Former Penn State president: I was abused as kid, wouldn't ignore Sandusky allegations
Graham Spanier was fired from his position as president of Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
July 24th, 2012
10:00 AM ET

Former Penn State president: I was abused as kid, wouldn't ignore Sandusky allegations

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier said he would never have ignored accusations of child sex abuse on campus because, among other things, he "personally experienced massive and persistent abuse as a child," according to a letter he sent to the school's board of trustees.

"It is unfathomable and illogical to think that a respected family sociologist and family therapist, someone who personally experienced massive and persistent abuse as a child, someone who devoted a significant portion of his career to the welfare of children and youth... would have knowingly turned a blind eye to any report of child abuse or predatory sexual acts directed at children," Spanier said in the letter - which was dated Sunday and obtained by CNN Tuesday.

While Spanier has not been criminally charged in the case, an investigation by ex-FBI chief Louis Freeh concluded that he helped university officials conceal allegations of sexual abuse against the former assistant football coach.

Spanier disputes these findings in his letter, saying "at no time during my presidency did anyone ever report to me that Jerry Sandusky was observed abusing a child or youth or engaged in a sexual act with a child or youth."

Sandusky was convicted in June of sexually abusing young boys over a 15-year period.

More on the Penn State scandal:

Paterno loyalists: Sanctions excessive

Ex-Penn State pres: I was abused

History books, Paterno's legacy altered?

Penalties won't be school's final payout

Opinion: Will players stick around?

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Filed under: Jerry Sandusky • Penn State
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. RJ

    A lot of times, those abused become abusers themselves.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Buddy

      The abused should be chemically neutered for the rest of their lives.

      It waould also separate the wheat from the chaff.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. riamb60

    He is fearful of losing his precious job.
    Lame excuse, Mr. Spanier

    July 24, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Bigboard

      Too late for that, he has already lost his cushy job as one of the highest paid public university presidents in the country.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • darth cheney

      Um, he is not currently in that job. You might want to think before you bloviate hate.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. Let's Get Real

    Who is doing the PR work for these guys? Between the Paterno family and this dude the messaging is a disaster.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. Leigh2

    I imagine with his claim of abuse, there will be digging into his past to either validate or invalidate his claim.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. CLEE

    Spainer was more interested in his own gain... in what his precious name looked like. He enforced rules on every other collage and held them to a standard he knew his own school wasn't preforming to. He couldn't let this scandal out! This would kill his name... like it did.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. kmwatersaz

    C'mon man! Spanier knew quite well something was afoot, and all the communication centered around damage control so the school would stay out of the news with a salacious story. Not one email or story about who said what to whom suggested that any of them wanted to get to the bottom of what really happened or what Sandusky was of wasn't doing with these kids. As Stossel used to say, Give Me A Break!!

    July 24, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  7. akhmedalkhlij

    I was abused. He was abused. Everybody was abused. Gimmee money. Make me feel betta right now!

    July 24, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. I am a victim too

    "I was robbed as a child, so I would never rob anyone."
    "My girlfriend cheated on me, so I would never cheat on a girlfriend."
    "I was bullied in grade school, so I would never bully anyone."

    –Yeah, Graham, your logic makes perfect sense. You're forgiven.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Rick CT

    Agree, there is a big credibility issue here – and we're likely to see more of these. However, at least he and all but one of the others implicated by Freeh had the opportunity to to be part of the investigation (at leastbe intereviewed) and they still have the opportunity to raise their own defenses. Not saying he's innocent by any stretch of the imagination, but Joe Paterno never got that opportunity. Everything Freeh implicated he did has come from others. And from the sound of Spanier's comments, I wouldn't be surprised if the others decided to throw a dead and defenseless Joe Paterno under the bus to lessen their own load. Just a thought.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. Shawnee

    Well said! Agree 100%.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. kmwatersaz

    Freeh told the whole world that "the emperor has no clothes" and they are having a tough time with chicken embyos on their countenance.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike Ford

    So he is he saying that he never heard anything about the incident McCreary reported?

    July 24, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Todd in DC

    If this yutz really meant what he said, then why did it take an assistant coach to first report the charges?

    July 24, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. 666

    How is this NEWS? ...and who cares.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. Buddy

    Well, why didn't HE go to the Police????

    July 24, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • a pennsylvanian

      are you talking about sandusky's 2001 shower victim? he didn't go to the police because he was being manipulated, lied too by an evil man!!!

      July 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • fuzzy math?

      From what I understand, the police already knew about Sandusky. The whole thing stinks. Sure the university and its staff must be held to account. But when will the Police and the Governor be pressed on what they knew and didn't do as well.

      July 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
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