This commentary is not to justify the alleged actions of Jerry Sandusky. I believe he is more than likely guilty and that is why I could never be an impartial juror. According to the U.S. Constitution, which preserves civility in the United States, we need to recognize the court procedures set forth by it. In other words, we need to recognize that government, law enforcement, and politicians will may use it against us to paint a story with the media. Right now there are only bits and pieces of information; people are appalled and rightfully so, but making sure we get the complete story is necessary. I feel most main stream news sources would not print this, thus we need the internet: the underworld of news. I hope this story is shared by many to get to the core of the truth, as people we are supposed to trust have done a great injustice not only to young children but also to innocent men of which none is Jerry Sandusky in this commentary.
The Penn State University's association with Jerry Sandusky is going to get super ugly and the whole truth will probably never come out as there is far more to it than just PSU football. The cover up involves Penn State officials starting with the board of trustees, government officials and the police all doing their very best to try to pin this on the most obvious person, Joe Paterno. Paterno is the face of Penn State football and Sandusky was an assistant coach a long time ago (1999). One thing I would bet my life on is that Joe Paterno didn't want Sandusky around PSU.
Let's look at some facts. Jerry Sandusky was twice named assistant coach of the year in Division I college football. He was a great defensive coordinator and the record proves his worth to PSU football. While Sandusky was at Penn State, the Nittany Lions had 31 winning seasons during a 32-year stretch. The university was nicknamed Linebacker U. In 1997, Sandusky was first subjected to child abuse charges when the District Attorney of Centre County, Pennsylvania, Ray Gricar dismissed the charges despite evidence and a statement from a victim that Sandusky was showering in the nude with minors and fondling young boys. Because Gricar dismissed the charges, it was just an allegation and 32 years of tenure at Penn State meant the University couldn't just fire Sandusky without justification lest it would face a wrongful termination lawsuit.
After the original allegations, Joe Paterno told Sandusky he would not be the next head coach at Penn State and he should consider retiring. Paterno informed Sandusky the football team needed to head in a different direction. Considering PSU was used to winning football seasons with Sandusky it seemed strange to fix something that wasn't broken. The five years immediately following Sandusky's departure PSU had four losing season. The decision to push Sandusky out was not about winning but about character, and Sandusky's character appeared to be in question. Per the urging of Paterno, Sandusky agreed to an early "enhanced retirement package" and since he was never convicted he was in a position to negotiate a decent retirement package.
Due to the horrible record and sub-standard PSU defense in the post Sandusky years, Tim Curley the PSU athletic director actually asked Joe to step down as football coach; Paterno refused. Based on this knowledge it is safe to say Joe Paterno was not all about winning football games as he pushed out his best assistant coach because of strong allegations.
Sandusky retired from PSU football at a young age for a football coach (55). His focus turned towards the charity he founded,the Second Mile Foundation. This charity had a legal counselor named Wendell Courtney. Coincidentally, Courtney was the university legal counsel who negotiated Sandusky's retirement package. The retirement package included, the title of Professor of Physical Education with emeritus status allowing Sandusky full use of university facilities. Sandusky also received an office in East Hall along with a telephone line yet, he never taught at PSU. The retirement package was approved by the Penn State board of trustees (1998) NOT Joe Paterno the football coach.
Why would Sandusky need an office and phone line at PSU? Perhaps, the answer lies with Wendell Courtney. Courtney was legal counsel for The Second Mile Foundation, a charity that raised millions of dollars for under privileged youths. Raising funds for this organization involved many ex Nittany Lion players who went on to play in the NFL and had big name contacts. Sandusky maintained his reputation that included rather complimentary words from former Super Bowl winning coach Dick Vermeil, former President George H. Bush, and many others plus a continued association with Penn State University as the cleanest football program in collegiate sports. The PSU connection, the phone, and the office were all beneficial to Sandusky when raising funds for the Second Mile Foundation. Wendell Courtney as legal counsel for the foundation was also a beneficiary of the fund raising as only 10% of funds donated to charities are required by law to go to the actual cause while 90% can be used for administrative fees.
Money was the motivation for Sandusky's existence at PSU but former District Attorney, Ray Gricar cannot answer questions as to his motivations because he has been missing since 2005. Gricar's Mini Cooper was last seen along the banks adjacent to the Susquehanna River in April of 2005. Strangely, the body of Gricar's brother was found nine years earlier in the Great Miami River in Ohio.
"Police and family members noted that the location where the vehicle was found – adjacent to two bridges over the Susquehanna River – bore some similarities to the location where the vehicle of Roy Gricar, Ray Gricar's older brother, was located before his body was found in the Great Miami River in Ohio in 1996." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Gricar
Now let's examine Joe Paterno's character. Paterno or Joe Pa as he is affectionately called by many, was an advocate of academics; his players graduated at a rate 78%, 9% greater than the national average and only second to Northwestern in the Big Ten Conference.
"Paterno is also renowned for his charitable contributions to academics at Penn State. He and his wife Sue have contributed over $4 million towards various departments and colleges, including support for the Penn State All-Sports Museum, which opened in 2002, and the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, which opened in 2003. After helping raise over $13.5 million in funds for the 1997 expansion of Pattee Library, the University named the expansion Paterno Library in their honor.
In 2007, former player Franco Harris and his company R Super Foods honored Paterno for his contributions to Penn State by featuring his story and picture on boxes of Super Donuts and Super Buns in Central PA. A portion of the sales will be donated to an endowment fund for the university library that bears his name." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Paterno#Philanthropy_and_education
It should also be noted that Paterno never earned more than $568,000 (base salary) a year in his career well below what he could have commanded given both tenure and nationwide support. While most Division I coaches earn well over a million and up to $5 million per season Joe Paterno, a living legend, collegiate football Hall of Famer barely made a half million per year.
Joe Pa has a reputation of playing by the rules and if he was guilty of anything it was playing by the rules when it came to Sandusky. Paterno couldn't fire Sandusky in 1999, so he suggested Sandusky take advantage of early "enhanced retirement" from the football program. In 2002, upon hearing allegations from Mike McQueary about child molestation in the showers by the former assistant Sandusky, Paterno followed the rules, just like he has done his entire life. The rules at Penn State set forth by the board of trustees state that any sexual misconduct must be reported to one's immediate superior. In this case Paterno and McQueary reported to Tim Curley the Athletic Director and Gary Schultz the Senior Vice President of Business and Finance. Paterno and McQueary followed the rules and per state law McQueary having witnessed an act in the showers of alleged sexual misconduct with a minor by an adult reported this incident to the police. Grand Jury Report, page 12
Joe Paterno was a football coach at Penn State. He had legendary status and many supporters. He was never a god as some disillusioned people might suggest. He yielded power to the board of trustees, the same group that fired him. If you are indeed and almighty and powerful god you don't get fired by the board of trustees.
As for Mike McQueary, the then 28 year old graduate assistant allegedly witnessed a horrific act for which he came forward to Joe Paterno, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, and per his own statements, the police. University police and Centre County police departments are both denying reports of McQueary having made any statements on record. McQueary is considered a credible witness by the state. He has not been fired by the board of trustees and he is not wanted by the police for any violations of the law yet both police departments with jurisdiction are denying he made a statement. Considering McQueary has not been charged and he was found to be a credible, honest witness by the appointed grand jury I would assume he has been honest throughout and did file a police report. As for the police as the puzzle comes together it almost appears they are involved in the cover-up as well.
Gary Schultz is an important figure in this entire debacle. Schultz is the Senior Vice President of Business and Finance for Penn State. Per his job description he oversees the PSU police department. In other words, he is either the head of the university police department or he is a representative of the police department, otherwise what business did he have in hearing statements from Paterno and McQueary? Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley decided the incident reported by McQueary was "not that serious" and like Ray Gricar in 1998, dismissed the eye witness account from McQueary and never reported their findings to the state of Pennsylvania child services department as required by law. Gary Schultz appears to have a major conflict of interest. He was the head of the university police department (oversees) and the Sr. Vice President of Business and Finance; to report Sandusky for sexual misconduct with a minor would have rocked the PSU program in 2002, costing the University revenue and making Schultz look bad so it's possible he decided to cover up the incident and focus on finance and business. Schultz has been discredited as having faulty testimony in the case and is not considered a credible witness. Grand Jury Report page 9
This wouldn't be the first time the police have covered up a crime. The fraternity in blue was well aware of first-hand reports of sexual abuse by Sandusky in 1997 in Centre County. The police didn't pursue the allegations and by law ironically since then District Attorney Ray Gricar dismissed the charges; the police did not have the authority to go any further regardless of "Noonan's moral obligations".
Schultz is currently retired from PSU and is out on bail for failing to report a criminal act against a child (Grand Jury report page 12) Based on the information Schultz received from McQueary he and recently fired President Graham Spanier took away Sandusky's keys and notified him to not to bring children onto PSU property. This was not Joe Paterno's ruling but rather the decision of Senior officials at Penn State University.
In 2009 more allegations were brought against Jerry Sandusky by Clinton County High School for molesting young boys at the school where Sandusky was a volunteer coach. AT the time charges were the responsibility of then Attorney General Tom Corbett. Corbett claims he put off the case because he had ties to the Sandusky family. Corbett had enough evidence to arrest Sandusky in 2009 but chose to wait. Ironically the Second Mile Foundation had donated over $640,000 to Corbett's political campaign including $200,000 for Corbett's 2010 race for Governor of Pennsylvania http://earlyreturns.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/early-returns-20/53-post-gazette-staff/3641-more-second-mile-psucorbett-ties To make matters worse Governor Tom Corbett, who was the acting attorney general in 2009 and aware of the Sandusky child molestation case approved a $3,000,000 state grant to The Second Mile Foundation in 2010. Corbett is the same governor who refused to spend $40 million for disabled citizens but approved $3 million to a charity and it's founder who Corbett knew to be the focus of a child molestation case. http://thepennsylvaniaprogressive.com/
The cover up goes far deeper and cuts into the judicial system. The judge who set the bail for Sandusky to roam free on $100,000 unsecured bail ($400,000 lighter than requested by the prosecutor's office) had direct ties with The Second Mile Foundation; another conflict of interest. The Second Mile Foundation also recently purchased land from Penn St. University which was approved by the board of trustees including board member Governor Tom Corbett. Had Corbett revealed allegations against Sandusky in 2009 his acceptance of campaign donations from Sandusky's charity might have come into strong question and he would not have received additional financial support in 2010 for the governor's race. If that is not enough political influence, include Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania in the already embarrassing mix. In 2002 Sandusky was awarded the "Angels in Adoption Award" by Senator Santorum for his work with foster children so Pennsylvania politicians were well represented when sweeping the 1997 case under the rug. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Second_Mile
Considering both the money involved with The Second Mile Foundation and the man who was it's President and founder, it took a lot of nerve, or ignorance by Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan to criticize Joe Paterno for "not meeting his moral obligations". It's easy to go after an 84 year old man. After all Paterno is feeble and will die soon enough even if he does decide to sue the state for slandering his reputation. Remember, Paterno tried to get rid of Sandusky; the board of trustees allowed Sanudsky to keep an office on campus.
Frank Noonan stirred the pot and slandered Joe Paterno so badly that support for Paterno was at an all-time low. This is what allowed the board of trustees to fire Paterno. The spotlight has been placed on Paterno as an "enabler", yet Sandusky has not been under Joe Paterno's supervision since 1999. Paterno is enough of a public figure that a spotlight on him takes heat off of the real "enablers". Frank Noonan slandered Joe Pa to take the focus off his boss in the governor's office. The money trail from Sandusky to Corbett is documented. Sandusky had value in Tom Corbett's political career.
It's a horrific tragedy that young boys have been allegedly molested by Sandusky for years. I refrain from calling him guilty but the evidence, political cover- up supported by police departments state-wide, and the attempt to deflect press onto Joe Paterno is the most corrupt and sickest political scandal in my lifetime. A case so vile as child molestation, that is covered up for so many years, probably wouldn't be covered up by a man who has followed the rules for the past 84 years of his life while exhibiting actions of excellent character. But when politicians, police, and money are involved, even the sickest of actions is allowed to continue for such an extensive period of time until it becomes so hideous that parents talk to one too many cops and finally something has to be done. Finally something has been done!
PSU in this case may not stand for Penn State University, perhaps it stands for Political State cover Up. It takes more than one man to cover up child molestation for 14 years. One man is not powerful enough to enable a child molester to prey on children for 14 years. However combine political donations, an attorney general with ambitions to become governor with law enforcement under his control and that seems to be enough power.