The picture is starting to clear up a bit in Happy Valley. And interestingly, the signs are now pointing back to the three original figures in this scandal—Jerry Sandusky, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.
NBC news now says Mike McQueary claims he did break up the Sandusky rape, contrary to what seemingly everybody inferred from the Grand Jury report.
Here at TodaysACCHeadlines. com, we have dedicated some time, energy and cyberspace to both trying to figure out what happened, and, more importantly, to why the decision-makers at Penn State did what they did while Sandusky prowled around their campus.
We put fingers to keyboards last week attempting to figure out why then-grad assistant Mike McQueary reached such a place of moral bankruptcy that he would make the worst decision in the history of adulthood.
The unwritten conclusion of both stories was simply that major college football has become such a monster of power, money and greed that it corrupts people—even a program that has prioritized sportsmanship and academics such as Penn State’s under Joe Paterno’s watch.
In this case, the college football machine appears to have corrupted people who are parents and grandparents with otherwise spotless track records.
With all of that swirling around, somehow yesterday we had what Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction called a “rare moment of clarity." The key to figuring out how this went so wrong for so many people is victim No. 6 in the now infamous Sandusky Grand Jury report.
In 1998, according to several sources, victim No. 6, who was 12 at the time, alleged he and Sandusky were showering in the football building on Penn State’s campus when Sandusky subjected him to a variety of inappropriate behavior.
According to various published reports, the boy’s mother contacted the police and participated in the investigation. The woman reportedly told the Mechanicsburg, PA Patriot-News she was specifically instructed by state police not to speak the press.
In spite of some confessional remarks made by Sandusky to victim No. 6’s mother in a conversation monitored by the police, no formal charges were filed.
Again, according to published sources, victim No. 6’s mother said she took her son to Penn State police for questioning in 1998 but didn’t listen to the interview. She said she never asked her son what happened (which seems odd, yes?).
Retired Penn State Police Officer Ron Schreffler handled the 1998 case, and when approached for a comment by a reporter, he is alleged to have said, “How did you see that report?”
In yet another very bizarre twist, Ray Gricar, the Centre County district attorney at the time of the 1998 victim No. 6 investigation, went missing in 2005 and was declared legally dead in July of 2011.
The hard drive from Gricar's computer turned up on the banks of the Susquehanna River six months after his disappearance.
Now connect the dots with us.
Sandusky starts The Second Mile—which now looks to have been his possible farm system for recruiting victims—in 1977. In 1998, he is accused of a similar incident as the 2002 shower incident. Nobody prosecutes him in 1998 and, similarly, there is no prosecution in 2002.
It appears that some people at Penn State, The Second Mile, the police, the late prosecutor and the current judge all look to be so blinded by loyalty to all things Penn State that they have ceased to function normally (note: yesterday, the CEO of The Second Mile resigned).
When we first got wind of the scandal, simple logic dictated that the prudent move would have been to simply throw Sandusky under the bus back in 2002.
The university would suffer a black eye, but the arrest and prosecution of their retired coach wouldn’t be the devastating scandal it has turned out to be. That might have been the course of action taken by athletic director Tim Curley were it not for victim No. 6 in 1998.
Simply put—in 2002, had McQueary, Paterno or Curley called the cops, it probably would have become clear very quickly that from 1998 to 2002 Penn State allowed a pedophile access to their facilities and did nothing to protect innocent children from Sandusky.
It wouldn’t have been long before the media would be asking what was going on from 1977, when The Second Mile was founded, until 1998, both at the charity and at Penn State.
As a result of the ensuing inevitable scandal, the Joe Pa era at Penn State would have ended in disgrace in 2002 just as it has now in 2011. It would now appear that a significant number of the Penn State decision-makers involved knew that.
Not surprisingly, there is a debate about whether or not Paterno knew about the 1998 incident.
Paterno’s son claims, according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News, that Penn State lawyers say the head coach was never notified. If that is true, Paterno’s actions make a bit more sense, but his unwillingness to demand that the police investigate the 2002 incident is a moral failure worthy of ultimately being relieved of his duties.
Paterno is the main man, and like it or not, he’s ultimately responsible for all things in his realm.
Senior Vice President Schultz and Curley most certainly knew about the 1998 incident. How could they not?
Schultz’s department included PSU campus police. Curley must have known that a full-blown investigation and prosecution of Sandusky would trigger program-rocking inquiries that would lead to Paterno’s demise and the downfall of all the other decision-makers involved—including himself.
So when presented with an eye-witness report in 2002, it appears that Curley decided yet again to try to cover it up to protect himself, Paterno and Penn State football. The contradictions between his testimony and McQueary’s in the Sandusky Grand Jury report lead to no other conclusion.
If that’s the case, his strategy worked for nine years. He protected Paterno, Sandusky, Penn State and himself, while he fed a group of innocent children to the pedophile wolf. The prevailing philosophy of “me and mine first” strikes yet again.
While it has been logical to this point to vilify McQueary, the next step is to carefully examine the role Curley played in allowing Sandusky to prey on innocent children during his tenure in State College.
The conclusion looks simple—Curley and Schultz participated in the cover up for at least 11 years.
Whether or not they fully understood what Sandusky was up to is a moot point. They should have smelled the rat at some point and taken the appropriate action.
While they managed to postpone their record-setting coach’s ugly departure, they did so at the expense of innocent children. They were rightly terminated, and they look to be the ultimate bad guys here along with the criminal Sandusky.
If Penn State football is to survive the atrocities committed by their long-time defensive coordinator and the cover-up that seems to have ensued, they must purge everyone with knowledge of or complicity in Sandusky’s alleged abuses.
Hopefully, the new guard in State College will have the stomach for such a difficult task.