's grand jury report.
He was found without a pulse inside the Penn State football building, adjacent to the showers.
He had been sick for years, of course. Corrupt college presidents, coaches and boosters had been clubbing at his immune system. Cheating titans of baseball and cycling, who put pills and syringes in their bodies and lied about it, also took their toll.
But the death blow came last month, in 23 unsparing pages of testimony, eight victims of child sexual abuse.Read more...
Cut Other Events the Same Day Show That Soon Our Justice System Will Reveal the Truth
MARCI A. HAMILTON, Justia.com
This Tuesday, December 13, the national media gathered en masse in the quaint, small town of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, for a preliminary hearing in the case of accused serial pedophile Jerry Sandusky.
The Court of Common Pleas courtroom was relatively simply appointed, except for the beautiful gold-leaf filigree on the ceilings. It was packed with 100 journalists, including myself, and 100 members of the public, who had gained admission through a lottery system. Also present were family and friends of Sandusky and, presumably, families and friends of the 10 survivors who have been named in a grand jury indictment, and their attorneys. Out front were rows of satellite trucks, camera and tech folks, and even more reporters facing the courthouse, where a lonely podium and microphone awaited the end of the hearing. The hearing was expected to last all day and even into the evening hours.
The podium and microphone were in use long before intended, however, for Sandusky waived his right to a preliminary hearing within two minutes of the hearing's being called to order by the judge. In this column, I'll discuss why he may have made that choice, and cover a few welcome recent developments that signal progress in the war against child sex abuse.Read more...
By MAXINE SHEN, Nnew York Post
Jerry Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, are looking to sit down with Oprah.
Or "60 Minutes" or Barbara Walters or the new "Rock Center" with Brian Williams, according to Sandusky's lawyer.
The Harrisburg, Pa. Patriot News reported yesterday that the accused child molester's attorney, Joe Amendola, has said that the couple is contemplating doing a joint TV interview early next year.
Earlier this month, Amendola reportedly invited several reporters to his house for a football-watching party.
An NBC News reporter, who was covering the Sandusky sex abuse scandal, was arrested for drunk driving early the next morning.
The reporter was among several jockeying for exclusive interviews with Sandusky, who was invited to the party.
To date, Sandusky has twice spoken briefly to reporters but has yet to do a full, sitdown interview with the press.Read more...
Former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky may have waived his preliminary hearing in the child sex-abuse case, but two former Penn State officials charged with perjury and failure to report a crime had their first day in court recently.
The hearing featured two hours of testimony from Mike McQueary, the former Penn State graduate assistant who, in 2002, claims to have witnessed Sandusky raping a boy in the football locker room showers. While what McQueary saw — and said — is being challenged, one thing we know is that no Penn State official called the police in 2002.
No, the alarm wasn't sounded until six years later, when a high school student courageously went to his principal and said he was victimized by Sandusky. He is referred to in the grand jury summary as Victim No. 1, not because he was the first to be victimized but because he was the first to come forward.Read more...
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