For those demanding a thorough house-cleaning at Penn State following one of the hardest-hitting scandals to rock college athletics in years, the process has begun.
The Associated Press has reported that Penn State athletic director Tim Curley (pictured, right) and vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz have stepped down amid disturbing allegations of sexual abuse of minors involving former football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
University President Graham Spanier said late Sunday night that he had received a request from Curley to be placed on administrative leave while he deals with perjury charges against him and Schultz, who is re-retiring. Curley and Schultz were charged with perjury and failure to report suspected sexual abuse of a minor Saturday.
The news of the resignations came after an executive session of Penn State’s Board of Trustees.
Curley and Shultz were mentioned in the grand jury’s indictment of Sandusky following their apparent failure to be forthcoming about a 2002 incident in which they were notified of an instance of sexual abuse by Sandusky with a young boy. From the Patriot-News’ article:
Attorney General Linda Kelly says Curley and Schultz perjured themselves by repeatedly denying, during the grand jury investigation, that they were told about an incident in 2002 that was reported by a graduate football assistant who walked [in] on Sandusky taking a shower with a young boy.
Kelly said, “rather than reporting the matter to law enforcement, Curley and Schultz agreed that Sandusky would be told he could not bring any Second Mile children into the football building. That message was also reportedly related to Dr. John Raykovitz at the Second Mile (Past Executive Director and Executive Vice-President and currently the President and CEO of the Second Mile),” the statement says.”
Despite that ban, which was reviewed by Penn State President Graham Spanier, there was no change in Sandusky’s status with the school, no changes to his access to campus, and no charges were brought.
Spanier had released a statement offering his unconditional support of Curley despite the allegations. However, Spanier was also mentioned in the grand jury’s indictment for signing off on the course of action by Curley and Schultz in response to their knowledge of an incident involving Sandusky and the young boy in a shower of the school’s football building. According to the indictment, the two administrators did not alert authorities over the matter, but rather told Sandusky he was prohibited from bringing any more children from Second Mile, Sandusky’s charity, into the football building.
Curley, Shultz and Sandusky have all claimed innocence in the case. The former two face arraignment Monday.
In a separate statement, Penn State coach Joe Paterno said he was “shocked” and “saddened” by the allegations. From Paterno’s statement:
“If true, the nature and amount of charges made are very shocking to me and all Penn Staters. While I did what I was supposed to with the one charge brought to my attention, like anyone else involved I can’t help but be deeply saddened these matters are alleged to have occurred.”
However, Paterno was mentioned as part of the chain of communication in the allegation against Sandusky with “Victim 2″ — the same incident of which Curley and Schultz were reportedly made aware. According to the allegations, a graduate assistant, who is part of Paterno’s coaching staff, informed Paterno that he witnessed an act of sexual abuse between Sandusky and a young boy. Paterno then reportedly turned that information over to Curley. Paterno did not, however, take any further action afterward — after it was known that authorities would not be brought into the situation.
Ethically, Paterno is in deep water too. Curley and Schultz are now the first ones to go in this ever-developing story. It’s hard to imagine they will be the last.