Rebuilding a legacy
August 31st, 2012
10:19 PM ET

Penn State scandal: Where things stand

The Penn State football team started its first season since former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.

The Nittany Lions' home game against Ohio University also will be the first time since 1966 that the team starts a season without Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno, who died in January, two months after the board of trustees fired him for allegedly failing to take his knowledge of the scandal to appropriate authorities.

Though Sandusky was convicted in June, many parts of the Sandusky matter have not been resolved. Here is where things stand in the scandal:

Two former Penn State officials face trial; state's investigation continues

Two former Penn State officials former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Vice President Gary Schulz  each are charged with one count of felony perjury and one count of failure to report abuse allegations. They have pleaded not guilty; a trial is tentatively scheduled for January 7.

In July, a Penn State-commissioned report led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh gave a scathing account of what the university allegedly knew and when. It alleges Curley, Schultz, then-Penn State President Graham Spanier and Paterno concealed child sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky.

A grand jury still is investigating the Sandusky case. Spanier has not been charged. Pennsylvania's attorney general said the Freeh Report "will not hinder the continuing work of our statewide investigating grand jury, nor will it impact ongoing criminal prosecutions."

Attorneys for Curley, Schultz and Spanier have criticized the Freeh report, saying it is incomplete and inaccurate.

Sources close to the case told the Harrisburg Patriot-News in July that three men claimed they were sexually abused by Sandusky as early as the 1970s - at least two decades sooner than the cases for which Sandusky was convicted. The attorney general’s office hasn’t said whether more charges will be filed.

Sandusky sentenced

Sandusky, who was found guilty of 45 counts, was sentenced on October 9 to no less than 30 years and no more than 60 years in prison with credit for time served. He was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. Sandusky maintains he is innocent.

Lawsuits

Penn State already has been named in several civil lawsuits, and more are possible. The latest lawsuit, filed in August by a man authorities called "Victim 1," accuses the school of concealing the abuse. The first suit, filed against the school, Sandusky and the charity that Sandusky founded for disadvantaged youths, The Second Mile, was filed in November.

Penn State's primary general liability insurer, the Pennsylvania Manufacturer's Association Insurance Co., has been fighting the school in court, saying it shouldn't have to cover claims relating to the scandal. The company alleges the school did not provide it with timely information about Sandusky's behavior relevant to the insurable risk the association assumed.

The university has said it believes it has sufficient resources and insurance coverage to address "the financial obligations which may arise from known and expected litigation and claims as well as other costs associated with recent events.” The school’s president has said that no tuition, state or philanthropic money will be used to pay costs relating to the Sandusky matter, including legal defense or public relations efforts.

Department of Education investigation

The U.S. Department of Education is investigating Penn State's compliance with the Clery Act, a federal law that requires universities to report crimes on or near campus and provide timely warnings if reported crimes threaten the campus community.

The law carries fines of up to $27,500 per violation. Schools that fail to comply with the Clery Act also can be suspended from the federal financial aid program, according to the Department of Education.

Penn State warned by accreditation group

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which grants academic accreditation to Penn State, in August warned the school that it is in danger of losing that crucial status because of the Sandusky scandal.

Were the commission to pull Penn State's accreditation, the school would face the loss of eligibility for federal student aid programs, guaranteed student loans, federal research grants and could lose eligibility for state aid.

Penn State will resolve the commission's concerns, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Blannie Bowen has said.

Charity's plan to shut down is on hold

Sandusky's charity, The Second Mile, asked a court in May for permission to transfer its programs to another charity. But in August - in agreement with the state attorney general's office and some of Sandusky's victims - it said it was asking the court to disregard the request.

The latest move "will allow any pending or future claims filed by Jerry Sandusky's victims to be resolved before key programs or assets are considered for transfer," the charity said on its website.

Several of Sandusky's victims had been part of The Second Mile.

The charity has continued to offer programs, including summer camps and a mentoring system.

Football sanctions

After the Freeh Report was issued, the NCAA on July 23 banned Penn State's football team from the postseason for four years. The school also vacated its wins from 1998 to 2011, and will lose 20 football scholarships a year for four seasons.

Penn State says that because of the NCAA sanctions, the school will have to return all the football trophies it won from 1998 to 2011.

Some football players transferred over the summer, including star tailback Silas Redd, who left for the University of Southern California.

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Filed under: College football • Courts • Crime • Football • Jerry Sandusky • Joe Paterno • Justice • Lawsuit • Penn State • Pennsylvania
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. jbg757

    In a local newspaper article in the last week, Spanier still denies any cover-up and assesses the reported shower incident as "horseplay". You wonder about his ability to have a position of leadership anywhere. This is why the university had to unfortunately be severely punished.

    September 1, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. jbg757

    Good shot of Paterno in the store front. Hope they keep it there.

    September 1, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. angela

    It's a new day for Penn State Football today. I sincerely hope people will stand behind the boys who are playing today.The college administration is one big mess. The students should not have to suffer. Those who have wronged so many are gone, but not forgotten.They need to pay highly for their actions. Prayers for the victums and understanding for professors, students, and all who were not involved.

    September 1, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Angela:
      Although I am not a Penn State fan, (Boilermaker, what can I say?) I wish the future Penn Staters luck; they're going to need it to live down what Sandusky and company did, however undeserved that taint is.

      September 1, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Morons

      Lol, stand behind the boys. Isnt that what got them into trouble to start with?

      September 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kodak

      I disagree. Any student who decided to attend a school that hung a huge amount of its entire existance on a football program should have given pause to consider that fact before applying to attend. Any high return in an investment carries an equally high risk. Many attend PSU because of the big name school effect (due in large part to the name football has given to it) and the positive impact that will have on later employment. It is common knowledge that to be that big in sports is a tipoff that they must be doing something wrong. As a "typical" student, if that doesn't raise a red flag about the school as a whole, maybe that student isn't ready for college level courses.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • cleareye1

      The team is facing a challenge far greater than any team faced while Paterno was the coach. They can really be winners by succeeding in spite of the Paterno legacy.

      September 1, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. waterboard Dot Sandusky

    "Everyone knew about the camps."-Oskar Schindler. (Schindlers List)
    Each person who knew and did not say is guilty.
    Many remain @Penn State that knew and didn't say just as many old Catholics remain who knew but didn't tell of the camps, or worse, sided with Hitler.
    Many will take their secrets to the grave. All we can do is get to them before they die.

    September 1, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Old-Time Religion waterboarding

    Drip.
    Drip.
    Drip.
    I confess my sins! I'm saved! Praise the lord and pass the collection plate. Oh, and god bless whatever country the church is in.

    September 1, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. northernCA

    good luck Penn State: sounds like tough consequences are still in the works. remember people all over the States are watching and listening and their opinions will be guided by your behavior and words

    September 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Heather

    Penn St. should have been suspended from playing football for the next 10 years. That would actually be a penalty that would be felt by the school. Anyone still playing on this team, who did not transfer, is sending a message that they think what Sandusky and JoePedo did wasn't that bad. This choice should be taken into consideration by anyone in the position of hiring any of these apologists once they graduate. The pedophile-loving fans in the stands at the game today make me sick.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • andres

      Jeeze Heather, you certainly know how to lump people into a catagory. What Penn State allowed to happen is unforgivable and those guilty should be punished. But to say that people joining Penn State and the football team are as guilty as sandusky and crew is similar to saying that all germans are responsible for the holocaust whether by action or simply living in germany.

      Very happy I know few absolutists like you, Your lot is tiresome and bigoted.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Student Body

    Students know what teachers are having affairs with students. Don't act so naive people.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy© II

      At a large university?
      Hardly.
      And what was going on was *not* an "affair"; to liken it as such is trivializing what happened to these boys.

      September 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hollywood

    I feel sorry for the new crop of students who have to face all the thimgs they will be hearing. I feel sad for the victims of this tragedy. They are a brave group of souls.

    September 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dave W

    It sure looked like Penn State threw the game. In all honesty it looked like they lost on purpose.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dave W

    Just saying, in the first half the Penn State team totally outclassed Ohio. It looked like they purposely threw the game in th second half. Not kidding. Someone should look into it.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dave Wilson

    I honestly think Penn State threw the game to avoid further sanctions.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Demarcus E

      I agree with you. It looks like they threw the second half.

      September 2, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bill

    I don't understand punishinrg a entire universitty for the acts of a handful of men. The men who are responsible for this have been delt wtih or are in the process of being delt with-justice has been done, lets move on. Penn State is made up of tens of thousands of people who had nothing to do with these horrific acts and are mortified by the whole thing.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    I want to know what'll happen to the money that will be collected by the NCAA? Has anyone heard?

    September 1, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Portland tony

    Would we be having these Conversations at all if Sandusky had taught contemporary library Science or English literature!

    September 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
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