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. em

    and at what point am i supposed to feel sorry for this liar???

    July 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. PSU Alumni

    Sandusky deserves the death penalty and Graham Spanier should go to jail. This is not the first time Spanier has been involved in a coverup. In 2001, he covered up how a black student leader had her life threatened by a member of the KKK and Spanier did nothing.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. PJ

    It is unfathomable and illogical to think that a useless Adminstrative parasite who is GROSSLY overpaid and draining vast resources away from education and the welfare of the students could be anything OTHER than a child molester or one who would assist and cover up for a child molester. He can join Sandusky in jail and, with luck, one or more of the so-called "trustees" of Child Molester State.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. HIDE BEHIND

    Hey!
    This is not about abuse of a child, since CNN is so sensative one cannot call it what it is, "R" of boys, and. a criminal conspiracy. to hide the crimes by an all male group with financial interest inthe outcome.
    Somehow the victims are now the college, football program, and the trauma to their childrens who only want an edoutcome.
    If not for the wealth and power of all the athletic and educational staff these people would of appeared in orange jump suits for sentiving by now.
    Football be hanged, what a weak gallows our justice dystem has become.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. PSU Alumni

    Personally I hope that those same inmates that were seranading Sandusky with Pink Floyd's "The Wall" when they first put him in prision after he was arrested, give Sandusky the same treatment that Catholic Church Priest Father John Geogan received when he went to jail.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mitch

    Spanier is a creep and a dirtbag who is running very scared because he got caught.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reals

      MITCH: YOU ARE 10000% CORRECT!!!!

      July 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. PSU Alumni

    Spanier has always looked the other way on all types of controversies at Penn State. He's a liar and a coward who only cared about his own legacy not the innocent babies and children that were molested by this monster Sandusky.

    Even Joe Paterno, obviously only cared about his own ambition when in 1998 this crime should have been reported to the police and The Children's Welfare Department in PA.

    It's time that Pennsyvania give Sandusky the Death Penalty and fry that monster!

    July 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • FredHt

      The 1998 incident was investigated by the police but the District Attorney decided not to press charges. It was the 2001 incident that was witnessed by McQueary that was not reported to the police.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cosmo

      Are you kidding me???? Did you even attempt to read the Freeh Report???? The '98 incident WAS REPORTED TO DPW!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Freeh report explicitly stated that NO ONE at PSU attempted to intervene with the investigation. I'm just so sick of the ignoramuses spouting off obvious verifiable BS just to satisfy there own moral sanctimonious position. How can you even write those words, why would you comment on something being so absolutely ignorant of the basics of an event? Just to clarify – the '98 event was reported to DPW, the police, and the DA of PA. As a group, they concluded (wrongly of course) that a criminal act did not take place. And I'm not even an apologist for the people involved – I think most (not all) of the conclusions drawn in the report were spot on, It's obvious that Paterno knew some basic info about '98, and I full expect that the victims will sue the university and those involved, and hope they get some compensation for what happened to them. But gross ignorance is not acceptable, and this type of misinformation is in part driving the lynch mob.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bronwyn

      Um, the 1998 incident WAS reported to police, the DA, and DPW. It was actually THE POLICE who brought the allegations to the attention of the university.

      Suppose your neighbor or co-worker is investigated for possible wrong-doing by the authorities, but no charges are ever brought, and then the case is closed by police and the DA because they conclude there was no criminality. You are aware that there was an investigation but since the case was dropped and closed, most reasonable people will assume it is because the person was innocent. A few years later, this person is again investigated, and this time IS charged. Based on the conclusions drawn by Mr. Freeh, YOU are now responsible for anyone else harmed by your neighbor/co-worker in those interim years, because even though the police cleared the individual, somehow, YOU should have known that the police bungled the investigation, and YOU should have somehow known the guy was guilty all along, even though the DA couldn't even prove it! Do you really want to live in that kind of a country???

      And I am no fan of Spanier, but he has spoken before of how physically abusive his own father was and how many times his own father beat him, how many ties his father broke Spanier's nose, etc.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lindy

    E-mails say otherwise. He knew.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim_34

    At least Spanier is still around so he can explain why he did not report Sandusky to authorities. He can also tell if Joe Paterno had any influence on any of his decisions.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jason

    I dont lnow why people want to make this a"grey" area...if u knew it was happening and said nohing, ur as guilty as the rest. U either protect children or u dont.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    Quit kicking an old dead dog. That old dog JoePa paid with his life. You are still owing, as are we all.
    Focus that negative energy in a positive way. What MORE can we do to find-out exactly who and what enabled Jerry Sandusky to carry on for decades? Who HAVEN'T we been focusing on?
    Waterboard Mrs. Sandusky. ty

    July 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    And don't try saying that WATERBOARDING is tortue. This technique of gatherin info on those who assist terrorists has ALREADY been approved by our government and by our democrat majority of citizens.
    @Mrs. Sandusky. We KNOW you had an affair with a man whom when he was young had a bi-se xual relationship w/your husband Jerry. Tell US everything you know, or we'll get the waterboard out.
    Dottie "Dot" Sandusky should be freely forthcoming with EVERYTHING she knows. But nobody is even asking her! Yet. 🙂

    July 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • WHAT???

      I'll say it: WATERBOARDING IS TORTURE whether our government uses it or not...waterboard your mother, find out why she had such a bloodthirsty kid!

      July 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Keith

    Why does Spainer feel the need to divert attention by saying now he was abused. Maybe he was, if he was by mentioning it up now you don't sound more informed or sensitive just oh poor me to. Go tell your counselor and keep it to yourself.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    Not to mention the "incidents" we aren't aware of.
    Not all of the "boys" that we usually call 'young men' were truly raype victims. Penn State has a huge gay student body and most all students are gay sympathetic. Just as young men seduce older female teachers and vice-versa, ditto young gays. Many of Sanduskys affairs were with willing participants. So what if they were one day younger than 18.
    "Everyone knew about the camps" said Oskar Schindler (Schindler's List movie)...refering to the fact that most all German citizens knew what was going on at concentration camps, and approved.
    MOST ALL STUDENTS KNEW.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • WHAT???

      Stick to the topic. Not your movie preferences.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. PublicNightmare

    If this were true, He would have said so a long time ago. Not buying it now.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
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