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Penn State Cover-Up: Emails Show What Officials Knew

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In emails obtained by CNN and other news outlets this week, former Penn State president Graham Spanier signed off on keeping the child-abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky a secret, calling it a “humane and reasonable way to proceed” rather than expose Sandusky’s crimes and put the school in a bad position.

The emails were exchanged directly after Mike McQueary went to coach Joe Paterno with claims that he’d seen Sandusky performing a sex act with a child in the school showers in 2001; in them, athletic director Tim Curley and (retired) vice president Gary Schultz essentially asked for guidance on whether or not to come forward with the allegations. Their initial plan was to report Sandusky, but later they changed their minds, and Spanier supported their decision to remain quiet, although he did voice the opinion that university officials would be in a vulnerable position if word ever got out. When Curley said he was uncomfortable with reporting Sandusky and preferred instead to work with him on the matter directly, Spanier agreed.

”The only downside for us is if message isn’t ‘heard’ and acted upon and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it, but that can be assessed down the road,” Spanier allegedly wrote in the email.

While it’s been noted that school officials were simply trying to keep from acting rashly in light of such ghastly allegations, now that we know more about Sandusky and the abuse he was convicted of earlier this month, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would not come forward with the best interests of the children involved.

No word yet on whether the emails will lead to charges against Spanier, Curley or Schultz.

Penn State Cover-Up: Emails Show What Officials Knew
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  • okn

    This is just the tip of the issue. There should be a major investigation into theses exchanges, the State Police investigation that failed to go anywhere, and all the rest. This is not only a black eye for a few people, but an institutional shame on the college and PA as a state. My God people, what where you thinking in letting this preditor use the college and an agency for helping kids to use as his own personal “playground”. They should all loss their jobs, pensions, and be sued, and made criminally liable.

  • George Milliken

    You left one explosive part of this story out. All of the other articles that I have read regarding these emails has Curley stating that he is uncomfortable with their initial plan (of reporting Sandusky) after talking to Paterno. He then suggested that they talk directly to Sandusky instead of everyone but him. Also he mentions something about the first incident.

    It is obvious that they all knew what time of day it was. It was more important for them, especially Paterno, to keep this matter quiet so as not to interfere with the football program. In short, football was more important to these men than the fact that young boys were being abused and raped. I love when the President says that it is the “Humane and reasonable way to respond”. Human for the preditor, the football program, the schools/Paterno’s image but what about the victims? They were obviously acceptable losses to these men. Shame on all of them.

  • Paul

    George has it right! Now where is that famous NCAA with their suspension of the program? Where is the NCAA for Penn State doing the wrong thing. Remember, this affected the football program. Sandusky was retired but given the rights of an emeritus professor in that he had the right to use various areas of the Penn State Athletic Department including of course football. Did they revoke that right when the info was provided to the higher ups? NO they essentially did nothing! That means the football program was involved in the decision making process and needs to be punished accordingly. NCAA needs to send a strong message to schools, clean up or face real consequences!

  • Jeff

    Tear down the statute of Joe Paterno. That would be justice. I apalled that a state university would even allow a coah to donate this kind of money. If people would realize, Joe’s record is only the most games won. Othe coaches have more national championships then 2 in less time. Tear down the statute and turn it into scrap and take and donate the money to a non victims fund. Why because if Joe did do that then the money donated to a victims fund should be considered moldy money. Also Pa needs to make a law on how long a football coach can coach. This would stop coaches having too much influence, also make a law on the maximum that a coach can donate. That way it doesn’t look like he is buying a job.

    • K

      Real simple: Joe could have made alot of money. He chose to donate it! Period! If he was such a horrible man, how is it that in all of his years, no one has ANYTHING to say bad about him except now that he is gone. There is something not right with people wishing people dead and such. You belong with Sandusky if that is the case. Why do you think the officials cancelled Joe Paterno’s press conference? It gets cancelled and then he gets fired. I still like how people think this is on Joe Paterno. Who made you the decider and the almighty? I guess those people wanted Joe to play police. AND….. when it did go to police, it was dropped. Back to those who have nothing better to do than to point blame on everyone except Sandusky and the officials who actually heard something. Oh, to the one who believes God is punishing people, as far as I am aware of , we don’t have a damning God, there is no rhyme or reason sometimes for things in life. It must make you feel better to live your life in hatred. Enough said.

  • Jeff

    Correction on my statement. It should read ‘I’am apalled that a state university would even allow a coach to donate this amount of money. Thank you

  • John Flowers

    All of these men knew better, including Joe Paterno.
    It is time to make an example of them for what they did and for what did not do.Towhat standards do we hold these men? What honor do they protray? What is honor? How can they be expected to lead when they are liars and hide truth for their own ultimate benefit?
    They know right from wrong and what Sandusky did was wrong.
    Shame on them all.

    • RtReverend

      While I am appalled at Jery Sandusky and Penn State let us not forget that these kind of things come about because some choices that were made. Since JoePa isn’t here to defend himself I hope his son and wife do speak up. I worked in a major athletic department in the SEC and we had a scandal and when I asked the AD about he said nobody told him. In his case it was true but the public perception hurt.

      As busy as Joe was with football they probably didn’t bother him with details because I can’t imagine him sitting idly by because of his vulnerability. It happens so much in athletics that even in Texas High Schools where I coach lack of institutiional control pervades.

      But some of the blame must to society as a whole because of the permissiveness of some. Remember that several years ago that NAMBLA was defended by the American Psychological Association say sex betwwen adult males and boys was not damaging. Besides if as some say there are no real moral standards then anything goes in this situational ethic.

      What Jerry Sandusky needs is to repent of his sins ask Christ to come into his heart and forgive him and save him from eternal damantion.

      Bottom line: We live in a Romas 1:18-32 society and and we are continuing on a downward track.

  • JoeH

    Who says there’s no death penalty in the Commonwealth of PA???
    All in all let’s really look at what happened to JoePa. Is it not too ironic that he was tried and given the death penalty by the man upstairs? How ironic is it that he was diagnosed with cancer and within an incredibly short time, is now burning somewhere in hell for what he knew and didn’t do. He prioritized a simple sport above the health and dignity of young boys. God saw this and took care of it in his own way.
    Bottom line is he issued him the death penalty on his own; no questions asked.

  • NUHUSKY89

    This is erie…a killing in rural New Jersey on Jun 12 2012…, one day after the Sandusky trial began. ¬†A well respected individual and upstanding citizen with no police record whatsoever is accused of stabbing a man more than 20 times. The authorities are now theorizing that the Sandusky trial may ¬†triggered a childhood ¬†memory of sexual abuse in the accused, a man named Clark Fredericks. ¬†The family of Fredericks allege that the victim in the killing, a man named Dennis Pegg sexually abused Fredericks as a child. .. Since the killing, two more “John Does” have come forward to say that the victim – a man named Dennis Pegg – sexually abused them when they were children as well. Pegg was a former Boy Scout Leader in Newton NJ and Fredericks and the other boys were in his scout troop.

    More on info on what is sure to become a national news story very soon is here: 

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/06/second_john_doe_comes_forward.html

  • richard bilheimer

    I agree the NCAA should shut the PSU football program DOWN. I was a football player in PA and never did we shower with coaches. I learn what hard work and 3 practices a day in August was like. It taught me respect,dignity,honor,team, and morals, we were looked up to by the community, and acted as representatives of our school and small town. Friday nights we had over 10k people in the stands. I was proud, to strap on the helmet and go into battle. Paterno new and so did all his coaches and his son who walked the side lines, it made me sick. They just said ” WE ARE PENN STATE” well I would be hanging my head and its all about the victims. Not about this over glorified team. I also agree that all things signs, statues, street names associated with Joe PA should be turned into SCRAP and sold and the money given to the victims. I hope their lawyers clean up. PSU should NEVER AGAIN play another football game. Turn the field in a pasture and bring back the cows and make PSU a farm school that’s how it all started maybe the coaches should do time cleaning stalls, I am sure Jerry would sign up for milking the cows. THe NCAA and the PA state Police should be held accountable not to mention the Paterno Klan !!

  • Mary Ann

    I can’t beleive that there are still people out there defending Paterno like he was a Saint…The man was a coward and an asshole for not doing anything to protect these boys and stop their abuse….And for all of those still defending him, imagine if that was you child getting abused and Paterno knew but did nothing about it, how would you feel about him then? Its a sad day when people put a mere sport over the health and well-being of innocent children…

  • Will

    Am I the only one that remembers SMU getting the “death penalty” for paying players? I guess child abuse and subsequent coverup by Penn State officials and coaching staff is OK with the NCAA.

  • Joyce

    I find it despicable that hero worship has a second seat to academics and research.

  • Shirley

    They all knew and now it is time they are all punished. Joe got off too easy for me.

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