Under Joe Paterno, the Penn State football program has been next to flawless in its operation. That essentially means Penn State has been a bright spot in an otherwise corrupt arena for over 40 years.
That reputation is now under assault, and there are several parties responsible.
Former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is at the center of it all. Allegedly, he sexually abused young boys for years, including years he was still a coach at Penn State. He is facing 40 criminal counts, not to mention life imprisonment.
Next to Sandusky in this scandal are Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and VP for business and finance Gary Schultz, who have been charged with perjury and failure to report. They are alleged to have ignored a report in 2002 from a witness who claimed to see Sandusky performing a sexual act with a boy.
All of this broke on Saturday, but you can rest assured that this is a case that will linger for a long time. But for now, let's take a look at where this case has come from, as well as where it is going.
Paterno's career at Penn State started in 1966, and Sandusky's career at the school began that very same year. He was a graduate assistant in 1966 and served as an assistant at Juniata in 1967 and Boston University in 1968.
Sandusky returned to Penn State in 1969 as a defensive line coach and stayed for the next three-plus decades. In 1977, Sandusky was promoted to defensive coordinator. That same year, he founded a group called "Second Mile," which was founded to help troubled children.
Sandusky retired in 1999 after the Nittany Lions beat Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl. Upon winning the game, Penn State players carried Sandusky on their shoulders.
According to the grand jury's findings, Sandusky was involved with young boys as far back as 1994, five years before his retirement from Penn State.
Jason Whitlock is leading the charge against Joe Paterno to either step down or be forced out. Either way, Joe Pa’s time should be up in Happy Valley.
Whitlock is absolutely right when he calls out those who have been trying to protect Paterno from persecution for Jerry Sandusky’s disgusting and heinous acts.
Whitlock, a controversial writer, also takes all of this a step further and proposes a conspiracy theory that Paterno was protected up until he passed Eddie Robinson on the all-time wins list.
He points out that the grand jury report and indictments came down a week after that milestone was reached, a two-year investigation wrapped up at the same time and a whole eleven months after Paterno testified to the grand jury about Sandusky and his actions.
If Paterno really did have first-hand knowledge of that Sandusky did to a young boy back in 2002, his legacy means nothing and he should be immediately fired.
Whitlock fleshes all of this out and more in his excellent piece on this horrible tradgedy.
UPDATE: Monday, Nov. 7 at 2:30 p.m. EDT by Alex Kay
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo!Sports found out from sources that Jerry Sandusky was still maintaining a presence around the Penn State football program.
The same football program whose locker room he allegedly was caught with a ten-year old boy with in the showers.
PSU Athletic Director Tim Curley and VP Gary Schultz banned Sandusky from certain portions of the teams’ facilities, but apparently that was not extended to using the weight room with the team.
The fact that these men, along with Joe Paterno and Mike McQueary (who apparently saw vile acts from Sandusky take place), knew of the actions and only banned him from the locker room and showers but let him hang around the campus is insane.
Hopefully these men are punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Update: Monday, Nov. 7 at 2:30 p.m. by Alex Kay
Jerry Sandusky is still walking around a free man and even wearing Penn State clothing when he answered the door and spoke with ABC outside his home.
He did not speak on the issues at hand as he was advised by his attorney not to do so, but he seemed cheerful and had a smile on his face when he spoke.
His lawyer called him distraught in the same interview, but that is about the exact opposite of how he looked.
Sandusky was laughing and smiling as he declined to comment on his innocence.
I’m not going to jump to any conclusions but it was quite a peculiar reaction considering the severity of the charges and disgusting nature of the allegations of things he had done.
Update: Monday, Nov. 7 at 2:30 p.m. EDT by Alex Kay
The allegations surrounding Sandusky revolve primarily around a 2002 incident, but there was an earlier incident in 1998 that drew some attention.
As recounted by PennLive.com, Sandusky was alleged to have washed the bodies of two boys in the Penn State football locker room. Police had the mother of one of the victims confront Sandusky, at which point he admitted taking a shower with her son.
He also admitted what he had done was wrong.
"I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won't get it from you. I wish I were dead," he said.
No charges were filed against Sandusky.
The infamous incident regarding the allegations against Sandusky happened in March of 2002, and is described in detail in the grand jury's findings.
According to the report, an eyewitness was in the Lasch Football Building on the University Park Campus when he heard "what sounded like sexual activity in the showers." The building was supposed to be empty.
The eyewitness, who was a graduate assistant at the time, observed Sandusky "sexually assaulting" a naked boy who looked to be about 10 years old.
The witness said he recognized Sandusky immediately.
The first thing the witness did after seeing Sandusky's actions in the shower was call his father. They decided together that the incident had to be reported to Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno.
The witness met with Paterno at his home the next morning, where he explained to the longtime head coach what he had seen. Upon hearing what the witness had to say, Paterno immediately put a call in to Penn State athletic director Tim Curley. The two met the next day.
During that meeting, Paterno was supposed to have explained that the witness saw Sandusky engaging in sexual activity with a young boy. However, Paterno revealed via a statement on Sunday (see PennLive.com) that the witness did not reveal to him any "very specific actions."
Regardless, the situation became known to Curley. For all intents and purposes, it was up to him what to do next.
Roughly one and a half weeks after his meeting with Paterno, the graduate assistant met with Tim Curley and Gary Schultz. Once again, the graduate assistant recounted what he had seen.
Pennsylvania law required Curley and Schultz to report the incident to law enforcement or a child protective agency, and they did neither. Instead, they agreed to inform Sandusky that he was not allowed to bring any Second Mile children into the football facilities.
The grand jury's findings claim there is no evidence that suggests anybody from the university bothered to discover the identity of the young boy. Nor did they request a follow-up meeting with the graduate assistant who witnessed the incident.
The idea to ban Sandusky was reviewed and approved by Penn State president Graham Spanier, who did not inquire into the matter for himself.
The ban resulted in "no effective change" in Sandusky's standing with the university. Sandusky had access to the campus and football facilities, and he retained various amenities like a parking pass and a university Internet account. He even got to keep his office in the Lasch Football Building.
Schultz would later testify he knew of a university police investigation in 1998 involving Sandusky and young boys in the showers, but he chose not to review it after the 2002 incident came to light.
When Curley and Schultz offered their own testimonies, they told a different story of the meeting that occurred with the graduate assistant witness.
For his part, Curley denied he had ever been told that Sandusky was engaging in any kind of sexual activity in the showers. From what he heard, he described what happened as being nothing more than "horsing around."
Schultz echoed Curley in his own testimony, saying that the allegations concerning Sandusky were "not that serious." He claimed he and Curley had "no indication that a crime had occurred."
The grand jury deemed that parts of both their testimonies were not credible.
Because university officials failed to act, the prosecution alleges that they effectively "allowed a predator to walk free for years."
Ultimately, the grand jury identified a total of eight different individuals who were abused by Sandusky and that he was committing his crimes for 15 years between 1994 and 2009.
Implied in the grand jury's findings is that Sandusky's crimes could have stopped in 2002 had the university chosen to act on what it had learned. Instead, nothing was done, and Sandusky went unchecked for another seven years.
Sandusky was taken into custody this past Saturday in Centre County and was subsequently charged with 40 offenses, 21 of which are felonies. He was released on $100,000 bail, and a preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 9.
Sandusky is facing life in prison.
Curley and Schultz were both charged with one count of perjury, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. They were also charged with one count of failure to report, an offense punishable by up to 90 days in prison.
Both are scheduled to surrender on Monday.
Upon hearing of Sandusky's arrest, Penn State announced that he will be barred from campus (see ABC News report).
"The allegations about a former coach are troubling, and it is appropriate that they be investigated thoroughly," said Spanier in a statement. "Protecting children requires the utmost vigilance."
Spanier added that Curley and Schultz have his "unconditional support."
In his own statement, Paterno urged people not to jump to conclusions.
"I understand that people are upset and angry, but let's be fair and let the legal process unfold," he said.
Much still needs to be decided in this case, but Sandusky is due to be prosecuted in Centre County.
Curley and Schultz, on the other hand, will be prosecuted in Dauphin County.
The Associated Press reported on Nov. 7 that Curley and Schultz have both stepped down from their positions at Penn State.