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. Terminator2

    Mr.McQuery , since out of the office on administrative leave, now is a good time to update your resume. You/We all know that the next step we hear out here in media land is that your not the wide receiver coach at Penn State. Hope you have solid references available for you next job.

    November 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • BW

      Sandusky should give him a good reference...for what that's worth!

      November 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. adamthefirst

    about time, he should have beat that gay child molester to death when he witnessed that gay act.

    November 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      exactly

      November 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • rafael

      yes.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • manhandler

      Nice try...just couldn't wait for an opportunity for gay bashing. Unfortunately, your ignorance is showing...Most all pedophiles are straight men....Fact. Has nothing to do with "Gay" as your bigotry would so like.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • M

      He's a pedophile, not a gay man. There IS a difference!

      November 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Actually, Sandusky is not gay.....as most pedophiles are: He's a married man with 6 adopted children. He did write in his book "Touched" that his dad had quit his full time job to spend all his time at a local children's center . . just like Sandusky quit his full time job and devote himself to his own 'children's center'. What's that old adage about trees . . . apples . . .dropping?

      Behind the curtain of knee jerk reaction . . . news outlets have been reporting that the weathy donors to Sandusky's personal harem of little boys . . . were given acess to those little boys for their personal pleasures. That will remain to be seen as true or not . . but you can bet the victims will have something to say whether wealthy donors got vast tax deductable benefits with theor club for men donations.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • woolncathairs

      Lay off the 'gay' stuff. While I'm sure there is a gay pedophile out there somewhere, most adult gays are NOT pedophiles and would have stopped the act had they been the one to walk in on it.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. manhandler

    Have a feeling that most ALL the coaches had some inkling of this mess. How could they have not? And not just Penn State coaches...other University coaches. Ask yourselves why a supposedly skilled Coach like Sandusky was never offered any positon anywhere after he left Penn State? Highly unusual. And what happened to the original D.A. who was investigating these charges? His car was found abandoned and his laptop was found in a river and the hard drive had been pulled out of it and was found further down the river. The FBI needs to get involved....somethng stinks in Pennsylvania.

    November 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • rafael

      pure evil

      November 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Horrendous story; makes me realize that what we know is just the tip of the iceberg.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • bo abobo

      He retired, that's why there were no offers

      November 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • calleigh

      many of the football staff knew about this. they had to. what surpises me that in all that time not ONE of them came forward. sick stuation. fire mcquery and get it over with. he's already had death threats. he will have more soon until he is fired.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. infonomics

    Mike McQueary could have walked away and never said a word. He didn't and now he is being assailed as if he was Sandusky himself. Bad precedent. And, of course, all the plastic Audie Murphy's are pounding their chests as they boast "I would have done this or that." Yea, right. I fought Corporate America and their corruption for 40 years and not once did anyone try to help me. Not once. Finally, one person was gracious enough to explain. She didn't want to get involved because she could not afford to lose her job. Yea but I could and did, several times. America, the home of brave. Bull. America, the home of the sycophants. Next time Mike McQueary, walk away and let the other Audie Murhphy's of the world take up the fight.

    November 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • manhandler

      Mike McQueary is a huge guy....Mike McQuery could have immediately intervened to stop what was happening. There IS no excuse....NONE. Can't even begin to imagine seeing something like that and not immediatly intervening....Going home and reporting it to Daddy???? Come on!

      November 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • DAVID IN FLORIDA

      While you are 50% correct, the man did NOT either stop the crime himself or call the police to do so.
      That is a crime in our society.
      So he is guilty as hell of letting the crime continue to occur or to cover it up..

      November 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prometheus

      You hit the nail squarely on the head with your comment. I agree 110%. I've also been fired more than once by upper management for pointing out violations that could have dealt a severe blow to the over all health and image of our organization by middle-management. In an 'off-the-record' conversation with upper management regarding my dismissal I was told that loyalty to the chain of command was seen as "more desirable" than ethics. I was confused as I was showing loyalty to the chain of command by pointing out disloyalty, mismanagement AND ethics violations which would have SURELY reflected badly not upon me...but on upper management.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terminatus

      His cowardice lead to more abuse. Your whistleblowing is NOTHING in comparison to the evil that Mike McQueary could have stopped. Mike should have to live in shame for having done so very little, EVEN IF it was something.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Mike McQueary did walk away. He witnessed a crime being perpetrated upon a minor child by an adult. His duty and responsibility at the time was simple – give his superiors heads up that he was contacting the police re: what he witnessed.

      Instead, he told his coach and then left it at that. He walked away from his responsibility as a citizen of that community, the university and to that victim as well as the countless others by not following up on it inhouse and by not reporting it to the police.

      Administrative leave before being fired for failure to do the moral, ethical thing, sounds right to me! He was a lemming by his own cowardice to rock the boat. Serves him right.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      I agree with you but only to a point. I get that football culture is a bohemoth at Penn State and reporting a top level official, especially as a lowly graduate student is career suicide, but if you witness a child in the throes of being assaulted, you simply don't walk away without letting the authorities know a child is being horrendously violated. How do you sleep at night knowing that the child might be going through more of the same right at that moment?

      I am glad he went to Paterno, but he failed the child that day, in that moment.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • booboo

      why in the hell are you bringin wii hero audie murphy into this? how ignorant.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. joplinblack

    i knew this was coming...saw it a mile away.

    November 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • DAVID IN FLORIDA

      He should have been 1st to go.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Crystal

    This stinks to high heaven. It is only going to get worse. Listen to what I say..........................

    November 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JustMe

    adamthefirst: I totally agree...everyone is blaming the staff (and they should have done more), BUT why did this guy not step in a protect that child!!! Pick of a bat, weight, barbell... SOMETHING and beat that child molester dead? at the VERY LEAST he could have picked up a phone and dialed 9-1-1-!! he should be more than "put on leave"....

    November 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    I believe J.Paterno did what he was supposed to do in reporting it. Could he have done more? Probably but he was hired to coach a football team not to discipline staff or anchor an investigave panel. That would be the responsibility of the AD or administrative staff. He was hired to coach a football team. With that said I don't believe he did wrong. I can certainly see releasing Sandusky. But if the head coach is fired all involved should be as well. All.

    November 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • ddduck

      You don't think it is wrong to ignore child molestation to continue. Whatever. (sigh)

      November 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dexter

    he is a coward

    November 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Liz

    I had trouble understanding why Paterno and McQueary were not handled in the same way to begin with.

    November 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dexter

    biggest coward in 2011 , correction 2002

    November 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jackie

    The campus police knew back in 1998....go after them. They are just as guilty. What a very sick school form the top on down!

    November 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jim

    Wonderful, We're going to let the dickwads who allowed this situation to happen investigate it. Gosh, I wonder what they'll find out, maybe that they're all blameless !

    November 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DAVID IN FLORIDA

    Why is he still an employee while Paterno got fired.
    This is the real villain.

    November 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • SnoqualmiePhil

      AMEN Dave. We posted the exact same question. Hold them all accoutable or none. You cant cherry pick the wrong doers here

      November 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Actually, the real villain is Sandusky. McQuery witnessed a crime and reported it up the chain, as he was legally required to do. If you are concerned that he didn't step in to break it up, the University knew about that nine years ago, and, by employing the guy since then, has agreed that his actions were appropriate. They can't fire him now – it's too late. All they can do is choose not to renew his contract, and even then I think he would probably have recourse because of whistelblower protection. The ned game here is that they will work out a fincnail settlement where he will get a decent sum of money, and then he can move on with his life.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SnoqualmiePhil

    Why did Penn St. fire Paterno stating he did not do enough yet the clown who witnessed the act is still emoployed. Shouldn't this man be held to the same standard as Paterno?

    November 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terminatus

      Yes, perhaps even more so. This was not an incident you merely give 50% on. This incident absolutely required Mike McQueary to shout from the mountaintops, even if it meant falling off.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      No, he shouldn't. As a witness, he should be encouraged to report the crime, as he did, without fear of adverse consequences if none years later someone questions the way he did it. The people up the chain to whom he reported it are the ones who should be (and have been) held to a higher standard. They had the authority, and the responsibility, to take actions to stop this guy, and they didn't do it.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
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