November 11th, 2011
04:18 PM ET

Penn State puts wide receivers' coach on leave

[Updated at 4:18 p.m. ET] Mike McQueary - the Penn State coach who told head coach Joe Paterno about a child sex abuse allegation involving a former coach in 2002 - has been placed on administrative leave, interim school President Rodney Ericson said Friday.

The leave is "indefinite," Ericson said.

McQueary, who coaches the team's wide receivers, was a 28-year-old graduate assistant when he told Paterno of the allegation in 2002.

The scandal revolves around Jerry Sandusky, the football team's former defensive coordinator who is accused of sexually assaulting children. The scandal has led to the departure of four top university figures, including Paterno, amid widespread outrage over their perceived failure to contact police.

[Updated at 12:19 p.m. ET] Officials on Friday picked the leaders of a special Penn State University panel to investigate allegations that a former assistant football coach sexually abused children.

Kenneth Frazier, a Penn State trustee, will chair the university's special committee looking into the child sex abuse allegations. Frazier told the board of trustees on Friday that the inquiry will be "rigorous, objective and impartial."

State Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis will be the vice chairman and other committee members will be determined later, it was announced at a board meeting.

[Initial post, 10:16 a.m. ET] The interim president of Penn State University said Friday the board of trustees will vote on a proposal "to form a special committee to undertake a full and complete investigation of the circumstances that gave rise to the grand jury report" into child sex abuse allegations against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Rodney Erickson said it has been "truly difficult to comprehend the terrible nature of the allegations" of child sex abuse. He told the board of trustees his "heart aches" for the victims of the abuse.

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Filed under: College football • Crime • Joe Paterno • Penn State • Pennsylvania • Sports
soundoff (436 Responses)
  1. Arlin Simmons

    Nice move by PSU to insure no other wittnesses ever come forward and dare to tarnish the golden image of the University. After all that is far more important than protecting Kids, in the University's view that is. Sure let the coaches abuse kids and keep your mouth shut if you see it. It will be a long time before there is another whistle blower at PSU unles Gov.Corbet steps in fast.

    Now lets look at it this way, He reported it to Paterno, who reported it to Culey, who reported it to Shultz who oversaw the Campus POLICE. Now who is at fault here? I get it, the lowest guy on the Totem pole gets to take the fall! Isn't that the way it has always been?

    November 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      YOU ARE A JOKE! if they would have come forward they would be HERO'S right now....they fact they kept it in house and never reported to the POLICE, is why we can't just let them go on with there jobs....

      November 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter Goesinya

      Fire them all!

      November 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      lowest guy? How about ONLY one who could have stopped it immediately? McQueary was 28 years old, 6 foot 4 inches, 200+ pounds, a former Penn State University quarterback.He did not attempt to stop the act, nor did he call authorities.Mike went to his office, called his father and told him what happened.They decided it was best for him to leave the building, again, not contacting authorities or confronting Sandusky.-Mike McQueary decided to wait until the next morning to report it to coach Joe Paterno.-A few months later, Mike McQueary is promoted.-One simple act of dialing 9-1-1 could have prevented Sandusky from preying on children for the next 10 years.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bernard

      You're an idiot - how you can defend a network of inaction is beyond me...

      November 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      WHEN HE SAW THAT NOTHING WAS DONE....MORALLY HE SHOULD OF DONE SOMETHING.....BUT EVERY TIME I THINK ABOUT IT. IF YOU SEE SOMETHING LIKE THAT GOING ON WOULDN'T YOU JUMP THE A$$ AND THEN CALL THE POLICE WHAT WAS THIS WAITING A DAY AND THEN TELLING A SUPERIOR are you joking!!!!!! AND DID YOU SEE THE SIZE OF THIS GUY HE COULD HAVE TAKEN THAT OLD A$$ IN A SECOND.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • BMcGee

      For Pete's sake – don't call him a whistleblower – he was a coward who ran home to his dad and did not help that poor boy from being brutally assaulted in the locker room, and he did NOT call the police. Telling Paterno the next day was woefully inadequate. Shultz did oversee the campus police, but his job is VP of Finance and Business. You really want to excuse them by saying this is reporting to the police? What a joke. Try dialing 911!!!! Enough excuses! They all failed!

      November 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • mgo

      Totally agree. The top three (Curley, Schltz and Spaniel should be gone. Not the ones who did report it. Ultimately, Spanier as head of Penn State had the duty to report to la enforcement and child protective services. By the way, a previous complaint had been made to Penn State police, an investigation was conducted,, and the local District Attorney refused to prosecute.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brian M

    Guys McQueary is still there because of 'wistle blower" laws. As a PSU grad I am not defending Penn State we are not defendable, but they don't legally believe they can fire this guy and they are probably right. Thats why the new prez kept calling it complicated. We are going to have to negotiate some kind of a buy out deal with McQueary to resign

    November 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • donna

      brian, thanks for the explanation. i just couldn't get my head around the fact that mcqueary was still employed by penn state. now i understand. what a nightmare, huh?

      November 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Please explain to me how he is a whistleblower? He witnessed the crime and never called police. He, I assume, took a bribe to stay silent and recieved a nice cushy job. Looks to me like Penn State isn't firing him because it was part of his deal to remain silent.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spock500

      Brian, I'm not confident that that is the case. Nevertheless, Mr. McQueary should be indicted and charged.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • mgo

      McQ was just placed on indefinite leave. Penn State is having knee jerk reactions right and left. The cover up allegations should fall in the laps of Curley, Schultz and Spanier (purportedly a trained family therapist).

      November 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mouse

    When a co-worker told me she THOUGHT her daughter was being molested and refused to call child protective services I did and when they said they had to talk to the mother I put her on the phone. Turns out my co-workers new husband was the culprit. Of course, she never spoke to me again but then again who wants to be friends when you have to make someone protect their own child.

    November 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • MariaL

      Kudos to you for reporting it. Constantly amazed at how women and men put their spouse or partner before their own children, when it comes to any kind of abuse. I bet your co-worker is still with than man.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ratickle

    Fire him too. Then bring in the catholic priests to counsel the victims.... on second thought, don't do that. The victims have suffered too much already.

    November 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      Hey, you're real funny. Now, go educate yourself.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Paterno Pal

    For those who are appalled at PSU students rioting – let me tell you, they do GET IT!....

    No one is disputing the fact that the children who were abused are the victims....But, they also get the fact that Joe Pa's rights were violated as well. He has the right to do what he's enjoyed doing for 60+ years. He's not the judge, jury and executioner – he's the football coach. Nothing more, nothing less. There's was no longer an employee/supervisor relationship! Joe Pa, Me, or you are required to report to police something we didn't witness. Much less, report what we had already disclosed to a grand jury! There's a tenet call separation of duties and Joe Pa fulfilled his duties. Joe Pa's role for these type incidents was clear – report incident to your superior, the AD. It's out of his hands at that point since there's a separate process to investigate, report and prosecute. For Joe Pa to step beyond his role could have led to possible insubordination and justifiable firing. If the football coach should do more when an incident happens, define what that is, put it in writing, modify the policies, communicate and train the football coaching staff as to the new policies. Don't hold them accountable for something they are not responsible for! And as the saying goes: don't shoot the messenger! It's unfortunate that children were harmed, but they were not harmed directly or indirectly by Joe Pa! I got a news flash for ya too, Jerry Sandusky is STILL innocent of all charges last time I checked!

    November 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spock500

      Have you no sense of decency, Sir?

      November 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoYouDidn't

      http://www.freep.com/assets/freep/pdf/C4181508116.PDF

      November 11, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • MariaL

      Untrue. Joe was a mandated reporter. That doesn't mean tell a supervisor – it means tell the police.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ddduck

      LOL! What rediculous convoluted logic. Incredible

      November 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ld

      All these men are a disgrace and should go to jail. Raping 10 year olds and doing nothing about it. How do they live with themselves. Monsters.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • desabean

      Actually Joe Pa is required to report abuse even if he doesn't see it. As an educator, he is a mandated reporter. Plain and simple. He knew the allegations were not properly reported after he made his initial report and he therefore should have made the effort to report them himself.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • mgo

      Paterno Pal, I couldn't agree with you more. The individual who asked if yu have any sense of decency is overlooks that is precisely what Paterno has – decency. Paterno reported it. Paterno wasn't the one who Sandusky him the keys to the locker room and an office after he retired as a coach, that was part of Sandusky's retirement package; Joe Paterno had no control over that..

      November 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loving Mother

      First of all you must not have any son's, If you did have boy's in the hands of all of the above people and it happened to your child, would you honestly say, innocent until proven guilty! It sounds like you should have been his best friend or better yet maybe one of your brothers, and then you can say what you just did! Sounds like you fit the part for Sandusky.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • k-man

      Obvious you only support the culprits not the victims. All who had common knowledge are guilty. Policy compared to common sense and reason are all subject to the crime for knowing of. Your theory is way out weighed by those who understand the case. Hope you would never be a juror on a case as this.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • mgo

      Loving mother, it is not easy living in a country that attempts to protect the rights of the accused as well as the victims. It's hard to appreciate when you see first hand the harm that is done. I wish we had a perfect justice system. I am wish peace and comfort to the victims, their families and friends. I would be so angry I couldn't see straight, but I would let the justice system do its job.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • captainhowdy

      Paterno's rights? What "rights"? There are no rights without responsibilities. Does anyone believe that Paterno met his responsibilities? This man was a leader, a god of sorts on campus. This makes him even more responsible for making sure that inocent children were protected from the predator. Even after receiving the report from McQueary in 2002, Paterno continued to see Sandusky hanging around with kids on campus. What did Joe think was happening? He failed miserably in his leadership role and needed to be fired immediately! Football is a freaking GAME; Child molestation is NOT a game; it is a real crime that devastates the lives children of the children who are preyed upon. Shed not a tear for Paterno; he failed to meet his responsibilities and let his university, team, and all who had come to admire him down. The game of football goes on as if nothing had happened; the same cannot be said about the lives of the victims. This is not about the game, this about a criminal matter.

      I congratulate those sane member of the student body of PSU who had the sense to see the big picture and therefore did riot in support of the fallen coach. Too bad your classmates chose to act out by rioting and turning over cars and did not have the sense to do what you did! Unfortunately the children, aka students, who rioted were not mature enough to act like adults their age requires of them. Now they will learn the hard way that their behavior has consequences. Hopefully they will be prosecuted and held responsible for any and all damages they caused. I hope the cameras were rolling and they were caught on tape. Time to GROW UP children. This is the REAL world! Football is a game . . . and not really that good of one either!

      November 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. greg

    Who care about the coaches – the focus should be 100% on the children. The students picketing for the coach who lost his job are totally SICK!!!! Kids how had their lives changed/ruined forever. There should be pickets in support of the kids.

    November 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCTB

      PSU should focus their time and attention on the victims and set up a hotline for other victims to come forward while provide support and services to the victims and families that have been identified.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • k-man

      GREGG....100% correct!

      November 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sally

    Well it is about time! He SHOULD have called the police to protect that little boy. He should have stopped the abuse while it was happening. His moral compass is off and this is who is dealing with the team.

    November 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • mgo

      I think McQ was in shock. That's why he immediately called his father. I may be in the minority, but I see him as a victim here too. One would like to think that they would do the right thing – step in and interrupt the abuse, but whose to say.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ArizonaYankee

    Now you know why people don't want to get involved. This guy thought he did the right thing, and so did Paterno. Now they are expected to by criminal investigators to find out what happened or they are a bad guy. My Bigger question is the Pa. Gov. who 10 years ago was an investigator on this. Yes, 10 years ago law enforcement was involved. This b a s t a r d, should be impeached and brought before a grand jury...Again 10 years ago, and this is this idiots job, and now he calls the shots...America is in the sewer.....

    November 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      If you witnessed somebody get shot at work, would you just tell your boss about it, or would you call the police right then? Whomever knew about this, and only told their boss, should be fired. If McQuery had called the police when he saw it happen, the guilty party would have been prosecuted. Sure, he might have lost his job, but saved a kid. That's where his moral compass went crazy...

      November 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. tom

    check this out. They place this guy on administrators leave. But he is the one who sees the 10-year-old getting molested in2002. And he turned around and walks out. He don't take 10-year-old out of their. He walks out. Personally I do not know anybody meaning the man that would see that and grab the 10-year-old and go directly to the police. And they put on administrative leave. That's crazy

    November 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Linda

    why is the guy who reported the abuse on "indefinite leave"? You're punishing the guy who reported it?! OK, I get that he shoud have simply CALLED THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY AFTER STOPPING THE GUY FROM THE ABUSE, but at least he reported it, and now he's getting punished? I don't get why these people aren't in jail – why didn't the child's parents contact the police and have the abuser arrested immediately?

    November 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • MariaL

      Linda, the children didn't tell their parents. God only knows what they were told to keep their silence. That their parents would be sent to jail or killed, most likely. That's a typical m.o. for child molesters.
      It is NOT enough to report something to a supervisor; they should have gone to the police. What is it about that. that people don't get?

      November 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    McQueary should have been fired, not put on leave.
    Fired.
    He's one of the most culpable, IMO.

    November 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. blah9999

    Wait, so you inform someone about child abuse and you get punished? Only at Penn State

    November 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hecor two toes

      You obviously no nothing about the case

      November 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • blah9999

      actually, i read the indictment. Did you?

      November 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • evilCno

      He was placed on administrative leave.
      Probably with pay.
      Considering all of the death threats.
      It is kind of like protective custody.

      November 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. margeatlarge

    first off i am a mandated reporter–that means i am legally and morally OBLIGATED to report abuse–i agree with this obligation and abide by it–maybe the laws are different there but it sure seems like a no brainer to me second–what is wrong with these idiot rioters who want to defend this coach poterno who is responsible for any and all children who were molested after he found out–where is their outrage for the victims?–instead the victims are afraid of them(can't blame 'em can you?)–what is wrong with them?

    November 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lue Blacke

    There are no winners in this situation. sandusky had too much control over the children & the school.

    November 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Andrew

    Leave is not enough. FIRE HIM. FIRE HIM NOW!!!!

    November 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      i agree, he actually saw it happening and did nothing to stop it. he is the most guilty of all

      November 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
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