Already convicted by a court of law, Sandusky has what is effectively a life sentence, while others who were in power at Penn State during the 1998 period where sex crimes were reported internally, Graham Spanier, Gary Schulz and Tim Curley, have still not faced any sort of trial and are still at-large today.
Last week, with an interesting sentence appearing deep in an insurance lawsuit involving a Sandusky victim settlement, the band-aid was once again ripped off.
The details of the lawsuit claim that Joe Paterno chose not to act in 1976 when one victim reported abuse by Sandusky, while Sarah Ganim, the hero reporter who broke the Sandusky story wide-open five years ago, added a second story of abuse in the 1970s where Paterno pressured one of Sandusky's victims over the phone in the 1971 to not press charges against him.
Penn State folks doggedly and consistently appear to deny that Paterno had anything to do with Sandusky, with the Paterno family themselves on the leading edge of of the denials.
As you'll discover below, these denials are becoming less and less plausible by the second.
Say one thing about current Penn State president Eric Barron - he's been consistently defensive of anything that involves Joe Paterno.
Barron went to that playbook very quickly after the latest Paterno accusations came to light.
"Over the past few days, allegations have surfaced from individuals who claim to be Sandusky victims and from unidentified individuals about the alleged knowledge of former University employees," Barron said. "None of these allegations about the supposed knowledge of University employees has been substantiated in a court of law or in any other process to test their veracity.
"I want you to know I am appalled by the rumor, innuendo and rush to judgment that have accompanied the media stories surrounding these allegations. All too often in our society, people are convicted in the court of public opinion, only to find a different outcome when all the facts are presented."
It is especially rich to claim that there is a "rush to judgement" on Paterno, given the existence the now-infamous Freeh report, which at best shows Paterno with a shocking disregard for following up on eyewitness sexual abuse claims.
Joe Paterno's son, Jay Paterno, also passionately "demands a public review of the facts" of Joe Paterno's involvement, per a Facebook post.
I agree, Jay.
Let's start at the top.
- 1969: Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State linebacker, was hired by Joe Paterno as an assistant linebacker coach. Sandusky, after a brief career in semi-professional football with the Pennsylvania Mustangs, spent some time as an assistant coach at Juanita College and Boston University.
- 1969: Ed Czekaj is elevated to the sitting athletic director for Penn State, working his way up from graduate assistant at Penn State to become the athletic director. Before that, he was a former Nittany Lion football player.
- 1969: Sandusky appears in his first newspaper article speaking for the Penn State football program on the 28th of October. It's a one-line mention about his scouting of Boston College.
- 1969: Penn State finishes the season 11-0.
- 1971: From the CNN report, Sandusky allegedly picked up a 15 year old hitchhiker, gave him beer, and pot, and raped him in a Penn State bathroom. A day after the assault, according to the victim, his stepmother saw a wound on his head, where he gave here details on the assault. The family, allegedly against his wishes, called Penn State, and two people claiming to be representatives of the University, "Jim" and "Joe", called back and pressured him on his story. One of the voices on the phone, the victim alleged, was Joe Paterno. Multiple people corroborated the story on the victims' side.
- 1974: Sandusky was already elevating himself into more of a public figure associated with Penn State athletics. On the 6th of February, on behalf of Penn State athletics and Joe Paterno, Sandusky attended the Fredricksburg Lions Club's honorary dinner to honor past district governors. "The program of athletics has no room for half-hearted participants or a lukewarm approach for what we want to attain," he said in an article in The Lebanon Daily News. "In order to gain satisfaction [from struggle], the participant must show respect for his coaches who are trying to guide him in order to become successful."
- 1974: Representing Penn State and Joe Paterno, Sandusky appears at the "Big 10 Anniversary Lineup" at Mon Valley in December, showing that both of these appearances, it can safely be inferred, must have been been approved with the knowledge of Joe Paterno.
- 1975: Paterno in multiple UPI reports advocates for the reduction of football scholarship limits down from the current limit on 105, illustrating Paterno's growing clout and use of the national media to advance his opinions on subjects that are passionate to him.
- 1975: A new child abuse law is proposed in the Pennsylvania house by Michael O'Pake (D), Berks County. "The Reading Democrat believes child abuse cases are difficult for the courts to handle because there rarely are there witnesses to the crime and the victim often is too young to speak in his own behalf."
- 1976: On the 12th of May, Associated Press releases their first big story about Sandusky's success in coaching linebackers. "Linebackers seem to fall from Mt. Nittany like apples from a tree," the lede said, with "the coach behind the scenes molding guys into outstanding linebackers" as Sandusky.
- 1976: According to claims in an insurance lawsuit, a different child victim of Sandusky allegedly reported a claim of molestation to Joe Paterno. No record has emerged of Paterno's reaction to that claim, or whether Paterno received or acted on the claim. No record of police involvement has currently been found, nor have any records emerged as to whether Ed Czekaj was informed of any crime, or what his reaction was to such an allegation.
- 1976: Unsealed details of the alleged 1976 incident are revealed to the public. From the article: "While showering with half a dozen other boys in a university locker room, he said, Sandusky inserted his finger into the boy's anus. When the boy reacted, Sandusky replied, 'Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize I was getting that close,' he recalled in his deposition. Unsettled by the encounter, the boy approached several staff members of the camp, he testified. 'They expressed concern but that was it,' he said in his deposition. So he decided to approach Paterno directly after spotting him in a hallway of an athletic building. 'I specifically asked to speak with him,' the man testified. 'Person to person, it was just the two of us, but there were several people within three, four, five feet.' The man testified that he was shocked by Paterno's response, recalling that the iconic coach told him that he didn't want to hear about any of that kind of stuff because he had to focus on the upcoming football season."
- 1976: On November 26th, the state of Pennsylvania passes a new child abuse law, Act 124, the Child Protective Services Law. It significantly broadened the way child abuse claims, and specifically child sexual abuse claims, were mandated to be reported. It required that people in certain professions report immediately suspected abuse to law enforcement. Two of the professions mentioned in the law are "school teacher" and "school administrator". It also added that these professions that report child abuse claims would have immunity from prosecution.
- 1977: Paterno promotes Sandusky to defensive coordinator.
- 1977: Sandusky releases a book called Developing Linebackers, The Penn State Way. The book is used in the future to wield his coaching credentials and to further his own celebrity.
- 1977: The state of Pennsylvania sets up a toll free hotline, "Childline", which is created for the express purpose of allowing required parties to report child abuse claims and match them up with case workers. In the first six months, more than 6,000 calls come in, including 40 from Centre County, The Tyrone Daily Herald reported.
- 1977: Sandusky starts planning to set up his organization, "The Second Mile", an independent charitable foundation which ended up being used by Sandusky to find victims to molest. "For three years, Sandusky and others from the community have been planning The Second Mile," a 1979 Daily Collegian article said, which was to be a home for "problem children in State College." the article mentioned. "The uniqueness of it is it would be affiliated with Penn State University athletes and Penn State in general," Sandusky was quoted as saying. "With all the publicity Penn State has received, it should be kind of an inspiration to the kids, like a big brother or sister. And our athletes are all for it." Paterno either was either completely unconcerned with or in complete agreement with Jerry Sandusky dragging the reputation of Penn State athletics - and their athletes under scholarship - into Sandusky's endeavor.
- 1978: Paterno is elected to two NCAA committees, recruiting, and competitive safeguards.
- 1977-1980: At least three Collegian articles talk about the intimate link between The Second Mile and Penn State, two noting that Joe Paterno was on the honorary board of directors of The Second Mile, and that an "unnamed member of the honorary board" donated $4,000 to the cause (which was implied to be Paterno).
- 1977-1980: One article noticed, curiously, that The Second Mile would "start with boys until we become established," then-director Ron Coder said, whose sons all attended Penn State, "but we will keep the door open to girls."
- 1980: On January 16th, in the wake of Penn State basketball leaving the ECAC, former Penn State athletic director Ed Czekaj is "kicked upstairs", per an AP report, and Joe Paterno is given the dual role of head football coach and athletic director. "Paterno says he did not seek the job, but that Penn State president John Oswalt asked him to do both," the article says. "Oswald, according to Paterno, felt that there was a great advantage in having someone from inside take over, rather than bring in an outsider who would have to learn the university's personnel and philosophy."
- 1980: Sandusky gets even more detailed about his plans for the involvement of current Penn State students in the Second Mile in an July 18th article in The Huntington Daily News. "Aside from house parents and staff, The Second Mile will use Pennsylvania State University students as auxiliary helpers," the report said. "We feel that the young people in our athletic programs can provide great examples, and the youngsters also will benefit from exposure to the activities, facilities, and programs of the University," Sandusky is quoted as saying.
- 1980: Representing Penn State and Joe Paterno, Sandusky attends the "Coach of the Year" clinic in Pittsburgh, along with such notable head football coaches as Dan Devine, Woody Hayes and Bud Wilkinson.
- 1980-1983: "In this era of deinstitutionalization, it seems especially inappropriate to bring a boy from Erie, Pittsburgh, or Philadelphia to central Pennsylvania where he is hundreds of miles from the support of his family and friends," a social worker chillingly wrote The Collegian. "The organizers of The Second Mile owe the public the answers to questions regarding the appropriateness of a statewide program and the effects of their fund raising on the whole network of human service agencies in Centre County. Philanthropic agencies interested in working for The Second Mile should demand this information before pledging their support."
- 1980s: Too many Penn State athletics fundraisers to count are listed in the Daily Collegian, all of whom list The Second Mile as the main recipient of the money. Penn State athletes, specifically football players, lend their "star power" to these events.
- 1981: On March 12th, The Tyrone Daily Herald publishes a piece called "Sandusky and Paterno Explain Second Mile." Though the article does not attribute specific quotes to Paterno, it does mention that "The Second Mile will strongly identify with the athletes and the athletic programs of The Pennsylvania State University," along with the mission statement of The Second Mile, which talks about proactively caring for "at risk" students, at this point boys, before they have "problems". Nowhere did current Athletic Director Joe Paterno disavow this direct association with The Second Mile, nor did he publicly say he had any issue with Jerry Sandusky using his name and likeness for promotional purposes for The Second Mile, not to mention the use of Penn State's athletes and facilities for the promotion of The Second Mile.
- 1981: "I think the students of Tyrone High School should be commended for their present efforts in promoting the Maynard Ferguson Concert on April 13th," a letter in The Tyrone Daily Herald said. "Jerry Sandusky... is taking time off his busy schedule to come to our town and congratulate the students personally.... Maynard Ferguson is a giant in the musical world.... in fact I understand the Blue Band will be in attendance as well as many of the Penn State football players."
- 1981: Dick Thornburgh, governor of Pennsylvania, takes out a full-page ad in the Tyrone Daily Herald lauding the efforts of the Tyrone High School students. "The Second Mile is fortunate to have the support of these students, as well as that of the Tyrone Community and Joe Paterno and the Penn State Nittany Lions football team," it said.
- 1981: "The Second Mile is in many ways a reflection of the attitude of the entire athletic department at Penn State." The Tyrone Herald said on May 5th, one of many pro-Second Mile pieces to appear in the paper. Curiously, the mission of the Second Mile is now described as aspiring to "build a network of services for needy children... and the cornerstone of that network will be a two-story home on a tract of land near Beaver Stadium which will serve as a model for others."
- 1981: Larry Kubin, a current Penn State athlete, writes a letter to The Tyrone Herald thanking Tyrone high school students "in their efforts to help my Penn State coach, Jerry Sandusky and his Second Mile organization." The event happens at an eatery called "The Bull Pen", which is repeatedly the venue of different Second Mile events and personal appearances by Sandusky and his wife.
- 1982: On the 27th of February, Joe Paterno, per an AP report, says goodbye to the Penn State Athletic Director's job. "I really didn't know what was going on in the athletic department [before I was asked to take over,]" he told the reporter. "I was talked into taking the job in the best interests in Penn State. I think we now have a solid program with controls. I think I've done as much as I could." Jim Tarman, an associate athletic director under Czekaj and Paterno and a former public relations director at Gettysburg College, is promoted from within to become the next athletic director. Unbeknownst at the time, Tarman was handling the administrative side of Paterno's time as athletic director, per a later AP account.
- 1982: Penn State's football team finishes undefeated and wins an unofficial I-A National Championship.
- 1983: The Second Mile organizes its biggest celebrity golf tournament yet for April, with Bob Hope, Willie Mays and other sports and entertainment celebrities in attendance. Also in attendance is Joe Paterno, along with many current Penn State players whom had not yet graduated, such as Todd Blackledge and Curt Warner. Based on multiple press reports, personal appearances and mentions in the local and national press, it is inconceivable that Joe Paterno is unaware of the fact that Jerry Sandusky and the Second Mile have wrapped themselves completely in the image of Penn State's athletics program, going as far as using Penn State athletes to promote events.
- 1983: In a post-game press conference after the Nittany Lions upset Alabama 34-28, mentioned Sandusky by name when it came to their defensive gameplan vs. the Crimson Tide. "Coach Joe Paterno, gaining his first victory in five attempts against Alabama, said his defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, 'expected the play, the short-side sweep that had been hurting us.'", The New York Times reported.
- 1983: "He has great teaching ability," Paterno told Sports Illustrated. "He has a gift for setting up the drills that will teach the kids to execute all the things we ask them to do as linebackers... Many people have talked to me about hiring him, but Jerry's been reluctant to talk to them because of all the commitments he has [with his charity The Second Mile]. I'm concerned about his future. I'm proud of everything that he and Dottie have done, and I certainly wouldn't like to lose him, but I'd hate to see him lose his chance to be a head coach."
- 1986: Sandusky attends "Big 33" high school all-start events representing Penn State, along with a multitude of other college head coaches and assistant coaches.
- 1987-1988: According to latest allegations, two Penn State assistant coaches allegedly witnessed inappropriate contact with Sandusky and children. At least one was allegedly reported to Penn State's athletic director, Jim Tarman. No action appears to have been taken and no authorities apparently got involved.
- 1988: In December, Jerry Sandusky, "after much discussion with family and friends," elected to stay at Penn State rather than take over as head coach at Temple, according to a UPI report. The article mentions that Sandusky had turned down other head coaching jobs before. "As I look at it, there was a positive decision to be made either way," Sandusky said, "to pursue the Temple challenge or remain at Penn State where the last twenty years have been so full of satisfaction on and off the football field."
- 1990: President George H.W. Bush praises The Second Mile as a "shining example" of charity work in a letter.
- 1993: Athletic director Jim Tarman announces his retirement. He is succeeded by Tim Curley, promoted from within. He formerly served as associate athletic director. It is worthy of note here that my searches looking for any link with Jim Tarman, Jerry Sandusky and the Second Mile came up empty. Tarman was not a guest speaker at Second Mile events, and did not appear as a quote talking about the Second Mile.
- 1994: At the Second Mile Sports Banquet, Joe Paterno is the keynote speaker.
- 1994: A boy identified as Victim 7 in the Special Investigative Counsel Report meets Sandusky through The Second Mile. He later tells a grand jury that he had a "blurry memory" of having improper contact with Sandusky when they were showering together in the football locker room on the Penn State campus. No evidence has ever surfaced that any attempt was made to contact authorities.
- 1995: "I have a great staff right now," The Hazelton Standard-Speaker reported Joe Paterno as saying. "I don't know of anybody who could have a better balanced staff than we have right now. We have better people and we're doing a better job." Sandusky also gave a quote for the article. "Each individual has had his own reason for staying here. Some people come, some people go and others stay a long time. That's probably most related to the community. It's a great place to live and raise a family."
- 1995: On June 5th, the Second Mile Northeast chapter in Hazelton, PA holds a banquet. Sandusky is present, as well as former athletic director Ed Czekaj.
- 1995: In the preseason, Jerry Sandusky speaks almost exclusively in regards to the defense in terms of the preview written for The Hazelton Standard-Speaker.
- 1995-1996: A boy identified in the report as Victim 4 begins a relationship with Sandusky through the Second Mile that results in repeated sexual violations, according to the grand jury report. No evidence has ever surfaced that any attempt was made to contact authorities.
- 1996: "Sandusky told friends he still has ambitions of being a head coach, and the Pitt job is promising because of the school's tradition and location in a fertile recruiting area," an AP report on the 13th of December said.
- 1996: Jerry spends most of his summers "travelling the state promoting and and raising funds" for the Second Mile, a Hazelton Standard-Speaker piece on the 9th of June stated. Two points that are brought up in the article is that the Second Mile is "totally independent of state funding," and that the reach of the Second Mile was now entering guidance counselor programs inside the state of Pennsylvania as well as a national program for minority youth.
- 1998: Special Investigative Counsel Report: "Before May 1998, several staff members and football coaches regularly observed Sandusky showering with young boys in the Lasch Building. None of the individuals interviewed by the Special Investigative Coundel notified their superiors of this behavior. Former coach Richard Anderson testified at Sandusky's trial in June 2012 that he often saw Sandusky in the showers with children in the football facilities but he did not believe the practice to be improper."
- 1998: On February 9th, AD Tim Curley emailed president Graham Spanier and counsel Gary Schulz that "Joe tells me he made it clear to Jerry he will not be the next head coach."
- 1998: A Second Mile golf tournament takes place on April 21st. Former Penn State athletic director Ed Czekaj is listed as one of the participants.
- 1998: On May 3rd in the Lasch building, Sandusky allegedly molested an 11 1/2 year old boy in the showers. The victim met Sandusky though the Second Mile.
- 1998: The victim's mother quickly reported the crime to the University Police department, where it was revealed that Sandusky had also done something similar to a 10 year old friend of the victim. When the police faced Sandusky, he admitted he showered with the boy but that "nothing happened". The police advised him to not shower with any child.
- 1998: Sandusky, when confronted by the mother, admitted to showering with the victim. Two psychological reports were made of the victim, with one coming to the conclusion that Sandusky 'didn't fit the profile of a pedophile'.
- 1998: Hampered by the conflicting report, the standing district attorney declined to press charges against Sandusky.
- 1998: Gary Schultz, Penn State's counsel, kept hand-written notes of this incident. "Critical issue - contact w genitals? Assuming same experience w the second boy? Not criminal." Also included in these notes: "Is this opening of pandora's box? Other children?"
- 1998: Schultz emails Tim Curley, Penn State's AD, who responds to an email titled "Joe Paterno" with "I have touched base with the coach. Keep us posted." Later, Curley would write Schultz back: "Anything new in this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands."
- 1998: Schultz talks to Tom Harmon, the head of Penn State's campus police, where Harmon reports that campus police was going to take the highly unusual step of "holding off" making any crime log entry for the incident, adding thatm "At this point in time I can justify that decision because of the lack of clear evidence of a crime."
- 1998: Joe Paterno, as head coach had authority to "establish permissible uses of his football facilities. Nothing in the record indicates that Curley or Schultz discussed whether Paterno should restrict or terminate Sandusky's uses of the facilities or that Paterno conveyed any such expectations to Sandusky," the special investigative report said.
- 1998: Sandusky had 29 years in the Penn State system. When he hit 30 years, he would be eligible to retire with full benefits and a pension - but only if he made it to 30 years, and retired during a specific window. Graham Spanier requested a special "limited feasibility study" of starting up football at Penn State-Altoona. (This request predated the May 5th incident.) Sandusky talked to a businessman in an effort to finance a program at Altoona, and Paterno, in his handwritten notes, said that he suggested Sandusky work on making "FB at Altoona Happen" until the "window closes". After the incident, and a negative initial study finding, this effort was abandoned.
- 1999: Somewhere in early 1999, Paterno's handwritten notes relays an actual conversation, or planned conversation, with Sandusky in regards to his coaching future.
- "We know this isn't easy for you and it isn't easy for us or Penn State. Part of the reason it isn't easy is because I allowed and at times tried to help you with your developing the 2nd mile. If there were no 2nd mile then I believe you belief [sic] that you probably could be the next Penn State FB coach. But you wanted the best of two world and I probably should have sat down with you siz or seven years ago and said look Jerry if you want to be the Head Coach at Penn State, give up your association with the 2nd Mile and concentrate on nothing but your family and Penn State. Don't worry about the 2nd mile - you don't have the luxury of doing both. One will always demand a decision of preference. You are too deeply involved in both."
- 1999: Sandusky retires as Joe Paterno's defensive coordinator. Highly unusual for retiring educators, Sandusky's retirement package included a lump-sum payment of $168,000. Sandusky was also awarded "emeritus" rank, which allowed him access to the University's recreational facilities. To grant Sandusky this rank, for which coaches were not technically eligible, Schutz sent a draft memo to the Dean of the College of Health and Human Development to make the necessary changes. The Provost's staff, on investigating the request, discovered that Spanier himself had promised the emeritus rank to Sandusky. When it went through, provost Rodney Erickson shared with a staff member that he hoped that "not too many others take that careful notice".
- 1999: AFCA names Jerry Sandusky assistant coach of the year.
- 1999: In Sandusky's retirement statement, Curley wrote: "His success as a coach is authenticated by the numerous All-America players he has developed over three decades. His achievement as a human being is splendidly demonstrated by the thousands of youngsters he touches annually through The Second Mile."
- 2000: Sandusky publishes his autobiography Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story.
- 2000: Sandusky hugs a boy identified as Victim 3 in the shower after workouts and touches his genitals when the boy sleeps at Sandusky's house, according to grand jury testimony Sandusky met the victim through the Second Mile.
- 2000: A janitor sees Sandusky in the showers performing oral sex on a young boy identified as Victim 8. The janitor tells co-workers and his supervisor, but the incident is not reported to authorities at the time. Sandusky met the victim through the Second Mile.
- 2001: A graduate assistant, later identified as Mike McQueary, reports seeing Sandusky rape a boy of about 10 years old in the shower of the campus football locker room. Sandusky met the victim through the Second Mile.
- 2004-2008: A boy identified as Victim 9 was forced to perform oral sex on Sandusky repeatedly in the basement bedroom of Sandusky's home, and Sandusky attempted to rape him at least 16 times, according to the grand jury report.
- 2007: A boy identified as Victim 10 said Sandusky pulled down his gym shorts and performed oral sex on him in the basement bedroom of Sandusky's home. Sandusky also has the boy perform oral sex on him.
- 2007-2008: A boy identified as Victim 1 says Sandusky performed oral sex on him more than 20 times when he was 13 or 14 years old, according to grand jury testimony.
- 2009: Sandusky is barred from a school district attended by Victim 1 after the boy's mother reports allegations of sexual assault to the school, according to the grand jury. The matter is reported to authorities, triggering an investigation by Pennsylvania State Police and the Attorney General's Office.
- 2011: On November 5th, a Centre County grand jury charges Sandusky with 40 counts of molesting eight boys from 1994 to 2009. Sandusky is arrested and released on a $100,000 bond.
- 2011: On November 6th, Paterno issues a statement in which he acknowledges being told by McQueary in 2002 of the incident in the shower but that "he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the grand jury report."
- 2012: Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post gets an exclusive interview with Joe Paterno, When asked about the McQueary incident, he said that his responsibility began and ended with "reporting it to his superiors". "I didn't feel adequate," he mentioned specifically.
- JENKINS: Did you understand the seriousness of what Mike McQueary was telling you at the time?
- PATERNO: Well not really. I knew it was serious and I wanted to do something about it. And that's why I went up the chain of command.
- JENKINS: Mike McQueary testified at the preliminary hearing that he couldn't bring himself to tell you graphic details, did you feel vindicated by that?
- PATERNO: I felt that way, but I didn't want to speak for Mike. But Mike sat here at this table, and he was obviously very, very shaken, and you know, he didn't want to get specific. And to be frank with you I don't know that it would have done any good, because I never heard of, of rape and a man. So I just did what I thought was best. I talked to people that I thought would be, if there was a problem, that would be following up on it.
- 2012: On January 22nd, Joe Paterno passes away.