The Penn State Scandal
Alicia Dietzmann Catie Driza Lauren Williams
Table of Contents Introduction Timeline Media Coverage Social Media Coverage Analysis of Media Coverage Discussion of Media Coverage Penn State Media Responses Statements Messages Personal Opinion Expert Opinion End Result What Penn State Did or Didn’t Do Lessons Learned Interviews What Should Penn State Do Next? 2 3 8 35 38 41 42 54 58 59 60 62 64 69 74 81
November 5, 2011- the day that changed Penn State forever. Media outlets describe the shocking allegations against Jerry Sandusky and the Pennsylvania State University among one of the worse scandals in college sports history. However, a young public relations professional could ask; could that have been avoided if proper measures were taken? I suppose we will never know the true answer. A nightmare in the midst of a deep slumber abruptly ended by a PR crisis of monumental proportions. It can very well be argued that Penn State has failed several groups of people during this crisis: students, parents, faculty, alumni, the news media and the public at large due to their response, or better, lack there of. is scandal is an example of individuals involved not completely understanding the rami cations of their decisions. Not only by Joe Paterno, Mike McQueary, Graham Spanier Gary Schultz and even Jerry Sandusky, but Penn State PR department, you too stand guilty of this charge as well. Crisis communications rule number one: act immediately. By not doing so, the Penn State brand has been forever tainted with horri c images of child abuse. is case study will analyze the ins and outs of the recent events that broke at Penn State in regard to the Sandusky case. Delving into the fashion Penn State decided to handle this crisis, we take a close look into the role the media plays, take opinions from experts, analyze various news stories, calls of movement by students in order to critically consider the track of errors le by Penn State administration in the realm of public relations.
1969 Jerry Sandusky, a starting defensive end at Penn State under Coach Rip Engle from 1963 to 1965, joins Joe Paterno’s coaching sta as the defensive line coach. 1977 Sandusky establishes the Second Mile, a foundation to help needy children. e organization, as described on its Web site, is “committed to helping young people achieve their potential as individuals and as community members and providing education and support for their parents and youth service professionals.” e organization plans activities and programs for the children “to promote self-con dence as well as physical, academic, and personal success.” 1994 A boy identi ed as Victim 7 in the grand jury report meets Sandusky through the Second Mile at about the age of 10. 1994-1995 A boy identi ed as Victim 6 meets Sandusky at a picnic put on by the Second Mile at Spring Creek Park when he is 7 or 8. 1995-1996 Victim 5 meets Sandusky through the Second Mile when he is 7 or 8. 1996-1997 Victim 4 meets Sandusky through the Second Mile when he is 12 or 13. 1996-1998 Victim 5 is taken by Sandusky to the locker rooms and showers at Penn State. He was 8 to 10 years old. Jan. 1, 1998 Victim 4 is listed as a member of the Sandusky family party for the 1998 Outback Bowl.
1998 Victim 6 is taken into the locker rooms and showers at Penn State when he is 11. Victim 6’s mother learns of this and reports it to the university police, who investigate. According to the grand jury report, Schre er and another detective, with the consent of Victim 6’s mother, listen in on two conversations between Sandusky and the mother in May 2008. When the mother confronts Sandusky, he admits to showering with the boy and is told by the mother that he can no longer see the boy. Sandusky replies: “I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.” e local district attorney is given material to consider prosecution. No prosecution is undertaken. e child welfare agency takes no action. And, according to prosecutors, the commander of the university’s campus police force tells his detective, Schre er, to close the case. e case is closed a er District Attorney Ray Gricar decides there will be no criminal charges. May 1999 Penn State Coach Joe Paterno informs Sandusky at a meeting that he will not become the team’s next head coach. Victim 4 later testi es that Sandusky appeared emotionally upset a er the meeting and that he was told by Sandusky to not tell anyone about the meeting. June 1999 Sandusky announces he will retire as defensive coordinator a er the season. He says he wants to work full time for the Second Mile. Sandusky retains extensive privileges on campus, including an o ce in the athletic facility and keys to the locker rooms. Dec. 28, 1999 Victim 4 is listed as a member of the Sandusky family party for the 1999 Alamo Bowl, Sandusky’s nal game as defensive coordinator. Sandusky is said to have threatened to send the boy home a er the child resists sexual advances. Sandusky reportedly guarantees the boy that he can walk on to the eld with Penn State’s football team. e boy is shown with Sandusky in a photograph that appeared in Sports Illustrated. Summer 2000 Victim 3 meets Sandusky through the Second Mile. grade at the time. e boy is between the seventh grade and the eighth
Fall 2000 A janitor, Jim Calhoun, nds Sandusky in the showers of the football building performing oral sex on a boy pinned against a wall. e boy is identi ed as Victim 8 in the grand jury report. e janitor tells a fellow employee of the incident. Calhoun was so upset the other employee thought he was at risk of a heart attack. In the end, no report was made, not by the janitor or the fellow employee he had told, both of whom, according to prosecutors, worried about their job security. e janitor’s supervisor, who also was informed, did not le a report. March 1, 2002 A Penn State graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, enters the locker room in Penn State’s Lasch Football Building at about 9:30 p.m. to put shoes in his locker and pick up some recruiting tapes, according to a grand jury report. McQueary hears “rhythmic, slapping sounds” that he believes are related to sexual activity. He later says under oath that he sees Sandusky raping what appears to be a 10-year-old boy. He immediately leaves and meets with his father and determines he will report the incident to Paterno, according to prosecutors. March 2, 2002 In the morning, McQueary reports what he saw to Paterno at Paterno’s home. In a recent statement, Paterno insisted McQueary did not tell him of the extent of the sexual assault that McQueary said he witnessed, only that McQueary had seen something inappropriate involving Sandusky and a child. “As Coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching sta at the time, I referred the matter to university administrators,” Paterno said in the statement. March 3, 2002 Paterno has the university’s athletic director, Tim Curley, visit him at his home. According to prosecutors, Paterno tells Curley of the report regarding Sandusky. It is unclear what, if anything, Paterno did in the subsequent days or weeks. Paterno’s son Scott later said in an interview that Paterno never spoke to Sandusky about the allegation and that he never seriously pursued the question of whether any action had been taken by the university or any other authorities against Sandusky. March 2002 Mike McQueary, the Penn State graduate assistant who witnessed Sandusky abuse a young boy, is called to a meeting with Curley and Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for nance and business. McQueary reports
what he has seen and is told that the matter will be looked into. March 27, 2002 According to state prosecutors, Curley tells McQueary that Sandusky has been barred from bringing children onto campus. McQueary is never questioned by university police and no other entity conducts an investigation until McQueary testi es to a grand jury in December 2010. 2005-2006 Sandusky meets Victim 1 through the Second Mile. He is 11 or 12 years old. April 2005 Ray Gricar, the former district attorney who chose not to prosecute Sandusky in 1998, disappears. e circumstances are murky: his car is found abandoned, his laptop is recovered months later in a river without a hard drive and his body is never found. Spring 2008 Victim 1 is now a freshman in a Clinton County high school. His mother calls the school to report a sexual assault, and Sandusky, who was a volunteer coach at the school, is barred from the school district. e matter is reported to the authorities. Early 2009 An investigation by the Pennsylvania attorney general begins. Victim 1 tells the authorities that Sandusky has inappropriately touched him several times over a four-year period. September 2010 Sandusky steps down from the Second Mile, saying he wants to spend more time with his family and to handle personal matters. March 2011 e Harrisburg Patriot-News reports that a grand jury is investigating accusations that Sandusky sexually assaulted boys.
Nov. 5, 2011 Sandusky is arrested on charges of sexually abusing eight boys across a 15-year period. He is arraigned and released on $100,000 bail a er being charged with 40 counts related to the sexual abuse of the boys. Tim Curley, the university’s athletic director, and Gary Schultz, the university’s senior vice president for nance and business, are charged with perjury and failure to report to the authorities what they knew of the allegations, as required by state law. Nov. 7, 2011 Penn State announces Curley and Schultz will step down. Curley will take an administrative leave to defend himself against perjury charges, and Schultz will retire. Nov. 9, 2011 Joe Paterno announces he plans to retire at the end of the football season, but the statement is apparently released without the approval of the university’s Board of Trustees. Later in the day the board res Paterno and the university’s president. e Department of Education says it will investigate the university’s handling of the abuse allegations. Nov. 13, 2011 Jack Raykovitz, the chief executive of the Second Mile for 28 years, resigns. Raykovitz’s failure to do more to stop Sandusky had been a focal point of criticism. “I hope that my resignation brings with it the beginning of that restoration of faith in the community of volunteers and sta that, along with the children and families we serve, are the Second Mile,” Raykovitz says in a statement released by the Second Mile. Nov. 14, 2011 Sandusky makes his rst extended public comments since his arrest. In a phone interview with Bob Costas that is broadcast Monday night on “Rock Center,” Sandusky says he was innocent of the charges against him and declared that he was not a pedophile. He did acknowledge, “I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.” Nov. 18, 2011 e New York Times reports that the Second Mile is preparing to fold as it tries to reconstruct what it knew, and did, about any suspicions or allegations against Sandusky over the years.
Up until November, Penn State’s sterling reputation had never been tarnished. So when the news of Sandusky’s arrest got out, the town was unprepared for the media storm that was about to hit. News stations were there to caustically document the grief of a town mourning the loss of their beloved football coach. Reporters from all across the country ocked to State College to get a piece of the action.
November 5, 2011 Former Coach at Penn State Is Charged With Abuse By MARK VIERA A former defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team was arrested Saturday on charges of sexually abusing eight boys across a 15-year period. Jerry Sandusky, 67, who had worked with needy children through his Second Mile foundation, was arraigned and released on $100,000 bail a er being charged with 40 counts related to sexual abuse of young boys. Two top university o cials — Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for nance and business, and Tim Curley, the athletic director — were charged Saturday with perjury and failure to report to authorities what they knew of the allegations, as required by state law. “ is is a case about a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys,” the Pennsylvania attorney general, Linda Kelly, said in a statement. Mr. Sandusky was an assistant defensive coach to Joe Paterno, the coach with the most career victories in major college football, who helped propel Penn State to the top tiers of the sport. Until now, the Big Ten university had one of the most sterling images in college athletics, largely thanks to Mr. Paterno and his success in 46 seasons as head coach. A grand jury said that when Mr. Paterno learned of one allegation of abuse in 2002, he immediately reported it to Mr. Curley. e grand jury did not implicate Mr. Paterno in any wrongdoing, though it was unclear if he ever followed up on his initial conversation with Mr. Curley or tried to alert the authorities himself. Mr. Sandusky’s lawyer said his client had disputed the allegations that prompted a three-year investigation by the attorney general’s o ce. “He has denied the allegations from the outset,” Joseph Amendola, Mr. Sandusky’s lawyer, said in a telephone interview Saturday. “We know the allegations were out there, but we didn’t know what the allegations were. Jerry has mentioned his innocence, and once we are able to go through this, we’ll have more speci c responses.” Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz, the grand jury found, provided false testimony in discussing their response to the 2002 incident. It further found that Mr. Curley committed perjury in repeatedly denying that he had been told that Mr. Sandusky had engaged in sexual misconduct with a child. e university president, Graham B. Spanier, who the grand jury said had been made aware of the 2002 incident, said in a statement that he stood behind the two o cials. “I have known and worked daily with Tim and Gary for more than 16 years,” Mr. Spanier said. “I have complete con dence in how they have handled the allegations about a former university employee.” e grand jury’s report stated that the eight boys were singled out for sexual advances or sexual assaults by Mr. Sandusky between 1994 and 2009. All of the accusers rst encountered him through activities related to the Second Mile, a foundation for needy children that he founded in 1977. He retired from daily involvement with the Second Mile last fall.
“ rough the Second Mile, Sandusky had access to hundreds of boys, many of whom were vulnerable due to their social situations,” the report said. According to the grand jury, the assaults occurred in a variety of locations — Penn State football facilities, Mr. Sandusky’s home, a high school, a golf resort near the university’s State College campus — and none of the boys were thought to be older than 13 when they rst met Mr. Sandusky. e report also detailed the boys’ access to the Penn State football team; Mr. Sandusky retained access to many athletic facilities even a er his retirement in 1999 and had an o ce in the Lasch Football Building. Mr. Sandusky brought one boy to San Antonio for the 1999 Alamo Bowl, according to the report, but threatened to send him home when the boy resisted his sexual advances. He reportedly guaranteed that boy that he could walk on to Penn State’s football team, and the boy was shown in a photograph with him that appeared in Sports Illustrated. Another boy attended as many as 15 football games as Mr. Sandusky’s guest; Mr. Sandusky brought him into a shower on campus and made the boy touch his genitals, the grand jury said. He placed his hands down the pants of another boy who spent the night at Sandusky’s house before home games, the grand jury said. A graduate assistant for the team told the grand jury he alerted Mr. Paterno in 2002 that he had seen Mr. Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in the shower at the Lasch Football Building on the Penn State campus. e graduate student told the grand jury he went to Mr. Paterno’s home the next day and described what he had seen. Mr. Paterno, in turn, told Mr. Curley. About a week and a half later, Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz met with the graduate assistant, then told Mr. Sandusky that he could not bring any children from the Second Mile onto campus, a ban the grand jury said Mr. Curley acknowledged was “unenforceable.” e university o cials did not alert law enforcement, Ms. Kelly said. Mr. Schultz testi ed to the grand jury that there was a similar incident involving a young boy in the football shower with Mr. Sandusky in 1998. e mother of that boy confronted Mr. Sandusky at her home, with two police detectives listening to the conversation. He told the woman, according to testimony by one of the detectives: “I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.” Mr. Schultz, whose position includes oversight of the university police, testi ed that he did not know that the university police produced a lengthy report about the 1998 incident. e grand jury found the assertions by him that the 2002 allegations were “not that serious” and that he and Mr. Curley “had no indication that a crime had occurred” contradictory to other testimony. Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz were each charged with one count of perjury, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 ne, in addition to failure to report. Lawyers for the two men released statements proclaiming their clients’ innocence. Jimmy Kennedy, a defensive tackle for the Giants who played at Penn State from 1999 to 2002, said he was shocked and ba ed by the allegations against Sandusky. Kennedy, who said Sandusky helped recruit him to Penn State, did an internship at Second Mile during his senior season. “I never had any type of idea or suspicions about anything like that,” Kennedy said. “All the kids loved him.”
November 7, 2011 Penn State President Facing Calls for Ouster By WINNIE HU
Among university presidents, Graham B. Spanier is known for having an unusually close rapport with students at Penn State: entertaining them with magic tricks; teaching a leadership class; even stepping in as the school mascot, the Nittany Lion. But now Spanier, 63, a trained family therapist who has written about children and holds a Ph.D. in sociology, faces growing criticism on and o campus about his role in an unfolding scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team who was arrested Saturday on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period. But now Spanier, 63, a trained family therapist who has written about children and who holds a Ph.D. in sociology, faces growing criticism on and o campus about his role in an unfolding scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team. Sandusky was arrested Saturday on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years. Two university o cials have stepped down in the scandal a er they were charged with providing false testimony to a grand jury and failure to report allegations of suspected child abuse. Spanier, who has been president since 1995, was not charged, but a grand jury said that he was made aware of a report of an incident in 2002. Spanier initially released a statement expressing support for the two university o cials, but has not commented further. “ e big question is, exactly what was he told a long time ago?” said Terry Hartle, a senior vice president of the American Council on Education, a nonpro t organization that represents colleges and universities. “Graham would have a professional knowledge of these issues, not just a set of protocols to follow.”
e grand jury report said that Spanier testi ed that the two administrators came to him in 2002 to report an incident involving Sandusky that made a member of the football coaching sta “uncomfortable,” according the grand jury report. “Spanier denied that it was reported to him as an incident that was sexual in nature,” the report said. Debate over Spanier’s actions — or perhaps lack of actions — has angered and puzzled many students, faculty members and alumni. Hundreds of people have signed an online petition and joined Facebook pages calling on Penn State’s board of trustees to re Spanier. “I think everyone here is incredibly hurt and angry and upset at Penn State,” said Lexi Belcul ne, 21, editor-inchief of the school newspaper, e Daily Collegian. “Everyone prides themselves in a big way on the school’s integrity.” But Nicole Holden, 21, a junior majoring in political science, said that she had received invitations all day to join Facebook groups seeking Spanier’s resignation — and had turned them down. “I don’t blame him,” she said. “I think everyone is waiting to learn more about this.” Spanier, who earns $620,000 a year, is one of the highest-paid and longest-serving university presidents in the nation, at a time when the average tenure is about eight and half years, according to the American Council on Education. Spanier, who once ran with the bulls in Pamplona wearing a Penn State T-shirt, is quoted on the university Web site as saying: “I consider the Penn State presidency to be the single most attractive leadership position in American higher education.”Dr. Spanier previously served as chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, provost and vice president for academic a airs at Oregon State University and vice provost for undergraduate studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. By many accounts, he has been a responsive president who attends every meeting of the Faculty Senate and stands patiently at a podium elding questions for as long as an hour. He is a regular at college games — not just football but also basketball, and women’s volleyball, among others — and has helped students move into their dorm rooms. He invitesstudents to hear him play a washboard in a local band. Spanier, an engaging speaker, has also been an active fund-raiser for the university, and is credited with raising the academic pro le of a university long known as a party school. He and his wife, Sandra, a prominent English professor at Penn State, have donated more than $1 million to Penn State; they are to be honored at an annual scholarship dinner on Wednesday night. But Dr. Spanier’s administration has also come under criticism from some students for banning student drinking in undergraduate dorms and failing to stave o recent tuition increases. Jay Belsky, who worked closely with Spanier in the late 1970s when they were both on the faculty at Penn State, recalled that Spanier was so deeply interested in young people that when they went to the movies together, he would grill students in line about their majors and careers. “ is is just who the man is: somebody who has always been interested in undergraduate education,” said Belsky, now a professor of human development at the University of California at Davis. “I hope to God there’s some decent explanation to what looks like protecting the Penn State brand and a lapse in judgment.”
November 7, 2011 State O cials Blast Penn State in Sandusky Case By PETE THAMEL STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — e Pennsylvania attorney general and the state police commissioner excoriated Penn State o cials on Monday for failing over several years to alert the authorities to possible sexual abuse of young boys by a prominent football assistant. ey said the university employees who declined to report the incidents to the police put countless more children at risk of being abused by Jerry Sandusky, the longtime assistant who has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span, including during his tenure as an assistant at Penn State. Frank Noonan, the police commissioner who spent more than 30 years with the F.B.I. and the attorney general’s o ce, said the nature of the alleged incidents was unprecedented in his experience. Even a er Sandusky “made admissions about inappropriate contact in the shower room” in 1998 to the Penn State campus police, “Nothing happened,” Noonan said. “Nothing stopped.” He said that janitors witnessed a sexual act in the football facility’s showers two years later, and still “nothing changed, nothing stopped,” because the janitors feared for their jobs and did not report the incident. en, in 2002, according to prosecutors, another sex act involving Sandusky and a young boy was witnessed by a Penn State graduate assistant coach, who reported it to Coach Joe Paterno — yet the police still were not contacted. “ at’s very unusual,” Noonan said Monday at a news conference at the Capitol in Harrisburg where he and Linda Kelly, the attorney general, summarized the cases against Sandusky and two university o cials. “I don’t think I’ve ever been associated with a case where that type of eyewitness identi cation of sex acts taking place where the police weren’t called. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like that before.” rough his lawyer, Sandusky has maintained his innocence. Two Penn State o cials charged with perjury in their grand jury testimony and failing to report the suspected sexual abuse surrendered Monday, a day a er they stepped down from their positions. e o cials — Tim Curley, 57, the athletic director; and Gary Schultz, 62, the vice president for business and nance who oversaw the university police — were not required to enter a plea. ey have denied any wrongdoing, and their lawyers are expected to seek to have the charges dismissed. “I think you have the moral responsibility,” Noonan said. “Anyone — not whether you’re a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building — I think you have a moral responsibility to call us.” When asked if there might be more victims beyond the eight children mentioned in the grand jury report, Kelly said, “When you look at the totality of the circumstances and the number of victims that we have, I don’t think it would be beyond the realm of possibility that there are other victims that exist here.” She and Noonan encouraged any other possible victims to contact the attorney general’s o ce. Kelly said Paterno had cooperated with investigators and ful lled his legal obligation to pass the information to a superior when, in 2002, the graduate assistant told him about an incident involving Sandusky that he had witnessed in the football facility’s showers. Paterno is not considered a target of the investigation at this point, Kelly said.
A er the graduate assistant told Paterno, Curley and Schultz about what he had seen, Curley briefed the university president, according to the grand jury report. No one at the university alerted the police or pursued the matter to determine the well-being of the child involved. In fact, Kelly said Monday, the identity of that child remains unknown. “ ose o cials and administrators to whom it was reported did not report that incident to law enforcement or to any child protective agency,” Kelly said. “ eir inaction, likely, allowed a child predator to continue to victimize children for many, many years.” According to prosecutors, Sandusky preyed on young boys he met through the charity he founded years earlier, the Second Mile, which was designed to help disadvantaged boys. e charity released a statement Monday that said that Curley had told the organization’s chief executive in 2002 about the report from the graduate assistant, but that the matter had been reviewed internally and no wrongdoing was found. “At no time was the Second Mile made aware of the very serious allegations contained in the grand jury report,” the statement said. e grand jury report has no mention of an internal review of the incident by Penn State. According to prosecutors, Penn State could have halted the abuse in 1998, when Sandusky was an assistant for Paterno. A mother of an 11-year-old boy Sandusky had befriended at his charity reported to the campus police that her son had been touched and held by Sandusky in a shower at the football facility. Prosecutors said an investigation — which grew to include allegations about a second young child being similarly touched by Sandusky in a shower — was carried out by the campus police. When asked whether Paterno or the university president, Graham B. Spanier, was aware in 1998 of the investigation, Kelly said, “All I can say was that investigation was handled by Penn State University’s police department.” Paterno’s son Scott said in a telephone interview Sunday that Paterno had not been aware of the 1998 investigation. Gerald Lauro investigated the 1998 allegation for child protective services. He said he did not nd enough evidence of sexual assault to determine that the charge was founded. “I did my investigation and I based my determination on all the available evidence,” he said. Noonan, a former chief investigator at the attorney general’s o ce, said the methods Sandusky was suspected of using were common in these types of investigations. He said it was known as “grooming” victims, in which an adult identi es a child, becomes a mentor, gives him gi s and establishes trust. Prosecutors say he took many of the boys to campus to visit the team’s eld and eat in the dining hall, and took them on trips to postseason games. Even a er the 2002 incident that Paterno, Curley, Schultz and Spanier were told about, it appears the university continued to allow Sandusky on campus. And as recently as 2009, the university system was promoting the Sandusky Football Camp, a four-day, three-night clinic held at Penn State campuses in Erie and Harrisburg, according to an advertisement for the camp published Monday by Deadspin.
November 8, 2011 Penn State Said to Be Planning Paterno Exit Amid Scandal By MARK VIERA and PETE THAMEL STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Joe Paterno’s tenure as the coach of the Penn State football team will soon be over, perhaps within days or weeks, in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal that has implicated university o cials, according to two people briefed on conversations among the university’s top o cials. e Board of Trustees has yet to determine the precise timing of Mr. Paterno’s exit, but it is clear that the man who has more victories than any other coach at college football’s top level and who made Penn State a prestigious national brand will not coach another season. Discussions about how to manage his departure have begun, according to the two people. uled to meet on Friday, and Gov. Tom Corbett will attend. e board is sched-
Penn State is scheduled to play its last home contest of the season — its traditional senior day game — one day later, against Nebraska. Mr. Paterno’s day-to-day status with the program could be a ected by the state attorney general’s investigation into the sexual abuse allegations. In explaining his actions, Mr. Paterno has publicly said he was not told of the graphic nature of a suspected 2002 assault by Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant, of a young boy in the football building’s showers. Mr. Paterno said the graduate assistant who reported the assault, Mike McQueary, said only that something disturbing had happened that was perhaps sexual in nature. But on Tuesday, a person with knowledge of Mr. McQueary’s version of events called Mr. Paterno’s claim into question. e person said Mr. McQueary had told those in authority the explicit details of what he saw, including in his face-to-face meeting with Mr. Paterno the day a er the incident. Mr. Paterno’s son Scott, who has acted as a family spokesman, and his lawyer, Joshua D. Lock, did not respond to interview requests Tuesday. Mr. Paterno was to have held a news conference Tuesday, but the university canceled it less than an hour before it was scheduled to begin. Leaving his house on his way to the football team’s practice, he told reporters: “I know you guys have a lot of questions. I was hoping I could answer them today. We’ll try to do it as soon as we can.” On Tuesday night, the Board of Trustees released a statement saying it was “outraged by the horrifying details” in the grand jury’s report on the case and promised it would take “swi , decisive action.” It said it planned to appoint a special committee to undertake a “full and complete investigation.” In his 46th season as the Penn State head coach, Mr. Paterno, 84, has had an extraordinary run of success: one that produced tens of millions of dollars and two national football championships for the university and established him as a revered leader in sports, but one that will end with a stunning and humiliating nal chapter. Mr. Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator under Mr. Paterno, has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys across a 15-year period. A er leaving the football program following the 1999 season, Mr. Sandusky worked with Second Mile, a foundation he established to help needy children. Mr. Paterno has been widely criticized for failing to involve the police when he learned of the 2002 incident involving the young boy.
Additionally, two top university o cials — Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for nance and business, and Tim Curley, the athletic director — were charged with perjury and failure to report to the authorities what they knew of the allegations, as required by state law. Since Mr. Sandusky’s arrest Saturday, o cials at Penn State — notably its president, Graham B. Spanier, and Mr. Paterno — have come under withering criticism for a failure to act adequately a er learning, at di erent points over the years, that Mr. Sandusky might have been abusing children. Newspapers have called for their resignations; prosecutors have suggested their inaction led to more children being harmed by Mr. Sandusky; and students and faculty at the university have expressed a mix of disgust and confusion, and a hope that much of what prosecutors have charged is not true. Mr. Paterno has not been charged in the matter, but his failure to report to the authorities what he knew about the 2002 incident has become a ashpoint, stirring anger on the board and an outpouring of public criticism about his handling of the matter. On Monday, law-enforcement o cials said that Mr. Paterno had met his legal obligation in alerting his superiors at the university when he learned of the 2002 allegation against Mr. Sandusky. But they suggested he might well have failed a moral test for what to do when confronted with such a disturbing allegation involving a child not even in his teens. No one at the university alerted the police or pursued the matter to determine the wellbeing of the child involved. e identity of that child remains unknown, according to Linda Kelly, Pennsylvania’s attorney general. In recent days, Mr. Paterno has lost the support of many board members, according to the two people who have been briefed on their conversations. at development illustrates a decisive shi in the power structure at the university. In 2004, for instance, Mr. Paterno brushed o a request by the university president that he step down. He still has the support of some fans. Late Tuesday, hundreds gathered outside Mr. Paterno’s home, chanting Paterno’s name and “We are Penn State!” “Joe’s been here half a century,” said Pam Dorian, 22, a senior from West Chester, Pa. “I feel like if there’s anyone we can trust, it’s him.” Addressing the crowd alongside family members, Mr. Paterno said: “I’ve lived for this place. I’ve lived for people like you guys and girls. It’s hard for me to say how much this means. “As you know, the kids that were the victims, I think we ought to say a prayer for them.” What separated Mr. Paterno from many of his coaching peers was that he had great success, with few questions about how he ran the program. Penn State’s high graduation rates and education- rst ideals, known as the Grand Experiment, became as synonymous with the program as its plain uniforms and dominating defenses. e reputations of the coach and the university have changed abruptly this week in light of the allegations. On Monday, just hours a er Ms. Kelly described at a news conference how university o cials were suspected of failing to alert the authorities to multiple allegations of sexual abuse on campus, the university distributed a memo to members of the news media con rming that Mr. Paterno planned to hold his usual Tuesday news conference and emphasizing that he would talk only about the coming game against Nebraska. Now it is unclear whether Mr. Paterno will still be the coach for that game.
November 9, 2011 Paterno Is Finished at Penn State, and President Is Out By MARK VIERA
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Joe Paterno, who has the most victories of any coach in major college football history, was red by Penn State on Wednesday night in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal involving a prominent former assistant coach and the university’s failure to act to halt further harm. Graham B. Spanier, one of the longest-serving and highest-paid university presidents in the nation, who has helped raise the academic pro le of Penn State during his tenure, was also removed by the Board of Trustees. When the announcement was made at a news conference that the 84-year-old Mr. Paterno would not coach another game, a gasp went up from the crowd of several hundred reporters, students and camera people who were present. “We thought that because of the di culties that engulfed our university, and they are grave, that it is necessary to make a change in the leadership to set a course for a new direction,” said John Surma Jr., the vice chairman of the board. e university’s most senior o cials were clearly seeking to halt the humiliating damage caused by the arrest last Saturday of the former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky. Mr. Sandusky had been a key part of the football program, but prosecutors have said he was a serial pedophile who was allowed to add victims over the years in part because the university he had served was either unable or unwilling to stop him. Mr. Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span, and two top university o cials — Tim Curley, the athletic director, and Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for nance and busi ness — have been charged with perjury and failing to report to authorities what they knew of the allegations.
Neither Mr. Paterno nor Mr. Spanier was charged in the case, though questions have been raised about if they did as much as they could to stop Mr. Sandusky. Mr. Paterno had announced earlier Wednesday that he planned to retire at the end of the football season, but the statement was apparently released without the approval of the board. “At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status,” Mr. Paterno said in his statement. “ ey have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can. is is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the bene t of hindsight, I wish I had done more.” Yet the board unanimously declined to let him nish out the season, his 46th as the head football coach and his 62nd over all at the college. e defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will take over as interim head coach. Mr. Paterno was told of his ring by telephone, according to Mr. Surma, who is the chief executive of U.S. Steel. Late Wednesday night, Mr. Paterno issued another statement. “I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees’ decision, but I have to accept it. “A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value,” he said in the statement. “ is university is a large and complex institution, and although I have always acted honorably and in the best interest of the university, the buck stops here,” Mr. Spanier said in a statement. “In this situation, I believe it is in the best interest of the university to give my successor a clear path to resolve the issues before us.” Rodney A. Erickson, the executive vice president and provost, will serve as acting president. A er the announcements about Mr. Spanier and Mr. Paterno, the news conference immediately took on a frenzied and somewhat vitriolic tenor. Angry questions were shouted at Mr. Surma, who responded to them while the other board members sat behind him and to his sides. One cameraman repeatedly said, “Your campus is going to burn tonight.” e scandal, and the fallout from it, has le Penn State’s normally placid campus in a state of shock. Scores of students poured into the streets downtown in the immediate a ermath of the news conference. Many held up cellphones to take pictures and others blew vuvuzelas and air horns. A few climbed lampposts, tried to topple street signs and knocked over trash cans. Others set o recrackers from the roofs of buildings, and a television news truck was ipped on its side. A lamppost was torn down and police pepper-sprayed some in the crowd. “I just don’t think it’s right that JoePa’s losing his job,” Corey Davis, a 23-year-old senior studying international politics, said. “All the facts aren’t out, we don’t even know he’s done anything wrong. Joe’s the fall guy.” Kathryn Simpson, 20, a junior studying graphic design, was weeping as she walked away from the university’s administration building, Old Main, with a friend. “ is is devastating for us,” she said. “I never in a million years thought I’d see this.”
A number of students went to the coach’s house, where Mr. Paterno and his wife, Sue, spoke with them.
Dressed in a baggy gray pullover sweater, Mr. Paterno waved his hand and started to walk back inside. A student yelled, “We are Penn State,” the frequent rallying cry. Mr. Paterno stopped and turned around to say: “ at’s right. We are Penn State, don’t ever forget it.” Many students have shown their support for Mr. Paterno with large rallies outside his home and at Old Main. A er he was red, thousands of people gathered in front of the administration building, throwing objects and chanting “We want Joe!” A grand jury said that Mr. Spanier, the university’s president since 1995, was made aware of a report of an incident involving Mr. Sandusky. Upon learning about a suspected 2002 assault by Mr. Sandusky on a young boy in the football building’s showers, Mr. Paterno redirected the graduate assistant who witnessed the incident to the athletic director, rather than notifying the police. Mr. Paterno said the graduate assistant who reported the assault, Mike McQueary, said only that something disturbing had happened that was perhaps sexual in nature. Mr. McQueary testi ed that he saw Mr. Sandusky having anal sex with the boy. e Department of Education announced Wednesday that it would investigate the university’s handling of the abuse allegations. Mr. Paterno has had a contentious relationship with some members of the Board of Trustees. In 2004, Mr. Spanier, Mr. Curley and select board members twice went to his house in e orts to get him to retire. Mr. Paterno declined, and the moment was looked at in the narrative of Paterno’s career as an instance of his overcoming adversity. He revived the program, including victories in the Orange Bowl over Florida State in the 2005 season and the Outback Bowl over Tennessee in the 2006 season. Mr. Spanier, 63, has helped to raise the academic prestige of Penn State during his tenure. A trained therapist with a Ph.D. in sociology, he was known among the students for playing the washboard with local bands and performing magic tricks at certain functions. Yet it was Mr. Paterno who remained the public face of the university. He met with his team Wednesday in a gathering that players described as emotional. Stephon Morris, a junior cornerback, said Paterno was near tears when he told the team he was leaving. “I’ve never seen Coach Paterno like that in my life,” Mr. Morris said. Still, Mr. Paterno’s talk was not all about the turmoil. Mr. Morris said Mr. Paterno’s main message was “Beat Nebraska,” referring to Penn State’s next opponent. When he le , his players gave him a standing ovation.
November 10, 2011 Penn State Students Clash With Police in Unrest A er Announcement By NATE SCHWEBER STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — A er top Penn State o cials announced that they had red Joe Paterno on Wednesday night, thousands of students stormed the downtown area to display their anger and frustration, chanting the former coach’s name, tearing down light poles and overturning a television news van parked along College Avenue. e demonstrators congregated outside Penn State’s administration building before stampeding into the tight grid of downtown streets. ey turned their ire on a news van, a symbolic gesture that expressed a view held by many: that the news media had exaggerated Mr. Paterno’s role in the scandal surrounding accusations that a former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, sexually assaulted young boys. “I think the point people are trying to make is the media is responsible for JoePa going down,” said a freshman, Mike Clark, 18, adding that he believed that Mr. Paterno had met his legal and moral responsibilities by telling university authorities about an accusation that Mr. Sandusky assaulted a boy in a university shower in 2002. Demonstrators tore down two lampposts, one falling into a crowd. ey also threw rocks and reworks at the police, who responded with pepper spray. e crowd undulated like an accordion, with the students crowding the police and the o cers pushing them back. An orderly crowd rst lled the lawn in front of Old Main when news of Mr. Paterno’s ring came via students’ cellphones. When the crowd took to the downtown streets, its anger and intensity swelled. Students shouted, “We are Penn State.” Some blew vuvuzelas, others air horns. One young man sounded reveille on a trumpet. Four girls in heels danced on the roof of a parked sport utility vehicle and dented it when they fell a er a group of men shook the vehicle. A few, like Justin Muir, 20, a junior studying hotel and restaurant management, threw rolls of toilet paper into the trees. “It’s not fair,” said Mr. Muir, hurling a white ribbon. “ service to the student population.” e board is an embarrassment to our school and a dis-
Just before midnight, the police lost control of the crowd. Chanting, “Tip the van,” the students toppled the news vehicle and then brought down a nearby lamppost. When the police opened up with pepper spray, some in the crowd responded by hurling rocks, cans of soda and ares. ey also tore down street signs, tipped over trash cans and newspaper vending boxes and shattered car windows. Some students noted the irony of their coming out to oppose what they saw as a disgraceful end to Mr. Paterno’s distinguished career and then adding to the ignobility of the episode by starting an unruly protest. Greg Becker, 19, a freshman studying computer science, said he felt as if he had to vent his feelings anyway. “ is de nitely looks bad for our school,” he said, sprinting away from a cloud of pepper spray. “I’m sure JoePa wouldn’t want this, but this is just an uproar now. We’re nding a way to express our anger.”
As the crowd got more aggressive, so did police o cers. Some protesters fought back. One man in a gas mask rushed half a dozen police o cers in protective gear, blasted one o cer with pepper spray underneath his safety mask, and then sprinted away. e o cer lay on the ground, rubbing his eyes Other students expressed sadness instead of anger. Kathryn Simpson walked arm-in-arm with a friend, crying. “I’m here because I just need to be with the rest of my school right now,” she said. “ is is devastating for us.”
When the unrest began, a merchant, Douglas Albert, stood outside his downtown shop, Douglas Albert Gallery, to keep it safe. “I’ve been in State College for 42 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said, looking at the overturned news van, on which one young man was dancing. “ is is uncharted waters.” Students pounded on the sides of upright news vans, and as o cers herded them down the street they shouted, “Flip it over!” Some took o their shirts and tied them around their mouths for protection from the fog of pepper spray, which le countless students hacking. A few wore ski goggles. Many climbed on the tops of parked cars, denting and sinking the roofs, to get a better view of the spectacle. e police nally dispersed the crowd by around 1:30 a.m. by marching, a dozen abreast, down College Avenue shouting and spraying any students who did not hustle away. Soon State Police cruisers could speed down the street toward a backhoe that had been procured to ip the news van back upright. Mixed in the crowd were a few dissenting opinions. Dan Smith, 21, a junior studying secondary education, said he thought the board was correct. “ e hardest part, because he was a hero to me, is coming to grips with what he did, or actually what he didn’t do,” Mr. Smith said. Like Mr. Smith, Kevin Go , 19, a freshman studying lm, did not protest Mr. Paterno’s ring. He came out just to see the show. “My friends were like, ‘I don’t want to get Maced,’ ” he said. “I was like, ‘I don’t want to miss seeing this, so I guess that means I do kind of want to get Maced.’ ”
November 11, 2011 Penn State O cials, Including Paterno, Could Face Civil Lawsuits By BILL PENNINGTON STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — It may take years, but Penn State, its administrators and possibly even the former coach Joe Paterno could be the targets of civil lawsuits seeking extensive monetary damages once the criminal case against a former assistant coach is concluded, trial lawyers with experience in similar cases said Friday. “People say there might eventually be 20 victims identi ed in this case, but who knows if the number might not be 200?” said Michael Dowd, a New York lawyer who has represented hundreds of child abuse clients. “ e damages sought could total $100 million.” Other lawyers with experience in civil lawsuits agreed that Penn State was vulnerable because it appeared to have had warnings that the former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was suspected of preying on children and did not meaningfully act to prevent it. “ e damage to the victims is so profound — pain, su ering and perhaps lifetime injuries — that juries usually are unbridled as to how to calculate the damages,” said Harold Goodman, a Philadelphia lawyer who has represented multiple clients in similar cases. “ e damages are likely to be immense.” ere were, however, law experts who saw obstacles to civil cases against the university and its employees. “It’s a huge uphill battle to collect from the state,” said Saul Levmore, a professor and former dean at the University of Chicago Law School. “Plainti lawyers love to jump up and down about $100 million settlements, but there are a lot of hurdles in the way to that.” Doriane Coleman, a professor at the Duke University School of Law, said that unlike the Catholic Church, which was the target of previous child abuse lawsuits, Penn State is a state institution and thereby should be protected by a doctrine known as sovereign immunity, which in essence protects state entities — and possibly state employees acting in the normal course of their jobs — from tort claims. “I see this as very di cult to overcome,” Coleman said. Generally, civil proceedings begin only a er the criminal case has reached its conclusion. Current Pennsylvania statute of limitations restrictions allow a victim of child abuse to le a civil claim until the victim is 30 years old, although that law was amended in 2002 when the age limit was 20. It does not appear that the change will a ect any of the victims recently identi ed in the Sandusky grand jury investigation. But if there are additional victims who come forward, the age limit could keep them from being eligible to le civil claims depending on their ages and the years that the assaults occurred. Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span, including at least one in the football complex locker room. Two top Penn State o cials — Tim Curley, the athletic director, and Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for nance and business — have been charged with perjury and failing to report to the authorities what they knew of the allegations. Neither Paterno nor Graham B. Spanier, who was removed Wednesday as university president, was charged in the case, although questions have been raised about whether they did as much as they could to stop Sandusky.
“ ere are certainly elements of a cover-up or something like a conspiracy,” said Stephen Rubino, a New Jersey lawyer who began specializing in clergy sexual abuse litigation in the late 1980s. “ e university president went out of his way to support two of the principals on the day of their arrests. “If Penn State was smart it would spend whatever it takes to nd the victims, settle with them, provide treatment and begin rebuilding the image of the university as a place where the safety of children was put above the football program.” Rubino also said he believed Paterno could be named in civil lawsuits. “Yes, he’s got vulnerability,” he said. “He’s the head coach. It was his locker room. It was his program and his assistant football coach.” e consensus from other lawyers and law experts was that Paterno could be exposed to a lawsuit from one or more of Sandusky’s suspected victims, but it would be a case that hinged on the detailed speci cs of what Paterno knew and when he knew it. On the issue of sovereign immunity for Penn State and its employees, Gerald McHugh Jr., a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, said that because the Pennsylvania university system is structured di erently than those in most other states, Penn State is categorized as a state-sponsored institution and would not be a orded the immunity defense. Deliberations in the Pennsylvania law community have already begun on whether university o cials were legally required to report the allegations and eyewitness testimony about Sandusky to law enforcement authorities since Penn State is not an institution that supervises children.
November 12, 2011 100,000 Football Fans at Penn State Cheer, but the Mood Is Numb By BILL PENNINGTON STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — e tone for a Saturday football game under a bright sun was born in the darkness of a Friday night vigil at the epicenter of the Penn State campus. Spread across a grassy plain yards from the streets where demonstrators clashed with the police days earlier, several thousand students gathered holding lighted candles, a quickly organized rally in support of sexual abuse victims that concluded when a university bell tower chimed 10 times to mark the hour. About 12 hours later, more than 100,000 fans descended on Beaver Stadium for Penn State’s game with Nebraska, arriving in a mood that was less than celebratory and noticeably subdued. For decades, fall Saturdays at Penn State have provided a chance to see Joe Paterno lead one of the nation’s most successful football programs. On this day, however, it was an opportunity to witness the extended university community wrestling with its conscience. e ritualistic tailgating went on as usual — adults drank beer and children threw footballs back and forth — but the numbing e ects of a wrenching week of shock, scandal, resignations and recrimination were evident at every turn. John Matko, a Penn State graduate, stood near the players’ entrance holding a handmade sign that read, “It’s not about wins and losses, cancel this game!” Matko, 34, had driven from his Pittsburgh home. “I decided last night that I couldn’t just watch this game on TV like nothing happened,” he said. “I had to come here and take a stand for the children.” ousands of ticket-holders passed Matko in the pregame hours. A few stopped to take pictures of him and his sign. One or two shook his hand. roughout the day, some o ered dissent. Not far from Matko, another sign was propped on the ground against a box: “Penn State is bigger than football.” Volunteers from a nearby sexual violence resource center were handing out pamphlets titled, “You Can Be a Hero; Step In, Stop Abuse.” A week before Saturday’s game, when Penn State was still rejoicing over Paterno’s record-setting 409th coaching victory as the patriarchal symbol of the university, his former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with 40 counts related to the sexual abuse of boys. Two top Penn State o cials — Tim Curley, the athletic director, and Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for nance and business — were charged with perjury and failing to report to the authorities what they knew of the child abuse allegations against Sandusky. Within days, Paterno was red and Graham B. Spanier, the longtime university president, was removed from o ce. While neither was charged in the case, questions have been raised about whether they did as much as they could have done to stop Sandusky. And so, Saturday’s 17-14 loss was the rst game since 1965 in which Paterno was not the head coach of a football team that has acted as symbol and proud identity for this state. Paterno rst came to Penn State in 1950 as an assistant.
Many students went to the game dressed as Paterno, with pants legs rolled up, white socks and thick-framed black eyeglasses on their noses. Hundreds wore T-shirts that read “Joe Knows Football,” and thousands greeted the team buses arriving at the stadium. Many of those fans went out of their way to salute Jay Paterno, Joe’s son, who is the quarterbacks coach. Jay Paterno took his father’s customary seat on the bus and emerged from it high- ving fans and pumping his st. “I think Joe got a terrible deal,” Frank Lorah, who has been coming to Penn State games for 30 years, said as he walked toward the stadium Saturday morning. “He’s done more for this institution than anyone else and made a name for it. I hope Sandusky rots in jail, but I don’t think Joe deserves this. “ e only thing I can think of is Joe sitting at home for the rst time in 62 years.”
Paterno announced Friday that he would not attend the game. At his small ranch house just o the campus, two sport utility vehicles were parked in the driveway Saturday. A few fans gathered nearby, as did three television cameramen. A homemade sign saying “We love you, Joe, thank you” had been placed on the lawn. “It’s a somber mood,” Brad Kanarr, 31, of Perkiomenville, Pa., said as he stood near Paterno’s home. “Everyone is having a good time out tailgating, throwing footballs and stu , but out here, as soon as you turn onto this road, the feel is so di erent.” Near the track facility a few hundred yards from Beaver Stadium, about 200 former Penn State football players conducted an 8 a.m. meeting to discuss the week’s events. LaVar Arrington, an all-American linebacker at Penn State who played in the N.F.L., described the meeting as “a call to action.” “We just have to come together and get through this,” he continued. “We have to have the resolve and the sensitivity and the heart to get through this.” Inside the stadium, minutes before the game, rather than the usual bull rush sprint onto the eld, the Penn State players walked from an end zone tunnel hand in hand through a corridor formed by members of the Penn State band and the Football Lettermen Club. A moment of silence just before kicko was dedicated to victims of child abuse. e band led the fans, most of them dressed in blue — a color linked with child abuse awareness — in the university’s alma mater. en both teams gathered at the center of the eld, and the players dropped to one knee as the crowd fell silent. More than 100,000 hardly made a sound for 60 seconds. en the fans began rhythmic clapping, cheering as the players rose and dispersed to their sidelines. Within minutes, the opening kicko was in the air and the crowd was in full throat. By game’s end, when a gritty Penn State comeback fell short in the nal moments, the fans paused brie y as if absorbing the loss. en they united in a sustained ovation as the teams le the eld. Earlier Saturday, at a bus stop in State College, students waited anxiously for transport to the game with a melancholy mix of school pride and concern. “It’s going to be emotional,” said Shane Rupert, a 21-year-old senior attending his nal home game as a student. “Of course, Joe and the kids — the victims — are going to be in our hearts and minds. We’re going to support our school and show the nation that we are a respectable institution.”
November 27, 2011 COLLEGE FOOTBALL; SPOTLIGHT; ESPN should have hit mute button BY MIKE HISERMAN Sometimes announcers need to be saved from themselves, so you have to wonder why ESPN producers at the Penn State-Wisconsin game Saturday weren’t whispering -- or screaming -- in Sean McDonough’s ear. With less than ve minutes to play and the Badgers routing the Nittany Lions, 45-7, McDonough -- and we’re giving him the bene t of the doubt here -- sought to ll air time. Unfortunately, he did it by turning Penn State apologist in trying to make a case for interim Coach Tom Bradley taking over the program on a permanent basis. McDonough started by noting that new university President Rodney Erickson had “worked alongside” Graham Spanier, the president the school purged when it also red iconic football coach Joe Paterno. McDonough continued: “So if the argument against Tom Bradley is ... he was there, he must have known. Why doesn’t the same apply to Rod Erickson? Or why doesn’t it apply to [acting Athletic Director] Dave Joyner? He’s been a trustee for more than a decade. “It’s a small town. People talk. Why didn’t he know? If we’re going to give him the bene t of the doubt and not holding that against him, why would it be di erent from Tom Bradley?” McDonough went on, but for these purposes we’ll stop him there and answer his question. Why would it be di erent for Tom Bradley? Because neither Erickson nor Joyner were working at Penn State’s football facility, side by side, every day of the week for years, with a person who has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing children -- at least one of the alleged acts taking place in a shower not far from the coaches’ o ces. Bradley and other members of the Penn State sta have said they knew nothing about former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky’s alleged unlawful acts, but that’s not the point. e point is that Penn State, in order to be taken seriously, needs to clean house. Before Sandusky retired and Bradley replaced him as coordinator, Bradley was a defensive assistant working under his direction. Later, McDonough added: “I wonder if people will be concerned about what the investigation might reveal about who else in the football program might have known about this, and if that’s a factor.” Gee, ya think?
November 30, 2011 U.S. News: Sandusky Accuser to Testify --- Former Penn State Coach Could Face Alleged Victims at Dec. 13 Open Hearing By Kris Maher An attorney representing a boy who accused former Pennsylvania State University football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse said his client and other alleged victims planned to testify at a hearing in two weeks, marking the rst time they would publicly confront Mr. Sandusky. Michael Boni, an attorney in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., said Tuesday his teenage client, who made his initial allegation to youth-services o cials in 2008, planned to appear at a Dec. 13 preliminary hearing for Mr. Sandusky in Centre County Court. However, Mr. Sandusky could waive his right to the open hearing. Mr. Boni’s client is known as Victim 1 in a grand-jury report issued by the Pennsylvania attorney general earlier this month. e attorney general charged Mr. Sandusky with 40 criminal counts related to alleged abuse of eight boys over a 15-year period, a er meeting them through a charity he founded called the Second Mile. Mr. Sandusky has said he is innocent of all charges. Until recently, the boy attended Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall, Pa., but he transferred to another school a er being bullied, according to people familiar with the situation. e school has declined to comment because of the criminal case. Mr. Boni said he and Philadelphia attorney Slade McLaughlin were hired last week to represent the boy and his mother. e lawyers plan to le civil litigation, Mr. McLaughlin said, but not until the criminal case is concluded. Mr. Boni named Mr. Sandusky, the Second Mile charity, Penn State and “a number of individuals” as potential defendants. “ ey’re certainly within our crosshairs,” Mr. Boni said. Mr. Boni said he did not anticipate that there would be an impediment to suing Penn State because it is a public university. He noted that Penn State has an independent board of trustees and is not an arm of the state the way other schools are. “ ere’s Pennsylvania appellate case law that has found that Penn State is not entitled to sovereign immunity,” he said. A Penn State spokesman couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Tuesday. A Second Mile spokesman declined to comment on potential civil lawsuits. e charity added that it was focused on cooperating with law enforcement and saving its programs. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families,” it said. Mr. Boni said the media glare surrounding the case has taken an emotional toll on the boy and his mother, and that recent remarks by Mr. Sandusky’s lawyer, Joseph Amendola of State College, Pa., added to this burden. In recent media interviews, Mr. Amendola said that he believed that Victim 1 made up the allegations against Mr. Sandusky, and that he has evidence to refute other alleged victims’ claims in the grand-jury report. “ e statements issued by Mr. Sandusky and his attorney have caused tremendous emotional hardship to both of my clients. ey have been devastated by these accusations and hurtful remarks,” Mr. Boni said. Mr. Amendola didn’t return a call requesting comment on his remarks or a possible civil case.
Separately, on Monday, Second Mile said it was now asking its donors to direct contributions to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, a group that works to eliminate sexual violence. Second Mile said it was continuing to review three options -- continuing to operate, transferring programs to another nonpro t, or closing altogether -- but that its December programs would continue. “E ective immediately, we ask that you join us in this commitment to sexual-abuse survivors by sending your donations to PCAR to support sexual-abuse prevention, as well as the counseling needs of sexual-abuse victims,” the charity wrote. “ e events reported over the past few weeks have saddened and horri ed us; we are determined to do all we can to help the survivors with the healing process,” the group wrote. Second Mile also is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit that asked a judge to prevent it from transferring any nancial assets. Last week, lawyers who said they represent one of the alleged victims led a suit in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia seeking an injunction, because alleged victims of abuse might seek monetary damages from the nonpro t. Attorneys for Second Mile have argued that the plainti s’ complaint should be denied on numerous grounds, including that there has yet to be a lawsuit brought seeking damages, that there are no facts supporting allegations that the charity is “dissipating” its assets, and that the suit was brought in the wrong jurisdiction. e plainti s lawyers didn’t return calls seeking comment on Tuesday. Credit: By Kris Maher (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Reproduced with permission of copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.
November 25, 2011 U.S. News: Lawyers in Abuse Case Question Testimony By John Miller Attorneys representing two Pennsylvania State University o cials charged in connection with the child-sexabuse scandal are questioning the credibility of a key government witness, Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary. ey want to know whether he has received immunity for testifying and if the government has interviewed him about recent statements that are inconsistent with his testimony. Mr. McQueary testi ed that he witnessed Jerry Sandusky sexually assault a boy in the shower of a Penn State locker room on March 1, 2002, according to a grand jury presentment released by the state attorney general’s o ce. Mr. Sandusky, a former assistant Penn State football coach, has been charged with molesting eight boys over a 15-year period. He denies the charges. Mr. McQueary, who hasn’t been charged in the investigation, also testi ed that he told former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno about the incident and later described the event to two other university o cials. e two o cials, Tim Curley, the university’s former athletic director, and former vice president Gary Schultz each have been charged with one count of perjury in connection with their grand jury testimony and one count of failure to report sexual abuse. Both men have denied the charges through their attorneys and haven’t commented on the case or the charges. A letter sent by their lawyers, omas J. Farrell and Caroline Roberto, to the Pennsylvania attorney general’s o ce and viewed by e Wall Street Journal reveals a key part of their defense strategy. e lawyers point out that they believe Mr. Paterno’s testimony matches that of their clients. “All of them testi ed that Mr. McQueary did not tell any of them that he witnessed anal sodomy on March 1, 2002.” ey also ask in the letter whether any of the possible victims admitted being with Mr. Sandusky on March 1, 2002, but denied any sodomy. If such a victim “denies any sodomy, that is powerful exculpatory evidence. Indeed, it should be the end of the case against Messrs. Curley and Schultz. Please produce such information forthwith.” Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly and Senior Deputy Attorney General Jonelle H. Eschbach, didn’t return calls seeking comment. e letter also points out that Mr. McQueary reportedly socialized with Mr. Sandusky a er March 1. “Most people do not socialize with individuals they believe to be child-rapists,” they write. Mr. Paterno and University President Graham Spanier were ousted a er being criticized for not doing enough to stop the abuse. e attorney general’s o ce hasn’t yet identi ed this victim, known as “Victim 2,” but Mr. Sandusky’s lawyer, Joseph Amendola, has said that victim has been found and doesn’t support the testimony in the grand jury presentment. Legal experts say that if attorneys are able to poke holes in Mr. McQueary’s testimony, it could dismantle the case against Messrs. Curley and Schultz and weaken, though not kill, the case against Mr. Sandusky.
e shower story “is a graphic image provided by a third-party witness,” said Wesley Oliver, a professor of criminal law at Widener School of Law in Harrisburg, Pa. “Other stories [in the grand jury presentment] about touching are more ambiguous.” However, Prof. Oliver said the case against Mr. Sandusky should still be strong if lawyers for Messrs. Curley and Schultz are able to poke holes in Mr. McQueary’s testimony. “It’s not one incident. It’s a bunch of people making the same claim, so you still have a good case, and it suggests prosecutors were probably right to wait for more victims to come forward.” Mr. Amendola, the lawyer for Mr. Sandusky, didn’t return calls seeking comment. e letter to the attorney general also requests any information regarding Mr. McQueary’s “criminal record” in Virginia. According to an online criminal record search of Virginia state records, Mr. McQueary was arrested on Jan. 30, 2007, for reckless driving, a misdemeanor. According to the records, he pleaded guilty in absentia. Mr. McQueary and his lawyer didn’t return calls seeking comment. Credit: By John W. Miller (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Reproduced with permission of copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.
November 26, 2011 U.S. News: A Hometown Torn by Scandal --- Penn State Sex-Abuse Charges Have Boy’s Borough Struggling With Its Allegiances By Kris Maher MILL HALL, Pa. -- is rural community of 1,500 is trying to come to grips with allegations that a former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach sexually abused a local boy over several years, as outrage and sympathy clash with confusion and resentment. Residents of Mill Hall, where many are employed by Penn State and have grown up rooting for its Nittany Lions and the team’s revered coach, Joe Paterno, have had their faith in the university shaken. e disturbing allegations of abuse dating from 2008 have le many feeling protective of the boy but also angry that the scandal led to Mr. Paterno’s ouster. Mr. Paterno has said he wishes he had done more on rst learning of the alleged abuse, but hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing. e boy transferred to a new school last week from Central Mountain High School, a person familiar with the situation said. Although the boy has been identi ed only as “victim 1,” many in this small community knew he had reported the alleged abuse, the person said. “He’s handling it well, despite some disparaging remarks that have been made,” the person said. “He’s doing OK.” e boy’s 2008 reports to local o cials of being molested launched an investigation that resulted earlier this month in the arrest of Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period. Mr. Sandusky has denied the charges. For more than two weeks, the people of this community have been consumed by daily reports of the scandal. ey have been forced to sort out swirling rumors and to answer, in some fashion, their own children’s questions about the allegations. “As a parent, I’m sad that I have to explain that to my child,” said Monica Long, 37 years old, who owns Flowers by Monica on Main Street. Mill Hall is about 30 miles from State College, home to Penn State. Settled in 1806, it takes its name from a string of mills that once lined a road here. e area used to supply lumber, bricks and coal sent by ra down the nearby Susquehanna River. President Ulysses S. Grant cast his line in Fishing Creek, which divides Mill Hall, said Lou Bernard, curator of the Clinton County Historical Society. Today, a Wal-Mart stands where the mills once did, and a weight has settled on the town, with its paper factory and rusting water tower rising above modest homes, a few ying Penn State ags. A sign outside the United Church of Christ on Main Street says, “People Disappoint, God Doesn’t.” ere’s plenty of disappointment to go around. Many here have rooted for Mr. Paterno for decades. e school is an economic engine and cultural hub for much of central Pennsylvania, a sparsely populated region of long valleys sloping away from the Appalachian Mountains. “Don’t feel bad about Penn State. Feel bad about the kids,” said a woman who declined to use her name, saying she wanted to protect her son, who plays football at Central Mountain High. Chris Dwyer, township supervisor for neighboring Bald Eagle Township, site of the high school, said the area is
“totally” supportive of the boy and his mother coming forward with allegations. A former school principal, he said he wasn’t surprised by the recent bullying. “Kids can be vicious,” he said. At the same time, he said, most people are upset that Mr. Paterno was red. Charles Williams, a youth psychology expert at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said that while targets of bullying, or “social aggression,” are generally viewed as outcasts, the boy at the center of the Penn State scandal is even more subject to ostracism, because his testimony led to the investigation that ultimately toppled Mr. Paterno, who was red for not doing enough about separate allegations years earlier. O cials at the school said in a statement that it wouldn’t comment on anything involving the case because of the continuing investigation. Michael Madeira, who was district attorney of Clinton County in early 2009, said in an interview that his reaction to a preliminary police report on the Mill Hall boy’s allegations of abuse was, “Wow, this is big,” because of the Penn State connections. Mr. Madeira turned the report over to a prosecutor in the state attorney general’s o ce, he said, because his wife’s brother had been adopted by Mr. Sandusky, and he wanted to avoid the appearance of a con ict of interest. Credit: By Kris Maher (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Reproduced with permission of copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.
November 26, 2011 A er Scandal, Could Penn State Face Bowl Fight? By Fox News Penn State’s football team will end a winning season this weekend but the sex abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky -- which led to the ring of iconic coach Joe Paterno-- could make the Nittany Lions a pariah at the postseason college football bowl party, Reuters reports. With nine wins and only two losses going into the nal game of the season against No. 15 Wisconsin, No. 20 Penn State would be poised in a normal year for an invitation to a lucrative, high-pro le bowl game, but according to some college football prognosticators, the university could be passed over by the major bowls and end up in the postseason minor leagues. Acting head coach Tom Bradley said this week that he doubted the team would be kept out of a postseason game. “Our administration has assured us ... that’s not the case,” he said. Stewart Mandel, a college football analyst with the Sports Illustrated website SI.com, said Penn State could fall all the way to the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston, which pays out to the participants’ league only about half the money of top bowls, Reuters reports. “Bowl committees will likely steer clear of Penn State in the wake of its ongoing scandal,” he wrote. “Yes, their fans will travel, but it won’t be worth the week of negative publicity.” Bowl invitations will be announced on December 4 and executives of top bowls are being careful not to disparage Penn State publicly. “Never in my 15 years have I seen or even heard of anything like this (Penn State scandal),” said Steve Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports, which sponsors the Capital One Bowl in Orlando on New Year’s Day. He said he hoped the scandal would not end up hurting the players who had nothing to do with it. e Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida, gets the second pick among Big Ten teams, a er any Bowl Championship Series selections, and Hogan said the bowl would welcome Penn State. Penn State could save itself the suspense by beating Wisconsin on Saturday and and will take on Legends division winner Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis next Saturday. If PSU wins, this would guarantee the team a spot in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, the oldest bowl game in the nation. But the Nittany Lions start as an underdog against Wisconsin, according to bookmakers. If the team loses, Penn State’s postseason fate is out of the team’s hands. is week, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez urged fans to treat Penn State with “the class and dignity that is called for” on Saturday. And Badgers players said they admire the way the Nittany Lions have played. “Every good football team gets a chance to face adversity and what makes you a good football team is how you handle adversity,” Wisconsin o ensive lineman Travis Frederick said. “You know, obviously, in the games they’ve played and things they’ve had going on, for them to handle it the way that they have, they’ve been
playing well continually.
at shows that they’re a good team and that they have good leadership.”
Penn State interim coach Tom Bradley made it known this week that he would like to be considered for the job on a full-time basis, but understands the reality that the school’s administration might want to clean house. For now, Bradley is most worried about doing whatever he can to help this year’s team win a title. “If I end up not getting the job, I can look back and say I gave everything I had to help those guys win a championship,” Bradley said. “And someday down the road, no matter how many years down the road, they’ll say, `Hey, Coach worked for us until the end.’ Sometimes I would much rather maybe have their respect knowing that not only myself, but all the coaches down there, trainers, doctors, strength coaches, did everything they could to help them reach one of their dreams, which is to be on the championship team.” Penn State still has something to play for largely because of its defense. scoring defense, giving up 13 points per game. e Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in
But given the strength of a high-octane Badgers o ense powered by a pair of potential Heisman Trophy candidates, Ball and quarterback Russell Wilson, Bradley acknowledges that the Nittany Lions will have to be more productive on o ense to have a chance to win. “Obviously, we have to score some points,” Bradley said. “No one beats this team without scoring points. Because they’re going to get their points no matter what. ey’re just that good.” Penn State added a new wrinkle to its o ense in last week’s victory at Ohio State -- a wildcat look, run by wide receivers Curtis Drake and Bill Belton. Bradley watched Belton simulate Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez during practice as the Nittany Lions prepared to face the Cornhuskers two weeks ago, and was so impressed with what he saw that he decided to incorporate it into their o ense. “So we decided to take a look at it,” Bradley said. “We just put in certain things o of it and we can expand that a little bit each week if we want to. And that’s what really led to the decision. I thought we needed to change up, something to change the tempo of the game ... maybe they’d now have to take a look and say, `Geez, that looks good, but what if they come up with the option?’ It changes everybody’s defense.” at gave the Badgers and coach Bret Bielema something else to prepare for. And given that Drake and Belton both were quarterbacks in high school, Bielema is ready for the possibility that the Nittany Lions will start throwing out of the wildcat, too. “I’m glad we didn’t get surprised by it,” Bielema said. “I’d heard about it during the course of the day (on Saturday). en when I popped the lm in on Sunday, they ran a couple of guys at the position, both of them wide receivers by nature, both Drake and Delton, but both of them have quarterback backgrounds.” For the Badgers, Saturday’s game is a chance to continue their rebound from back-to-back losses at Michigan State and Ohio State earlier this season. ose losses took the Badgers out of the national championship picture, but the Rose Bowl remains a possibility. “I feel like we always have something to play for,” Frederick said. “And whether or not it’s because we lost two games or because we want to win the next game, it comes down to going out and respecting the game.”
Social Media Coverage
Twitter Nov. 9
Analysis of Media Coverage
Based on our research, the media coverage started with professionally written columns focusing on facts and reporting the events as they occurred. However, a er FoxSports.com writer Jason Whitlock published a story denouncing Penn State University and placing the blame on our head football coach, the media chose another target to focus on: Joe Paterno. e article was titled “Penn St. scandal should force Paterno out” and included phrases such as: "If there is an ounce of dignity le in Paterno’s vain and delusional 84-year-old body, he will step down from his throne today," and “ ere should be an asterisk next to JoePa’s 409 victories. And if not an asterisk, at least a dollar sign, America’s favorite religious symbol, our justi cation for valuing institutions more than human beings.” is article was published on November 8 and we feel that it served as the turning point for all media to target Joe Pa. e Board of Trustees announced on November 9 that Joe Paterno would be removed from his position immediately. Insatntly, twitter time lines erupted with news of a mob of reporters gathered outside of Paterno’s house. e next day’s stories were lled with questions about Paterno’s legacy at Penn State, questions about why he hadn’t done more, questions about what Joe had to say about everything going on. One thing was missing: any name other than Joe Paterno. It was a media frenzy that should not have happened. It is true that Joe Pa is an icon at Penn State and the most recognizable face in our tight-knit community, but the media coverage should have focused on the allegations against Sandusky, Curley and Schultz.
One article published by the Los Angeles Times did prove to refocus its readers. In “Forget sympathy, what Joe Paterno deserves is to be red immediately” reporter Bill Plaschke voices his frustration to the Penn State community as well as other members of the media. Plaschke wrote that the students gathering in support for Joe Paterno made him want to scream. “ is is not about the legacy of an 84-year-old football coach,” he wrote. “ is is about the legacy of violated preteen children, including one whose alleged rape in a football locker room was witnessed by a graduate assistant who informed Paterno of the incident.”
is article would have served as a wake up call to Penn State students who participated in any of the “rioting” on Beaver Avenue, if they had bothered to read it. Plaschke puts the victims and the horrible crimes that Sandusky is accused of back into the forefront of this scandal. As time went on more articles could be found that resembled the model that Plaschke had set up. Immediately a er, students began planning a candlelight vigil in honor of the victims and a “Blue Out” during the football game against Nebraska in support for those ghting Child Abuse.
We noticed that credible news sources such as Anderson Cooper’s show AC360, CNN, and e New York Times lled their tweets with links, hashtags and pictures that helped to fuel the story and keep their followers updated. Anderson Cooper’s show insists they tell nothing but the truth and even used a hashtag “#KTH” standing for Keeping em Honest. We feel that these news sources were in a competition with the others concerning who could report which breaking news stories the fastest. Each tried to have a di erent story which would end up being covered by their competitors that same day. Twitter accounts for di erent sports companies like ESPN, SportsCenter and CBS Sports mostly updated about the extermination of Joe Paterno and the installation of Tom Bradley as head coach as well as the team’s preparation for the game and the rest of the season. ese accounts also retweeted the football player’s tweets when they found out about Paterno’s ring and their reactions a er the Nebraska game. ESPN did broadcast footage of the students rioting, however their Twitter feed is almost 100 percent centered around the sports aspects of the scandal.
Discussion of Media Coverage
rough our research we believe it is safe to say that nearly all major national news sources as well as local and state news sources were involved in covering this case. Jerry Sandusky was an important gure in the Penn State community for years. He is a personality in the public eye which draws the attention of not only State College residents, but people across the country. is high-pro le case in which there are no boundaries. All credible news sources covered it and they will not stop reporting until everything has been revealed. We feel it is safe to say that “ e Penn State Scandal case” has reached the same magnitude as the O.J. Simpson case or the Casey Anthony case. People across the Commonwealth and across the country have been glued to their television sets and computers watching to see what will happen next. e media has been here for weeks so as to not miss a beat in the unfolding of this case. Muhlenberg College political science professor, and Penn State alum, Christopher Borick stated, “ e intense interest stems from the ‘horri c nature of the alleged crimes’ at a revered institution.” Penn State has been thought to have one of the cleanest histories in all of college football. e State College community keeps to itself and hardly ever enters the national media’s eye. So a scandal like this is the opportunity of a lifetime for local and national reporters. It is only natural that hundreds of reporters ocked to Happy Valley to cover this case. Concerning what was being written by all of these visiting news sources, ambiguity became a major factor. Wendy J. Murphy, a former child abuse and sex crimes prosecutor and now professor at New England School of Law, Boston, wrote the article e Need for Accurate Language in Penn State Coverage. In the article she stated “ e language in media reporting on the Penn State scandal has been almost universally inappropriate, both in print and television coverage.” Murphy runs a program called the Judicial Language Project which advocates improving the public’s perception of sexual violence by identifying problematic language and o ering appropriate substitutions. She believes the ambiguity in the media’s coverage of the case does not fully describe the events that occurred. e terms commonly used in print and television stories incuded “engaging in sexual activity”; “fondling”; “the boy performing oral sex”; “anal sex/intercourse” and “sexual assault”. Murphy says, “ ese terms distort the truth about what allegedly happened to the children, and they interfere with our understanding of the victims’ su ering.” She goes on to say that these phrases are safe words and do not acknowledge the emotional and physical pain that the victims experienced. All in all, the ambiguous statements made in many articles did not fully explain the pain and su ering that went into the disgusting acts described in the Grand Jury Report. We feel that the media was playing it safe by using some of the terms listed in the previous paragraph and the general public was probably desensitized to the torture the victims went through.
Penn State Media Responses
An Update November 29, 2011 As we return from holiday break, I’d like to update you on some of the actions and events that move our University forward along the path of the Five Promises I made on November 11. All of us continue to feel the e ects of the ongoing reports of horri c accounts of abuse. To address some of these e ects, we’ve created a new channel for those who need support. We’ve established a dedicated hotline, the Penn State Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Hotline run by ProtoCall, which is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for all Penn State campuses at 800-550-7575 to o er counseling and support for victims of sexual or physical abuse. Additional resources for coping during this time are available to students and faculty through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). If you’re a victim, or may know of one, you should immediately report any abuse to the police (9-1-1) or Children and Youth Services (CYS). Agencies in your area will work with the new hotline to assist those who are in need of help. Since on-campus support services for abuse victims are limited at some of the campuses, this arrangement will make appropriate referrals to services available in their local communities. e healing process takes time and a healthy, open dialogue. We’re listening and appreciate your input and concern. I am thankful that alumni and friends continue to raise awareness and resources to address child abuse. I’m also proud to acknowledge two student-organized events taking place this week. Recently many of our campuses have held vigils and events to focus attention on the issue of sexual abuse. In that spirit our Penn State Shenango campus will hold a vigil for victims of child abuse Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m. at the campus’ auditorium. A representative from AWARE, an organization committed to providing education, support and advocacy for Mercer County, will speak at the vigil.
Our student government leaders have organized a Town Hall meeting Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m. in Heritage Hall on the University Park campus for our students to discuss recent events and our path forward with me and other administrators. I’m participating in the meeting with Provost Robert Pangborn; Vice President for Student A airs Damon Sims and Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Rod Kirsch, among other faculty and administrators. I’m looking forward to a candid and constructive discussion. We are moving forward, together. I am especially grateful to our faculty, sta and students who have taken the time to educate others on this important issue and to share available information and related research. I again thank you for your support and your support of each other as we ful ll the mission of Penn State. We remain a world-class university dedicated to providing excellence in education, path-breaking research and creative activity, and sharing that knowledge with those around us. President Rodney Erickson
Student government: e past few weeks have been di cult for everyone in the Penn State community. We feel great pain for the victims, and mixed emotions about the multitude of other issues that have impacted our University in ways unimaginable just months ago. We all have questions about President Erickson’s Five Promises and what the coming months will be like for this great University. President Erickson is committed to making this healing process a community e ort. As the University moves forward, there is a critical need for the student body and administration to have a dialogue about our plan for the future. It is with this in mind that President Erickson and we, the student presidents of e Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG), e Graduate Student Association (GSA), and e University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA), are pleased to announce the rst-ever Penn State Student Town Hall Forum. On Wednesday, November 30, at 6:00 p.m., President Erickson and seven of Penn State’s highest-ranking administrators will join moderators Sam Richards and Laurie Mulvey in a discussion with an exclusively-student audience. During the two-hour conversation, students from both the in-person audience at Heritage Hall and remote viewing locations across the Commonwealth will be able to ask questions directly to University decision-makers and maintain President Erickson’s promise of a transparent Penn State. Tickets will be available at the HUB Information Desk starting Monday at 11:00 a.m. Please bring your Penn State id+ Card, as status as an active student will be required for ticket-holders. ere will also be over ow seating available in Alumni Hall. Students at Commonwealth Campuses should watch their email inbox for information about on-campus viewing parties, from which students will be able to submit questions remotely through their Student Government President.
e Student Town Hall Forum will also be viewable live through UStream and on the Pennsylvania Cable Network. We sincerely hope that you all will participate in this event. Remember, even though times are hard, #WEstillARE. Sincerely, Peter Khoury, President, Council of Commonwealth Student Governments Jon Lozano, President, Graduate Student Association TJ Bard, President, University Park Undergraduate Association Moderators Sam Richards and Laurie Mulvey of the World in Conversation Project Administrative Representatives President Rodney Erickson Acting Executive Vice President & Provost Robert Pangborn Vice President for Student A airs Damon Sims Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses Madlyn Hanes Vice President for Research & Dean of the Graduate School Henry Foley Vice President for Outreach Craig Weidemann Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations Rod Kirsch Vice Provost for Educational Equity Terrell Jones
A Message from President Rodney Erickson Nov. 21, 2011 In the last two painful weeks, Penn State has been shaken to our foundation. But we are moving forward, and with every decision we’re committed to doing the right thing for the victims, their families, and the Penn State community. You have all played a role in helping us de ne a path for the future. You have inspired us with your resilience, generosity, and hope. You have given me your con dence and encouragement. In the spirit of giving thanks, I wish to share a few observations about our community. We need to continue to listen to one another. I’ve been contacted by countless students, faculty, sta , alumni and friends, and I’ve tried to visit as many classrooms, organizations, and campus gatherings as possible. Everyone has openly shared their grief, anger, suggestions, and hopes for the future of Penn State. I’ve listened and I’ve learned. Penn Staters care. I’ve been profoundly moved by the Penn Staters who have pulled together to o er support for the victims and each other. From the moving candlelight vigil to charitable e orts to awareness building programs for this very serious issue, Penn Staters have demonstrated a deep commitment to caring. People are Penn State’s greatest resource. Rob Pangborn has stepped up to serve as acting executive vice president and provost, and David Joyner as acting athletic director. I’m grateful for and con dent in their leadership as they help guide us through the challenges ahead. is morning the Penn State Board of Trustees announced the membership of a Special Committee, led by Kenneth Frazier as chair and Ronald Tomalis as vice chair. ey also named Judge Louis Freeh, former Director of the FBI, as special counsel in charge of conducting an independent investigation into all aspects of the university’s actions in regard to the recent allegations of child abuse. As I stated in my Five Promises, my administration will provide whatever resources, access and information are needed to support the investigation.
Our work has just begun. It will be some time before we are able to bring a measure of understanding and resolution to the recent terrible events, even as we refocus our energies on our students, research and service activities. When we return from anksgiving break, we’ll need to dedicate ourselves to bringing closure to this semester and celebrating the accomplishments of the Fall 2011 graduating class.
ank you for your support. It gives me con dence that Penn State is moving in the right direction. I hope you are able to spend some time with your families at anksgiving. Travel safely.
A message to parents regarding recent events at Penn State – 11.22.11 ------------------------1. A Message from President Rodney Erickson: Moving Forward 2. Former FBI director Freeh to conduct independent investigation 3. Parents Program creates recent events resource page for parents 5. 1. A Message from President Rodney Erickson: Moving Forward In the last two painful weeks, Penn State has been shaken to our foundation. But we are moving forward, and with every decision we’re committed to doing the right thing for the victims, their families, and the Penn State community. You have all played a role in helping us de ne a path for the future. You have inspired us with your resilience, generosity, and hope. You have given me your con dence and encouragement. In the spirit of giving thanks, I wish to share a few observations about our community. Read the full story on Live: http://live.psu.edu/story/56485 2. Former FBI director Freeh to conduct independent investigation e special committee of e Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees announced today (Nov. 21) that it has engaged former FBI Director and federal judge Louis J. Freeh to lead an independent investigative review into all aspects of the University’s actions with regard to the allegations of child abuse involving a former Penn State employee contained in the recent Grand Jury report. e special committee and Freeh said that the ndings and recommendations of this work, when completed, will be made available to the public. No speci c timeframe has been set for completion of the review.
Read the full story on Live: http://live.psu.edu/story/56476#nw4 3. Parents Program creates recent events resource page for parents In response to recent events, the Parents Program has created a website to share key resources for parents, address pressing questions, and link parents and families to updated University news. We encourage parents to visit the site periodically as we will provide additional information as it becomes available. Additional broadcast emails will continue to be used sparingly. If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed, please contact the Parents Program at [email protected]
or 814-863-1313. Access Parents Program recent events resources at www.parents.psu.edu: http://www.parents. psu.edu/RecentEvents.shtml.
A Post-Weekend Message from President Rodney Erickson Nov. 14, 2011 is past week has tested the character and resilience of the Penn State community in ways we never could have imagined. Many of you shared my shock and surprise as the reports unfolded. Yet, a er this past weekend, I just want to take a moment to tell all of you how proud I am. Our students and athletes, in particular, demonstrated the best of what it means to be a Penn Stater. On Friday night, our students organized a candlelight vigil for the victims of abuse, and thousands came to express their concern and resolve. It was a meaningful and deeply moving way to show support. At the Penn State-Nebraska football game on Saturday, tens of thousands of fans supported the Blue Out, a solemn moment of silence, as well as many other e orts to raise awareness and money for this very serious issue. On the eld, the football players demonstrated a level of maturity and determination that was an inspiration. e athletes from both teams came together at mid eld in unity, respect and prayer for the victims. en they played their hearts out. It was remarkable in so many ways. ank you for coming together as a community. Today, we are back to class and the business of running this university. I urge you to refocus on your educational goals and remain mindful of the ve promises I have made to the Penn State community as we move forward. Collectively, we need to show the nation and world that Penn State cares, and that Penn State is a community of individuals committed to moving forward with a shared sense of purpose. If you have not yet seen the ve promises, I will share them below. Again, thank you for your support and the kind words I have heard from so many people. It gives me the con dence to know that together we are moving in the right direction.
My Promise to the Penn State Community I will reinforce to the entire Penn State community the moral imperative of doing the right thing – the rst time, every time. – We will revisit all standards, policies, and programs to ensure they meet not only the law, but Penn State’s standard. To oversee this e ort, I will appoint an Ethics O cer who will report directly to me. – I ask for the support of the entire Penn State community to work together to reorient our culture. Never again should anyone at Penn State feel scared to do the right thing. My door will always be open. As I lead by example, I will expect no less of others. – I will ensure proper governance and oversight exists across the entire University, including Intercollegiate Athletics. Penn State is committed to transparency to the fullest extent possible given the ongoing investigations. – I encourage dialogue with students, faculty, alumni, and other members of the Penn State community. We will be respectful and sensitive to the victims and their families. We will seek appropriate ways to foster healing and raise broader awareness of the issue of sexual abuse. My administration will provide whatever resources, access, and information are needed to support the Special Committee’s investigation. I pledge to take immediate action based on its ndings. Rodney Erickson
Dear Penn State community, is note is the rst of many that you will receive from me as Penn State’s president. I will be sending emails periodically as part of my promise to you to provide meaningful and timely updates. Today I am outlining my promise to the Penn State community, which includes the naming of an ethics o cer and a commitment to transparency as the University moves forward. Right now, the nation’s eyes are upon us, looking at where we will go from here. Many of you already are representing this University’s high standards for honesty and integrity. It is imperative that every member of our community model the best that Penn State has to o er as we begin to rebuild the con dence and trust that has been shaken this past week. Please join me in this e ort to rebuild our community. Below, you will nd my promise to all of you. President Erickson’s Promise to the Penn State Community 1. I will reinforce to the entire Penn State community the moral imperative of doing the right thing—the rst time, every time. - We will revisit all standards, policies and programs to ensure they meet not only the law, but Penn State’s standard. To oversee this e ort, I will appoint an Ethics O cer that will report directly to me. - I ask for the support of the entire Penn State community to work together to reorient our culture. Never again should anyone at Penn State feel scared to do the right thing. My door will always be open. 2. As I lead by example, I will expect no less of others. - I will ensure proper governance and oversight exists across the entire University, including Intercollegiate Athletics.
3. Penn State is committed to transparency to the fullest extent possible given the ongoing investigations. - I commit to providing meaningful and timely updates as frequently as needed. - I encourage dialogue with students, faculty, alumni, and other members of the Penn State Community. 4. We will be respectful and sensitive to the victims and their families. We will seek appropriate ways to foster healing and raise broader awareness of the issue of sexual abuse. 5. My administration will provide whatever resources, access and information is needed to support the Special Committee’s investigation. I pledge to take immediate action based on their ndings.
Board of Trustees announces leadership changes at Penn State Wednesday, November 9, 2011 e Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees and Graham Spanier have decided that, e ective immediately, Dr. Spanier is no longer president of the University. Additionally, the board determined that it is in the best interest of the University for Joe Paterno to no longer serve as head football coach, e ective immediately. e board has named Dr. Rodney A. Erickson, executive vice president and provost, as the interim president of the University. Tom Bradley, assistant coach, has been named interim head football coach.
Statement from Graham Spanier: (Nov. 5) e allegations about a former coach are troubling, and it is appropriate that they be investigated thoroughly. Protecting children requires the utmost vigilance. With regard to the other presentments, I wish to say that Tim Curley and Gary Schultz have my unconditional support. I have known and worked daily with Tim and Gary for more than 16 years. I have complete con dence in how they have handled the allegations about a former University employee. Tim Curley and Gary Schultz operate at the highest levels of honesty, integrity and compassion. I am con dent the record will show that these charges are groundless and that they conducted themselves professionally and appropriately. Graham Spanier
Statements from Schultz’s & Curley’s attorneys: (Nov. 5) Attorney Tom Farrell: “Gary Schultz is innocent of all charges. We believe in the legal system, and we believe it will vindicate him. We will ght these charges in court, and Gary Schultz will be proven innocent of all of them.” Attorney Caroline Roberto: “Tim Curley is innocent of all charges against him. We will vigorously challenge the charges in court, and we are con dent he will be exonerated.”
Board of Trustees Statement: (Nov. 8) e Board of Trustees of e Pennsylvania State University is outraged by the horrifying details contained in the Grand Jury Report. As parents, alumni and members of the Penn State Community, our hearts go out to all of those impacted by these terrible events, especially the tragedies involving children and their families. We cannot begin to express the combination of sorrow and anger that we feel about the allegations surrounding Jerry Sandusky. We hear those of you who feel betrayed and we want to assure all of you that the Board will take swi , decisive action. At its regular meeting on Friday, November 11, 2011, the Board will appoint a Special Committee, members of which are currently being identi ed, to undertake a full and complete investigation of the circumstances that gave rise to the Grand Jury Report. is Special Committee will be commissioned to determine what failures occurred, who is responsible and what measures are necessary to insure that this never happens at our University again and that those responsible are held fully accountable. e Special Committee will have whatever resources are necessary to thoroughly ful ll its charge, including independent counsel and investigative teams, and there will be no restrictions placed on its scope or activities. Upon the completion of this investigation, a complete report will be presented at a future public session of the Board of Trustees. Penn State has always strived for honesty, integrity and the highest moral standards in all of its programs. We will not tolerate any violation of these principles. We educate over 95,000 students every year and we take this responsibility very seriously. We are dedicated to protecting those who are placed in our care. We promise you that we are committed to restoring public trust in the University.
Joe Paterno Statement (Nov. 6): “If true, the nature and amount of charges made are very shocking to me and all Penn Staters. While I did what I was supposed to with the one charge brought to my attention, like anyone else involved I can’t help but be deeply saddened these matters are alleged to have occurred. “Sue and I have devoted our lives to helping young people reach their potential. e fact that someone we thought we knew might have harmed young people to this extent is deeply troubling. If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. ey are in our prayers. “As my grand jury testimony stated, I was informed in 2002 by an assistant coach that he had witnessed an incident in the shower of our locker room facility. It was obvious that the witness was distraught over what he saw, but he at no time related to me the very speci c actions contained in the Grand Jury report. Regardless, it was clear that the witness saw something inappropriate involving Mr. Sandusky. As Coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching sta at that time, I referred the matter to university administrators. “I understand that people are upset and angry, but let’s be fair and let the legal process unfold. In the meantime I would ask all Penn Staters to continue to trust in what that name represents, continue to pursue their lives every day with high ideals and not let these events shake their beliefs nor who they are.”
Statement from the Penn State Alumni Association: is is a deeply troubling time for Penn State and the Penn State Alumni Association. e allegations against a former assistant football coach on charges of child sexual abuse and the subsequent perjury allegations against the director of athletics and the interim vice president for business and nance have shaken the University community profoundly and have resulted in these two University o cials stepping down. e Alumni Association has received e-mails, social network postings, and calls from alumni expressing their deep concern regarding the charges—and we share those concerns. All alumni communications are being acknowledged and forwarded to multiple members of the University administration. Certainly the o cers and sta of the Alumni Association are greatly concerned about the children who are said to be involved and understand we have a duty to keep them safe. e Alumni Association supports the University’s Board of Trustees, which met Sunday night, Nov. 6, and announced steps designed to increase the safety and security of all University facilities and to make changes to promote su cient procedures. e chair of the Board of Trustees wll: Appoint a task force to engage external legal counsel to conduct an independent review of the University’s policies and procedures related to the protection of children. is action is not intended to interfere with the ongoing judicial process.Publicize the ndings of the independent review. Review police reporting protocols with administrators. Enhance educational programming around such topics. Going forward, the Alumni Association will continue to support the University and the Board of Trustees in e orts to reinforce that Penn State remains committed to honesty, integrity, and the ideals expressed in our Alma Mater. Roger L. Williams ’73, ’75g, ’88g Penn State Alumni Association
Internal Messages Our University has been shaken to its core, but we will remain strong. We will work to become a school of honor and integrity once more. We STILL are Penn State. External Messages Penn State is not a school that values football over all things. Penn State is going to work to become a school of honor and integrity once more. Penn State will make this right.
Looking out through the lens of a student here at Penn State gives a special insight unlike any other news article one will read, a reporters news broadcast outsiders will watch or any radio stream across the nations airwaves since it rst hit our beloved campus November 5, 2011. As students at Penn State WE ARE the ones who will be directly and indirectly a ected by this serious of events for years to come. e media paints a picture to the public with constant replays of rioting and students in dismay. From that image, the public then forms generalizations about who Penn State students are and what we stand for. However, I believe that the media completely missed the mark. One thing that was assumed is that Penn State students do not care about the victims, but more about an 84 year old man who has won a couple football games. But I believe it is imperative to keep in mind that Penn State is unique. While over 40 thousand students attend this university, it is pretty close knit. Located in the heart of a small town in central Pennsylvania, the bond that we share as Penn State is very great. We stand for integrity, success with honor, class, tradition just to name a few. And in the blink of an eye, all those positive characteristics of the university are questioned and even at times denounced. Due to the lack of responsiveness from the Penn State administration, now WE as a university must now spend a great deal of time picking up the pieces. Had the public relations department acted swi ly or prepared more adequately for a situation such as this, the pool of public opinion in relation to the Penn State brand is le in the hands of the media. Which is never a good situation, because media today is more concerned with the dollar than true, honest reporting. And the public relations department at Penn State is to blame. Investigations began well before November 5, 2011 and proper preparation could have been made years before now. In some ways, I believe that Penn State tends to think they are “untouchable” and immune to harsh scrutinization. Because we are usually on our “p’s and q’s”, not many people would ever expect this to happen at THIS university. However, that is all the more reason to expect others pure desire for us to fall from grace, or kick the pedestal from under our feet. If we shout honesty and integrity, or success with honor we must always be able to stand beside these rm beliefs. AND follow in that pattern. In other words, not just talk about it, be about it. In every facet of the university.
Steve Manuel, Professor, Penn State College of Communications: “ ere are three things you say, which I didn’t see for rst 48 hours,” he said. “You o er sympathies to victims and their families. You tell the public, ‘Here is where we are in the process right now,’ and ‘ is is where we’re headed.’” Mr. Manuel said that he found it unbelievable that Penn State seemed to be caught at-footed by the scandal, when the leaders of the institution allegedly knew about serious claims of child sexual abuse against Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coordinator for the football team, and that the state was investigating those allegations for at least two years. “ ey wouldn’t be in this position if they followed the PR axiom: Tell the truth and tell it quickly,” he said. Scott Kretchmar, Professor, Penn State College of Biobehavioral Health: According to Scott Kretchmar, who teaches ethics of sports management classes for the kinesiology department at Penn State, what’s happening at the University lines up perfectly with what he’s teaching in his class. Kretchmar, a professor of exercise and sport science, is talking to his students about athletics reform at large institutions. “ e problem with college sports is the big business behind it,” he said. “ e book we’re using, ‘Fair Play’ by Robert Simon, talks about the power behind sports, powerful coaches and the necessity to win, make money and get on TV, at any cost.” Eric Dezenhall, the CEO of Dezenhall Resources, Ltd. “Despite the damage control cliché of ‘getting out in front of the story,’ it’s ill-advised to get out in front of a runaway locomotive. at opportunity passed years ago, and Penn State is now running a crisis management marathon that will be measured in years, not hours.”
Jannah Bailey: Executive Director, Child Protect “ ere was so much passion for the coach being red but not the same thing for the children,” said Bailey, whose organization ad vocates for children. “My initial thought was that statistically, a lot of those college kids have been abused.” It takes an average of nine years for a victim of child sexual abuse to re port the crime, said licensed clinical psychologist Guy Renfro, who practices in Montgomery. And Bailey feels the num ber of children -- who may now be near adult-age or adults -- reporting sexual abuse will rise soon. Histori cally, she said, that is what happens when these sexual abuse cases are made public. “ ey (victims) feel safer reporting it because it is be ing shown as wrong,” Bailey said. Or, they could wait to report abuse because “the of fender may still live in their house. It may be someone they are really afraid of. Maybe they have tried to tell another adult in their home and they didn’t listen to them, and they give up.”
Businesses like Sherwin-Williams dropping advertisements from Penn State games Penn State’s image has been so badly tarnished that it prompted at least one advertiser to pull out of broadcasts featuring the football program. A spokeswoman for the auto sales website Cars.com said the company had pulled its ads from ESPN’s broadcast of the Penn State-Nebraska game this past weekend as well as the upcoming game with Ohio State. We can only expect this incident to increase with other football sponsors during the next couple of years. Until Penn State Football can rebuild its reputation, it can only expect its current situation to become worse. Penn state clothing sales way down In an article published by the Centre Daily Times, the writer states, “Part of the immediate fallout from the still-developing investigation is economic: Sales of hats, shirts, and other items emblazoned with the Penn State name have plummeted about 40 percent overall compared with the same period last year, according to retailers and industry analysts.” e Penn State scandal has not only a ected the University’s loyal consumer-base, but has in turn caused immediate damages to the Nittany Lion brand. In the article, Matt Powell, an analyst with industry research organization SportsOneSource Group says that Penn State’s total sales usually rake in around $80 million per year. Experts predict that Penn State will total at a major loss by the end of the scal year and this trend could cause potential nancial problems for the university in the following years.
Have we lost any recruits?
Los Angeles Times feature columnist, Richard Langford claims that the current scandal going on at Penn State will be “a death nail” to the university. “According to Scout.com, Spence is the No. 1 rated defensive end recruit in the nation” Langford’s article says. (Tweet featured above). is is a critical time in the year for college football teams to secure their incoming freshman class. Many sources are saying the Sandusky Scandal will scare o future Penn State recruits. O cials have also suggested that Penn State settle for recruits who are being passed up by other big schools and give them a chance to grow in Happy Valley. e recruiting game has been turned on its head during the past month, and it looks like Penn State is in big trouble. Applications are still rising! According to e Choice, A New York Times blog centered around college admissions, the application rate to the Pennsylvania State University has risen 4 percent since this time last year. Nearly 28,000 students have applied to Penn State as undergraduate students for the fall of 2012. Employees in the O ce of Admissions believe the students’ reasons to apply to Penn State have not changed and there will always be people who live and breathe for this school.
What Penn State Did or Didn’t Do
40 Hours before Penn State released rst statement. According to senior lecturer Steve Manuel, “ ere are three things you say... You o er sympathies to victims and their families. You tell the public, ‘Here is where we are in the process right now,’ and ‘ is is where we’re headed.’” However, Penn State did not release a statement until more than 40 hours a er the arrest of Jerry Sandusky. And the statement was a short one. Seven short sentences from Graham Spanier promising his utmost support for Curley and Schultz. Canceled Joe Pa’s Press Conference 40 minutes before start Approximately 200 members of the media were ready and waiting to hear from Joe Paterno on November 8 when Graham Spanier called it o at the last minute. Steve Manuel reminds us of the cardinal rule of public relations: “Tell them the truth and tell them quickly.” Penn State did neither of these things. No leadership. Without a strong leadership presence representing the university things got out of hand quickly. e students, faculty and sta were kept in the dark and forced to receive information from the media. is problem grew and grew throughout the week. Held Board of Trustees Meeting To compensate for cancelling Paterno’s press conference, the Board of Trustees presented their decisions to all members of the media. is was broadcasted live on national television and was also an open forum for media to ask questions.
Fired Joe Pa, removed Graham Spanier As of today Graham Spanier is still under tenure with the university. Curley is on administrative leave receiving compensation and Schultz, although retired, is still receiving his pension from Penn State. Joe Paterno was the only gure red. New President, Athletic Director, head Football Coach e university replaced its missing members quickly with current Penn State faculty member prepared to ll their shoes. Although many predict Penn State will “clean house” by next year, the reappointing of these personnel positions was swi and organized. Started sending out e-mails Rodney Erickson began sending emails and videos to the Penn State community o ering words of encouragement and remorse for the victims immediately upon taking o ce. He made his presence known to the students and promised to serve the university to the best of his ability. Painted blue ribbon on Sandusky’s picture on Heister St. Mural e gure of Jerry Sandusky painted on the Heister Street mural was covered up and replaced by a blue ribbon in support of the ght to end child abuse.
Candle Light Vigil ousands of students gathered in front of Old Main to show their support for the victims of the scandal and hear words of encouragement from members of the Penn State Community. LaVar Arrington, TJ Bard, and other speakers voiced words of encouragement to the crowd.
ousands of students gathered in front of Old Main to show their support for the victims of the scandal and hear words of encouragement from members of the Penn State Community. LaVar Arrington, TJ Bard, and other speakers voiced words of encouragement to the crowd.
A silent march was held on November 12 starting at the famous Lion Shrine and ending at Beaver Stadium. e walk was a sign of support for the abuse victims led by Penn State student leaders like Undergraduate President, TJ Bard. No acknowledgement of Joe Paterno at Football game ere was a moment of silence before the start of the game and videos played throughout that had very few images of the iconic football coach. Played video at Football game e video made by Rodney Erickson, interim president at the time, was played during the home game against Nebraska. It encouraged students and alumni to support their alma mater and lean on each other as a community. Took Joe Paterno’s name o of trophy “We believe that it would be inappropriate to keep Joe Paterno’s name on the trophy,” conference Commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. “ e trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial.” - ESPN.com
Blue Out- all t-shirt sales went to victims of child abuse McClanahan’s in downtown State College sold the “Stop Child Abuse, Blue Out Nebraska” tshirts for $9.99 with 100 percent of proceeds donated to Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania. #WeAreSTILLPennState and #PSUHope ese were common hashtags found on Twitter during the week that the scandal broke. show the support and love that the students and alumni have for their alma mater. ey
Haven’t taken down Joe Paterno statue yet (interesting given everything else they have done)
In class discussions: Many teachers devoted full class periods to discuss the events with their students. e Schreyer Institution for Teaching Excellence also sent out tips and talking points for teachers to use during their in class discussions.
Tell it early, tell it all. Mr. Manuel, who is a senior lecturer in the College of Communications, drew on his experience handling crisis communications for the Department of Defense and told his class about what institutions like Penn State should do when they nd themselves in a crisis. “ ere are three things you say, which I didn’t see for rst 48 hours,” he said. “You o er sympathies to victims and their families. You tell the public, ‘Here is where we are in the process right now,’ and ‘ is is where we’re headed.’” Mr. Manuel said that he found it unbelievable that Penn State seemed to be caught at-footed by the scandal, when the leaders of the institution allegedly knew about serious claims of child sexual abuse against Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coordinator for the football team, and that the state was investigating those allegations for at least two years. “ ey wouldn’t be in this position if they followed the PR axiom: Tell the truth and tell it quickly,” he said. Don’t announce riot-causing news at 10 pm e Penn State Board of Trustees announced the rings of Joe Pa and Graham Spanier at 10 p.m. in a college town lled with emotionally distraught young adults. When asked, “Are you aware of the number of students marching on campus at the possibility of this happening and what do you think they are going to do tonight?” A representative from the Board respoded, “We had to do what we think is right and due to the circumstances. ere may be actions and reactions that occur from that but we made our decision based on what we have to do. We are sure the town has all the contingencies to be prepared for whatever happens.” A student then yelled “ e campus is gonna burn!” from within the crowd of reporters. Coincidentally, a riot took place immediately a er the words “no longer the head coach” le the Board member’s lips.
Penn State O cials failed to own the message and permanently resolve the situation in time ere are some lessons here for those who keep a keen eye on organizational leadership and crisis communication. Penn State’s o cials failed to properly own the message and permanently resolve the situation in time. at seems to t with the history of how they handled the entire a air. What did they do right? Not much, if anything. It took four days to get a statement from their Board of Trustees. University authorities weren’t prepared for a social media-developed student march that forced police o cers to rush to Paterno’s home. Scott Paterno, the coach’s son and an attorney/former political candidate, became the face of the story a er the administration abruptly canceled Joe’s weekly press conference. And, as far as media relations are concerned, the handling of that press conference represented a crucial, multi-tiered error. e lack of institutional control is readily apparent at Penn State, as is the school’s inability to employ the basic fundamentals of public relations. One of the keys to e ective PR is to get the story straight. Being a state-related institution, Penn State is obligated to explain their actions and/or decisions to the public. However, they also owe it to themselves to get the story right. Or, at the very least, they owe it to everyone to convey a consistent message. A er all of the mistakes that they’ve made, it’s the least they could do. Don’t cancel a press conference 40 minutes before it is supposed to happen If Fight Club’s rst rule is to not talk about it, the rst rule of PR is to not tell reporters what questions they can’t ask. Cats don’t want to be herded, and journalists like being told what to say about as much as a toddler. With the press conference building into a nationally televised event,
the university then decided to cancel it 40 minutes before it was scheduled to begin. Roughly 200 media members arrived for the press conference having paid for travel and lodging, booked satellite windows and prepared for the story. By canceling the conference, they essentially simultaneously loosed nearly 17 dozen reporters to stalk Penn State’s campus, its practice facilities, the Paterno residences and local community looking for reaction. Take Responsibility One of the worst things Penn State’s (now former) president Graham B. Spanier could have done was issue a statement in support of the o cials who did not report the cases of alleged child molestation. is statement lacked sensitivity, and made it appear that Spanier was siding with the o cials rather than recognizing the su ering of the victims. e Penn State board of trustees later issued their own statement o ering, rst and foremost, their support to the families a ected in this case. Lesson: Focus on solutions. When crisis situations occur, it can be tempting to immediately defend yourself. However, appearing defensive will only further damage your image. By Spanier immediately defending the university o cials, Penn State appeared to be indi erent to the actual victims in this situation. ere is nothing wrong with elaborating on the steps you are taking to repair a situation, but don’t place blame. e public wants to know what is being done to remedy a crisis. Tell the Truth And tell it right away. One of the rst things I learned when I began my career in PR was to “tell the truth, tell it all and tell it fast.” e truth will come out, sooner or later. And if you’re not the one to tell it, you will surely damage your reputation and end up looking like a liar.
risis situations are never easy and there is o en a lot of gray area. An e ective public relations strategy can be your best friend during a catastrophe. Control your own message, accept responsibility and tell the truth right away. While you cannot control everything that is said in the media or by the public, you can signi cantly reduce the damage to your brand and/or reputation. Remember: the worst thing you can do in a crisis PR situation is nothing. Be Proactive and Have a Plan (they knew this was coming) An additional issue is the failure of Penn State to be proactive and have a PR plan. As the detailed timeline of the alleged abuse was released, one can easily ascertain that Penn State knew that this could erupt and mean bad news for the university. Why wasn’t someone in the PR department noti ed that something HUGE could be in the pipeline? Eric Dezenhall, the CEO of Dezenhall Resources, Ltd., a nationally recognized high-stakes communications rm that specializes in crisis management, put it perfectly: “Despite the damage control cliché of ‘getting out in front of the story,’ it’s ill-advised to get out in front of a runaway locomotive. at opportunity passed years ago, and Penn State is now running a crisis management marathon that will be measured in years, not hours.” at lack of a plan allowed the story to linger and get worse. e board’s decision to re JoePa sparked riots throughout the Penn State campus, with some students ipping over a media van and destroying property. “Penn State has several groups of people it must be mindful of during this crisis: students, parents, faculty, alumni, the news media and the public at large. Penn State has an awful lot at stake here and needs to be mindful of what’s at risk. e scandal is here; now it’s a matter of how the university handles it,” says Glenn Selig, a crisis management PR expert. Choose the Right Scapegoat When BP caused one of the most horri c oil spills in the history of man kind, they handled the situation similarly to Penn State. ey did not respond quickly or take responsibility
mmediately. Following the media catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, British Petroleum’s CEO, Tony Hayward took the fall for the company. BP pinned all of the blame on Hayward and brought in a new CEO to change things around. Penn State Should have put the blame on Graham Spanier, not Joe Paterno. Spanier is the leader of our university. All of the inner workings of Penn State have to pass through him. Joe Pa is a football coach, he has nothing to do with the administration at Penn State. It is a sad situation that the most famous person at the university had to take the fall, next time, Penn State should be prepared to let the man in charge take the blame. Give the Media What ey Want
Avoiding the media will only make the situation worse. Cancelling a press conference at the last minute and allowing the media to roam through State College with absolutely zero information was probably the worst thing Penn State could have done. You must give the media the facts or they will make up a story based on whatever they want to say. if you work with the media, you can control what is published in the papers.
A little bit about John Allen: From 2008-2011 Allen has been at the Pennsylvania State University serving as the coordinator of player development with the Nittany Lions. Allen has worked closely with both Mike McQuery and former Head Coach Joe Paterno in the recent past. Allen is currently serving as the Head Coach for football at Lock Haven University What is your take on the issue of the recent events regarding the Sandusky case? As best you can describe without “taking a side”. I think it’s an unfortunate set of events. Obviously there’s an accused, there’s victims, the way everybody feels the victims involved, even the families of the accused. It a ects a lot of people but, the thing that is the most disappointing is that this really a ected hundreds of people just because of the media attention. And quite honestly, I don’t think the media attention has been very good. A person who has had great integrity has lost his job. His family is a ected and there’s tons of sta members at Penn State that are going to lose their jobs and possibly their families will be a ected. I think that the problem right now is that we jump to, as a society and media, ‘what’s the hot topic’. [For example] What’s going to push buttons, what’s going to be great in print and the biggest thing that hasn’t been said or that nobody has talked about is that that was just a small part of the Grand Jury indictment. We don’t even know what the full testimony has been. We don’t even know what Joe did, what Mike McQueary did, we only know what they decide to put out as far as the indictment is concerned. And I think that’s disappointing because there are those out there who know. I think there’s more to the full story than what’s been printed. However everyone just runs with and sensationalizes what’s been printed. To me that’s the biggest disappointment, because its a ected a lot of people.
Would you say that JoePa is taking more responsibility than might be necessary because of his status as a coach, leader and legend at Penn State? I think that because of his status and what he’s done for people for so many years: his players, his wife’s foundations, and for the University at Penn State. I think what they’ve been able to portray him as, just with the little bit of information that has come out, is because of that. Anybody in a leadership role, such as Joe Paterno’s role, has the risk of being scrutinized when anything based on what they represent comes about. But my concern is that it’s a situation where we don’t even have half of the information of testimonials to make a judgment call. A lot of people have pointed the nger at Joe Paterno saying he didn’t do enough. And I think that’s wrong without getting all the facts and sitting down and letting the process play out. at’s what this country is supposed to be built on. And we haven’t done that. How do you think that the media handled the sequence of events? A fair representation? Unfortunately I think the media has gotten away from what the core value of what media is supposed to be. e media is supposed to be reporting newsworthy information. ere’s a newsworthy case going on right now but the news is supposed to be about the accused, the victims, what occurred and what possibly didn’t occur. Not about what a couple of individuals may or may not have done in their particular situation. And I think it’s true, a lot of major media outlets jump into a ratings game. Trying to promote their magazine, news station, newspaper etc. and it has become more about the dollar and cents and making money than about honest reporting in situations. I think we missed it.
As far as Penn State administration, how well do you think they handled the situation? What they did or did not do to prevent a lot of what has come of the situation. I think as an administration they should have sat back, did their own investigation and get the information that they needed to get. I don’t think that they got the rest of the information from the rest of the Grand Jury testimony. And if they couldn’t get it at that time, they should have waited until they could have gotten it. All that was, was a reaction to the media blitz that occurred. at’s all it was. And all of a sudden you have a legendary coach out of the job, an assistant who is basically sitting on wood somewhere trying protect his family until he goes to trial. So, that’s unfortunate. And Penn State’s supposed to be bigger than that. I think that Penn State is supposed to represent a lot more than the sensationalism of the media and what a lot of people think. So that’s the most disappointing part for me from the administration is that yes, they’re doing an internal investigation but the damage has been done. ey should have did the internal investigation rst, and then went from there. Having worked closely with Joe Paterno for three or so years, what can you say about his character and the type of person he is and what he stands for as a leader? He’s a person of great integrity. I’ve worked with him for three and a half years and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. Because he took care of my family and me during a time when I was in between jobs, he gave me an opportunity to come to Penn State. He didn’t have to give me the opportunity; it wasn’t a job that he necessarily needed to have on his sta . And he gave me an opportunity to come in as a coach and become a part of that sta in that role. So I have the utmost respect. To me, he’s what human beings should be about. He cares about people, he cares about the players and he takes a lot of criticism for how he handles issues with players. When you think about it you’re talking about guys who come in and are 17-21 years old. ey’re going to make mistakes, their kids. And if he cut loose every single kid that did anything wrong (because that’s what the public thought he should do) we wouldn’t be teaching him anything. And when you look back at it, all the kids and young men (now men) that come
back and visit just to say, ‘thank you’. I mean that’s tremendous. I think that most people would love to be in that type of position where they a ect people the way that he did, in a positive manner. at’s what I take away fro my time with Joe. He’s honest, he allows you to be straightforward, you know what he expects of you; He’s tremendous. He cares. He truly cares about people. In your opinion what are the next best steps for Penn State football? at’s probably one of the toughest questions. I think Penn State has put themselves in the whole by, in my opinion, jumping the gun so now they’re le with trying to nd a coach that is going to want to come there. I think its one of the better jobs in the country, I really do. Even with all that’s going on, and even within the administration some things will become better. ere’s going to be major changes. I don’t know what’s best or what’s right really but I think the decision that they made wasn’t right to begin with. So, I don’t know. It’s been a great program really built by a great person for the right reasons and values. And because of the program being built in that matter the university itself is kind of taking on the same persona.
Angela Linse, executive director and associate dean of the Schreyer Institute for teaching Excellence, said that regardless of the course, discussing the issues does t into the curriculum, because curriculum is more about content -- it’s about critical thinking and processing information. “Most faculty want their students to be able to think critically about any issue they encounter in their lives,” she said. “Faculty might not necessarily see themselves as role models or leaders, but on campus that’s how students see them, and President Erickson made it clear we need to do whatever we can to help students get through this.” Charles Dumas, professor in the School of eatre, and Jo Dumas, senior lecturer in the College of Communications, have responded to the struggles of students trying to cope with recent events in an unconventional manner -- by creating a play. “For the last two weeks it’s been the primary topic of conversation in class,” said Charles. “As teachers, Jo and I both feel our job clearly is to help students get through these extraordinary circumstances and trying times. So we asked them, ‘How do you feel?’ and the oodgates opened.” Sam Richards and Laurie Mulvey addressed the issues in their 700-student SOC 119 course, Race and Ethnic Relations, by structuring two classes around the discussion. “ e No. 1 reason we addressed this in class was because our students were begging for us to talk about it -- via emails, Twitter, in our discussion groups, from facilitators -- across the board. We saw that we had an obligation to help shepherd them through the turmoil, so we went right for it,” said Richards. “Really, it came from the students.” “It didn’t feel like a choice,” added Mulvey. “ usual.’ So we stepped up.” ere was no way to go into class as ‘business as
What it was about is helping students understand the sociology about everything that was happening around them: child sex abuse, how and why it happens, how to address the issue, looking at it sociologically, and what else could we do? “ “We had the opportunity to speak with students from SOC 119 about a week later, and we asked them what happened when they read the Grand Jury report. It was stunning. One young man said he cried; another said he felt like he was going to vomit. ey were devastated,” Mulvey said. “I felt amazed and sad, that the rest of the world doesn’t get to hear this part of it as much as they hear about things like students going downtown and being destructive. ere is so much going on deeply underneath, and we all need to be aware of it.” John Will, senior, energy business and nance 1. How do you think the University handled the crisis? I feel like the university wanted to prove that they were serious and decided to take a rmative action right away. ey could have done a lot more though, I feel like a lot of the students were confused for a while. 2. What should they have done di erently? I think between the time that Graham Spanier released a statement and the rings of him and Joe Pa there should have been more communication with the student body. ere weren’t any emails or PSU texts telling us what was going on and I think that could’ve helped us out as students. 3. Should they have “cleaned house?” I hate to say it, but they’re going to have to. I think they did the right thing keeping the current football coaching sta , apart from Joe Pa and McQueary, and letting them stay for the rest of the season. 4. What should the University do in the future? De nitely get a message out more quickly. To the general public and also to the students, we want to hear everything rst.
Melissa Pastor, senior, nutritional sciences 1. How do you think the University handled the crisis? I think they failed miserably. No one knew what was going on or what would happen next. e students were uninformed about anything happening and being attacked by media to talk about the scandal. It was awful. 2. What should they have done di erently? I think they should have written an email right away and sent it out to every list serve so that everyone in the community was on the same page. 3. Should they have “cleaned house?” I’m glad Curley, Schultz, and Spanier are gone, but it breaks my heart to see Joe Pa get the worst of this. I feel like no one knows enough to just at out re him, it’s so unfair to his legacy here at Penn State. 4. What should the University do in the future? I think they’ll need to “clean house,” at least in the football community. ey need to hire a new coach who can rebuild our program again. Nicole Symoenides, junior, public relations 1. How do you think the University handled the crisis? As a PR student, I can honestly say the university failed. Nothing was presented in a timely fashion, the media ran around angry at the cancellation of the press conference, the whole situation was just a mess. 2. What should they have done di erently? I think they should have had a statement prepared, not necessarily for this situation, but for any state of emergency. e fact that the university did not produce a legitimate statement for such a long period of time is a major mistake and should not have happened. 3. Should they have “cleaned house?” I hate to say it, but it was necessary. All of the corruption that is behind this whole scandal has given Penn State administration a horrible reputation. I think they needed to wipe everyone out
What Should Penn State Do Next?
Honesty When asked what the school needs to do now to restore its reputation, a university o cial acknowledged that transparency is needed. “ e short answer is honesty,” Bill Mahon, vice president for university relations, said in an email. “Most of us are still struggling with the shock of the allegations last week, and the sudden loss of a number of senior administrators including our president. We lost the public’s trust. “Penn State must focus on gaining public trust back,” he said. “It will be a long process.” All Football Revenue toward child abuse? Hire highly respected person to review program? University o cials should pledge to donate all of Penn State’s football revenues next year to child abuse charities. ey should also hire a prominent, highly respected person, of Colin Powell’s stature, to review the entire program, issue a public report, oversee all necessary changes and hire the next coach. And suspend Paterno’s $500,000-a-year pension. — Mark Stevens, chief executive of branding rm MSCO in Rye Brook, N.Y. Penn State needs to cooperate fully with the investigation Next, Penn State needs to cooperate fully with the investigation of the alleged child abuse and identify all individuals involved in the obfuscation, with swi dismissal of any and all those who played a role in covering up the abuse.
It also needs to set an example of ethical behavior and start “walking the walk.” It should be prepared for many years of reparation, reputation-building and instilling ethics into the culture of the institution. — Gerard Corbett, chair-elect, Public Relations Society of America Top Drawer New President Beyond that, the university has also got to nd a top-drawer new president. If they get a trustworthy, top-quality president who cares about the students and the faculty, he or she can go a long way toward healing the hurt that’s surrounding the program. — Larry Smith, president of the Institute for Crisis Management, Louisville, Ky.