Not So Happy Valley

Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Happier Times: Sandusky (left) with Paterno

The reports from State College, Pa are shocking. Long-time assistant to iconic coach, Joe Paterno, charged with multiple counts of deviant sexual acts with at least eight minors — most under age 12. University administrators who did nothing despite horrific credible eyewitness accounts of  explicit sexual acts in locker rooms and showers. Disadvantaged kids taken advantage of by an authority figure who founded an organization ostensibly to help them, but apparently designed to fulfill his own aberrational desires.

These are the findings of the Grand Jury, and once unassailable Pennsylvania State University stands at a moral crossroads. At the institution’s hip stands legendary football coach, Joe Paterno, who is held out by the football world and the media as a guy who “does it right.” No cheating, no lascivious recruiting, no flashy uniforms a la’ Nike’s Oregon or Under Armour’s Maryland–the guy who made his football team clean the stadium after a game when criminal charges were placed against two of them. In short, a saint in the religion that has become football in Football America.

The center of the storm is former Penn State assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, who made football fans everywhere think of the school as “Linebacker U.” An innovative mind who literally wrote the book on linebackers, Sandusky was Paterno’s right-hand man, and his heir apparent in Happy Valley.  The problem was Paterno just didn’t ever retire. Now at age 84 and in his 44th season coaching, Paterno is going strong and adding to his record 409 FCS wins.  Frustrated by the wait, Sandusky, 67,  applied for several head coaching  jobs, but, failing in that, retired in 1999 to work full-time with the Second Mile Foundation he created in 1977. Second Mile was designed to give disadvantaged youth “activities and programs for children  [and] … to promote self-confidence as well as physical, academic, and personal success.”

AD Tim Curley

Sandusky is alleged by the Grand Jury to have done quite a bit more. In 2002, a Penn State grad student overheard “rhythmic slapping” noises in the locker room showers. After putting away his tennis shoes, the 28-year-old went to investigate. What he saw can only be described as deviancy. According to published reports, the young man saw Sandusky involved in anal intercourse with a child he estimated to be age 10 (Victim #2).  He fled the scene shocked and the next day, accompanied by his father, reported the episode to Paterno. Paterno listened intently and then immediately reported it to University AD, Tim Curley. A week and a half later, the grad student met with Curley and University VP for Finance, Gary Shultz.  They too listened intently and assured him that steps would be taken. They weren’t. All that happened was that Sandusky’s keys to the locker room were taken away.

Then there’s that report by a University janitor who also caught Sandusky in the showers with another child victim ( Victim #8). He reported it to his supervisor. What happened at ol’ PSU in the face of the most unspeakable of crimes? Nada, zip, zilch… why, nothing at all. No report to the police as required of all educators under Pennsylvania law (In Pennsylvania, the statute requires all individuals who encounter a case of abuse through their professional capacity to make a report). No attempt to find out who the child was or to help him.

There is lots more. The Attorney’s General’s Report, found here (Warning:

Sr. VP Finance Gary Shultz

it’s graphic), reports fondling, oral sex, and night-time sexual assaults against children “sleeping over” at the Sandusky home and at other places. There’s even lots more about Curley and VP of Finance Shultz. Seems neither man recalls the grad student mentioning anything about anal sex in the shower that night. All these folks remember is something about Sandusky and the naked ten-year-old just “horsing around.”  Maybe that’s how they view screwing people over in the world of university finance and university athletics?

The Grand Jury didn’t buy it either and have charged both with perjury in their testimony.

As you probably guessed, the Old Boys have pulled together. No charges of failing to report the act to police against the iconic coach or anyone else at Penn State either — at least not yet. University President, Graham Spanier, issued a statement saying, “I have known and worked daily with Tim and Gary for more than 16 years. I have complete confidence in how they have handled the allegations about a former University employee.”  Tim and Gary aren’t issuing statements.

St. Joe’s not talking either according to the Athletic Department, but as a football icon he can’t keep that up forever. I’d like to pose a question here from a fellow coach: “Joe, as a legend in a profession who has as its mantra that ‘we’re in it for the kids,’ why would you ignore the suffering of and brutality against one of those kids whose only flaw seems to be that he’s not old enough to suit up yet?”

I’d like an honest answer to that. And then I’d like another question answered of every man that was involved — whether as a witness, authority figure, supervising coach,or just as a father of kids. Why didn’t you step up and confront that old bastard in the showers and hit him with all your might right square in the nose?

Source: Washington Post

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

120 thoughts on “Not So Happy Valley”

  1. Blouise, you said:

    Oh I’m certain none of these”men” were attempting through their silence to protect an alleged pervert. I’m sure the excuse they gave themselves was three fold … we must protect the university, the football program, and the money said football program generates for said university. Well, it worked for 9 years but now it’s not just one alleged pervert but a whole slew of alleged cover-up law breakers and one alleged pervert.

    Blouise, most of the cover-ups in the area of child sexual abuse occur not in the Catholic Church and not in the Boy Scouts/Universities/other institutions but in the Family Courts and our child abuse investigation agencies, CPS and DHHS.

    It is common in the Family Courts for a whole series of mid-level people to actively join in the cover-up and to order those beneath them to cooperate. Case after case after case after case is covered up at taxpayer expense.

  2. Sorry. Posted your “hero” comment to the other thread — I hope you don’t mind. Forgot to change the name before posting again. One of the perils of sockpuppetry.

  3. “Every great tragedy has a hero…” -mespo


    I’ve been wondering how it began to unravel. Thanks again for this article and the continuing coverage. Thanks, as well, for the good news of the “hero” in all of this. My wish for the victims is some measure of peace… and healing.

  4. Every great tragedy has a hero and in this sordid one it’s Central Mountain High School Administrator, Steve Turchetta. In 2009, Turchetta allegedly surprised Sandusky while he was lying face to face with Victim No. 1 in a remote weight room area of the school’s gymnasium. According to Turchetta, who then coached football and wrestling, he was returning to the gym one evening when he noticed an unexpected light on in the weight room. Investigating, he encountered Sandusky and the 15-year-old boy. Sandusky jumped up and said ‘Hey coach, we’re just working on wrestling moves.” Unconvinced, Turchetta reported the event to his principal and later to the police. Turchetta believed the event suspicious and was concerned that Sandusky was emotionally “clingy” to the boy. The 15-year-old’s mother also confirmed that inapproproate touching had occurred to school officials. That allegation started the investigation which culminated in the Grand Jury Report.

    Sandusky had insinuated himself on the Central Mountain High football staff in 2002 as a volunteer coach under the premise of helping kids from Second MIle who had made the team. His lascivious intent in lying on the teenager face-to-face was confirmed by Victim No. 1 in his testimony as he described the exact same sexual approach by Sandusky while staying over at Sandusky’s home. Sandusky called the process “cracking his back.”

  5. Rumor has it that the Pittsburg catholic church is taking over the university and it will be renamed to ” pedophile U” and Sandusky will be hired as the head of the “packers”……

  6. Joe Paterno’s little power play failed as the statement he originally issued wherein he said he wanted to stay till the end of the season was issued without the Board’s approval. I suspect he figured he could force them to accept that scenario.

    He, once again, misjudged the seriousness of the situation and was canned by phone immediately after the Trustee’s meeting that night.

    The riot ensued and as far as I’m concerned that also falls on Paterno’s head. He set the situation up with his seriously flawed judgement … once again.

    I heard on the news last night that he had retained a criminal lawyer. He hasn’t been charged with anything yet but who knows what other “misjudgements” the guy has made. There are going to be several investigations … we’ll wait and see.

  7. I see the US Department of Education is now starting an investigation of Penn State to see if there has been a violation of the Clery Act.

    Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated that if the allegations against Sandusky — who faces 40 counts of charges related to the sexual abuse of numerous children — are true and the university did not report the abuse, it would be a tragedy. Schools and officials have a “legal and moral responsibility” to protect children, he said.

    “If these allegations of sexual abuse are true, then this is a horrible tragedy for those young boys,” Duncan said in a statement. “If it turns out that some people at the school knew of the abuse and did nothing or covered it up, that makes it even worse. Schools and school officials have a legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from violence and abuse.”

    The Clery Act requires colleges and Universities taking part in the Federal financial aid program to record and disclose reports of crime on campus. They must issue warnings about any crime that threatens the campus community. A retired assistant coach molesting a child on campus appears to fit the description. Violations can result in fines of up to $27,500, and in extreme cases a school can be kicked out of the Federal financial aid program.

    The Clery Act was named after Jeanne Clery. She was a 19-year-old Lehigh University freshman who was raped and murdered by another student in her campus residence hall in 1986. The law was signed into effect in 1990.


  8. The shame of Penn State
    The university buried a child sex scandal for years. And rioting students dare blame the media?

    On Wednesday night, the Penn State Board of Trustees met — for the first time since the child sex abuse scandal broke — and subsequently announced that football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier had been fired. No, that’s wrong, let’s take those names in order of importance – first Graham Spanier and then Joe Paterno. What followed was a jaw-dropping torrent of angry, abusive questions from Penn State students directed to a cowed and bewildered John Surma, vice chairman of the trustees.

    With the purpose of clarifying the issues, I’m going to do an instant replay on the questions and help Surma with the answers. (The following questions were taken right off the CNN telecast.)

    Angry student: You said Coach Paterno was fired “in the best interests of the university.” Can you define in the best interests of the university?

    Surma: I…

    Me (putting my hand over the mic): Hold it, John, I got this one.

    You ask to define “the best interests of the university”? Let me tell you in as clear language as possible, you arrogant little jerk. Over the past 15 years there were at least eight boys raped by former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky — oh, sorry, even though the grand jury has met on this, we still have to say “allegedly raped.” Anyone connected with this, anyone who enabled Sandusky to continue doing what he was doing — oh, sorry, allegedly doing what he was doing — and doing it on the Penn State campus, and anyone who had knowledge of his activities and did not act to stop him deserves to be immediately dismissed.

    Angry student: That doesn’t mean …

    Me: Shut up. I’m not finished. You asked the question and I’m answering it.

    It would have been “in the best interests of the university” if the firings were announced on Sunday morning, the day after the findings of the grand jury were released. That, at least, would have made it appear to the public that somebody at Penn State was treating this matter with the gravity it demands.

    Since you don’t seem to get it, let me spell it out for you. On Saturday, March 2, 2002, a then-graduate assistant who is currently an assistant PSU football coach, Mike McQueary — you all remember him, he was also a quarterback here and the one with the shock of red hair that makes him look like Archie in the comics — told the grand jury he saw former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky naked in the shower, raping a young boy McQueary thought to be 10 years of age.

    Now, let me be clear about this: I’m wondering why McQueary, a strapping young quarterback, didn’t do something right then and there and stop this boy from being assaulted? Instead, McQueary — who, for some unfathomable reason is not only still on the Penn State coaching staff, but will, as of this writing, be with the team this Saturday in full view of a national TV audience — called not the campus police or the university president, but his father, who didn’t tell his son to go to the campus police or the university president but to the head football coach.

    According to testimony Joe Paterno gave the grand jury, Paterno said McQueary was “distraught” and he wasn’t “specific.” This leaves me wondering whether Paterno was, then or now, a liar or merely an idiot. Stop shouting, I’m not finished.

    If McQueary was “distraught,” did Paterno not think that he had seen something terrible? And if he thought McQueary wasn’t “specific,” why did he not ask him to be specific?

    Instead of calling the police or the university president, Paterno called athletic director Tim Curley, another former assistant coach. Curley brought in Gary Schultz, vice president of finance and business, whose duties included supervision of the campus police. By the way, Paterno called Curley not the same day he met with McQueary, but waited at least 24 hours. Curley and Schultz met with McQueary eventually — eventually, as in no one is sure how many days passed, but estimates are that it might have been as late as March 27 — and promised to investigate.

    No one knows exactly when president Spanier was informed, but it appears to have been after the March 27 meeting.

    Are you getting all this? Is it making an impression?

    What was done by the Penn State officials between March 2002 and the recent grand jury investigation was … nothing! No one went to legal authorities and no action was taken. Oh, I just remembered. That’s not true. According to the grand jury report, after the incident in 2002, someone — again, presumably Curley — told Sandusky “not to bring any boys on campus.” And Sandusky did have his keys taken away, though precisely what that means isn’t clear since Sandusky — who, you’ll be interested to know, is walking around today, free on $100,000 bail – was still using the Penn State facilities as late as 2009, when the last sex abuse charge, the one that got a grand jury involved, was made by the mother of a 12-year old boy.

    And do you know why in 2002 Jerry Sandusky was a former assistant coach? “Officially” he resigned in 1999 after Paterno told him he would not be head football coach. But coincidentally, he resigned soon after a mother confronted him on campus twice and asked him not to shower with boys again. Sandusky refused, and campus police tapped into at least one of their conversations, but the authorities decided not to file charges. Happily for Sandusky, his resignation agreement included a clause that he continued to have an office and full access to the Penn State football facilities.

    Even better for Sandusky, he was allowed to retain his position in the Second Mile, a charitable organization for at-risk children, which he helped found.

    I should add that it appears that no one at Penn State bothered to inform anyone else associated with the Second Mile about either the 1998 or 2002 incidents involving Sandusky.

  9. rafflaw, Isn’t it… and just keeps getting worse… I think you’re right about this being the tip of an iceberg…

    Elaine, I completely agree — it’s awful…

    A friend of mine told me that when Sandusky “retired” from Penn State, Paterno didn’t attend the retirement party — that there was lots of speculation, at the time, about Paterno’s absence that night…

  10. Anon nurse,
    That is a horrible story.
    Great excerpt Elaine. I do believe that the tip of the iceberg is what we are seeing at this point. It will probably get even uglier.

  11. anon nurse,

    That is just too awful to imagine!


    Madden: Sandusky a State secret
    Beaver County Times
    April 3, 2011

    In 1999, Penn State was rid of Sandusky. His rep was unblemished, which allowed him to continue running a charitable foundation that gave him access to underage males. To be a volunteer assistant with a high school football team, thus gaining access to underage males.

    If Paterno and Penn State knew, but didn’t act, instead facilitating Sandusky’s untroubled retirement – are Paterno and Penn State responsible for untoward acts since committed by Sandusky?

    This is far from an outrageous hypothesis, especially given the convenient timeline.

    Initially accused in 1998. Retires in 1999. Never coaches college football again. Sandusky was very successful at what he did. The architect of Linebacker U. Helped win national championships in 1982 and 1986. Recognized as college football’s top assistant in 1986 and 1999.

    Never any stories about Sandusky being pursued for a high-profile job. Never any rumors about him coming out of retirement.

    But there’s no shortage of stories and rumors about Penn State football sweeping problems under the rug, is there?

    Why did college football let an accomplished coach like Sandusky walk away at 55? Why did he disappear into relative anonymity?

    A grand jury, spurred by a complaint made by a 15-year-old boy in 2009, has been investigating Sandusky for 18 months. Witnesses include Paterno and Penn State athletic director Tim Curley. Interviewing Paterno about a subject like this had to have been one of the single most uncomfortable acts in the history of jurisprudence.

    Plenty of questions remain yet unanswered. Potentially among them: What’s more important, Penn State football or the welfare of a few kids?

    You might not want to hear the answer.

  12. Does Penn State Actively Condone The Rape Of Children?

    Everyone else at Penn State looked to Paterno as their monarch, and when he made it clear that he was going to do the bare minimum legally required about this, they all followed his lead. This included allowing Sandusky to continue to exploit his relationship with Penn State to prey upon and rape more young boys.

    For Penn State to allow Paterno to take the field as coach this Saturday and to continue to coach until the end of the season constitutes condonement of child rape, and minimization of the grievous harm that Sandusky and Paterno by their actions have caused to who knows how many young boys. And note that deciding to allow Sandusky the continued use of the reputation and physical infrastructure of the Penn State football program to prey on young boys was an affirmative action by Paterno, not just inaction.

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