Testimonies by Paterno, Curley, Schultz read in hearing

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Earlier today, we recapped the testimony by Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary, a key figure in the Jerry Sandusky case who, in 2002, allegedly witnessed an act of sexual abuse by Sandusky on a young boy.

While McQueary’s account of the alleged incident has changed on more than one occasion, the testimonies of former coach Joe Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley and recently retired VP of Business and Finance Gary Schultz (both are facing perjury charges) provided explicit, and very disheartening, information on how the alleged incident was handled by PSU administration. Below is a recap of those testimonies.

(A huge, huge thank you to Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror for the Twitter updates. Follow him at @corygiger)

Paterno’s testimony was read first. The meeting between McQueary and Paterno after McQueary allegedly witnessed the sexual abuse remains one of the more crucial, yet vague, components of this scandal.

“He said he had something that he wanted to discuss. I said come on over to the house,” Paterno said in the testimony. “He had seen a person, not an older but a mature person who was fondling or whatever you might call it.

“It was a sexual nature.”

Okay, so Paterno and McQueary agree that the incident was indeed sexual.

“I didn’t go any further than that,” Paterno said of the conversation. “I did tell Mike, ‘Mike, you did what was right. You told me.'”

But what Paterno said next was the bombshell of the testimony. On what his immediate reaction was after learning of the incident from McQueary:

“I ordinarily would have called people right away, but it was a Saturday morning and I didn’t want to interfere with their weekends.”

Curley, whose testimony would be read next, claimed he was contacted on Sunday, the next day, by Paterno.

“I said, ‘Hey, we’ve got a problem,’ and I explained the problem to him,” Paterno said of his conversation with Curley. “I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Mr. Curley, and I thought he would look into it.

“I do not know of anything else that Jerry would be involved with.”

That was the end of the Paterno testimony; next was Curley.

The athletic director said that he and Schultz went over and met with Paterno following the coach’s meeting with McQueary. Exactly when that meeting was on the timeline wasn’t explicitly stated.

“The individual [McQueary] heard and saw, I guess, two people in the shower,” Curley said of what he was informed. “The individual was uncomfortable.”

Curley then said he met with McQueary.

“I can’t recall the specific conversation with Mike and exactly how he said it,” Curley said. “My recollection was that they were kind of wrestling, there was body contact and they were horsing around.”

When asked if McQueary provided any explicit details, such as if there was any penetration that he witnessed, Curley said “absolutely not.”

Curley and Schultz then shared the information of that meeting to former PSU president Graham Spanier, who, in turn, made the recommendation to report the incident to Second Mile. The Grand Jury’s summary of the Sandusky scandal states that Curley did indeed inform Second Mile CEO Jack Raykovitz of the 2002 incident.

Curley, before reporting what he had heard to Raykovitz, says he met with Sandusky.

“[I] told him that we were uncomfortable with the information,” Curley said.

Sandusky, according to Curley’s testimony, did not initially admit to being in shower with boy, but later admitted that he did.

“I indicated to him… he was not to use our facilities with young people,” Curly testified, also acknowledging that there was no practical way to enforce that “punishment”. “I was the one that came forward to say that this is the appropriate action, that we need to report it to The Second Mile.”

Beyond that, Curley said he did not contact the police — that was his own decision — nor did he attempt to find out the identity of the alleged victim because he didn’t think the incident was sexual in nature (um, read the above paragraph).

“I didn’t think that it was a crime at the time.”

Curley added that he did not know about the 1998 investigation of Sandusky.

“I don’t remember any reports to me that it were sexual in nature,” Curley said.

That was the end of Curley’s testimony. Next was Schultz’s. It was particularly damning and thoroughly depressing.

Schultz testified that doesn’t remember Paterno’s exact words about the shower incident when he met with the coach along with Curley… that it was spoken of “in a very general way… that maybe Jerry might have grabbed the young boy’s genitals.

“The allegations came across as not that serious,” continued Schultz. “There was no indication that it was [criminal]… Not all inappropriate conduct is criminal.

“I can imagine instances where an adult man would be in a shower with young boys.”

When asked if he thought it was criminal for a man to grab a boy’s genitals, Schultz replied “I don’t know.”

When asked to describe the definition of sexual conduct, Schultz replied “I don’t know.”

However, Schultz agreed that with the assessment that no adult male should grab the genitals of a young boy.

“I don’t recall him telling us what he observed specifically.” said Schultz of McQueary’s description of the alleged incident (although the term “horsing around” was thrown around quite a bit).  Schultz added that no one went back to McQueary and asked for specifics.

Schultz, like Curley, was asked about the 1998 investigation of Sandusky. However, unlike Curley, Schultz claimed to have a recollection of at least some information involving the case.

“I thought it had some basis of inappropriate behavior but without any specifics at all,” Schultz said.

Schultz did not meet with Sandusky over any of the alleged incidents, nor did he seek out the 1998 report after hearing about the 2002 incident.

“I had the impression that Tim did follow through [with Child Protective Services]” on making sure Sandusky couldn’t bring kids to football facilities. “The incident in 2002, again, I recall that it was also turned over to the same agency for investigation” as ’98 case.

“As far as I know the university asked the other agency to follow up, as they did in ’98.”

Schultz added that he agreed with Curley’s recommendation for how things should be handled after hearing about 2002 incident, and like Curley, did not attempt to discover the identity of Victim 2.

When asked if there was anything strange about Sandusky retirement, Schultz replied “No, I candidly have recollections that Coach Paterno and Jerry had reached a point where Coach Paterno felt it was necessary to make a coaching change.”

ACC, Pitt headline Bednarik Award preseason watch list

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The Bednarik Award is the first major honor to release its watch list for the upcoming season.  But it certainly won’t be the last.  Far from it, actually.

In a release Monday, the Bednarik Award announced a 90-player strong watch list that represents every FBS conference in the country.  The Bednarik Award has been presented annually since 1996 to the nation’s top player on the defensive side of the ball.

The ACC leads all conferences with 18 watch listers, with the Pac- 12 (13), SEC (11) and Big 12 (10) the only others in double digits.  The Big Ten, the remaining Power Five, placed nine players.

Wit eight, Conference USA led all Group of Five leagues.  Next up was the AAC’s six, followed by the Mountain West Conference and Sun Belt Conference with five each and four for the MAC.

School-wise, reigning national champion LSU, Pitt and USC placed three players apiece.  A handful of other schools put two players each on the watch list:

  • Alabama
  • Appalachian State
  • Cal
  • Duke
  • Florida State
  • Georgia
  • Miami
  • Michigan
  • Notre Dame
  • Oregon
  • San Diego State
  • TCU
  • Texas
  • UAB
  • Virginia
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington

No finalists from a year ago remain as both the winner (Ohio State’s Chase Young) and the two runners-up (Auburn’s Derrick Brown, Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons) have since moved on to the NFL.  There are, though, three semifinalists for last year’s award that are back this season — Penn State’s Micah Parson, LSU’s Derek Stingley and Florida State’s Marvin Wilson.

For the complete Bednarik Award watch list, click HERE.

Four-star 2021 QB son of Deion Sanders commits to FAU

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FAU football is building up quite the surname legacy within its program. Even as a couple have recently departed.

Last month, Miami transfer tight end Michael Irvin II, the son of former Hurricanes legend Michael Irvin, announced that he was committing to the FAU football program.  A little over a month later, Shedeur Sanders (pictured, left) announced on Twitter that he too has committed to FAU football.

The touted 2021 prospect is one of the football-playing sons of former Florida State All-American Deion Sanders.

Sanders is a four-star 2021 prospect coming out of high school in Cedar Hill, Texas.  On the 247Sports.com composite, the 6-1, 198-pound Sanders is the No. 14 pro-style quarterback in the country.  he also held offers from, among others, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oregon and Tennessee.

Sanders’ older brother, Shiloh, will be a redshirt freshman defensive back at South Carolina this season.

While the Sanders and Irvin surnames are in the Owls fold, a couple of famous ones have recently left.  The wide receiver son of Ray Lewis left FAU football earlier this month.  Originally committed to FAU, the running back son of Frank Gore ultimately signed with Southern Miss earlier this offseason.

FAU is coming off a 2019 football campaign in which the Owls tied a school record with 11 wins.  Included in that was a first-ever win in the Conference USA championship game.  And the program’s fourth straight win in a bowl game, a streak that stretches back to 2007.

Almost immediately after the win in the Boca Raton BowlLane Kiffin left to take over as the head coach at Ole Miss.  Kiffin was replaced shortly thereafter by former Florida State and Oregon head coach Willie Taggart.

Les Miles, Kansas ‘heartbroken’ over passing of student manager Jack Roche, who died over the weekend after being hit by a car

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The extended Kansas football family is mourning the loss of one it’s own over the weekend.

According to the Lawrence Journal-World, and citing multiple people close to the Kansas football program, Jack Roche died in his hometown of Chicago late Saturday night after being hit by a car.  Roche had just turned 21 in May.  He was also scheduled to graduate from the university the same month next year.

Roche had spent the past couple of years as a student manager for the Jayhawks.  Les Miles just completed his first season as the Kansas football head coach, and mourned the young man’s passing in a tweet Sunday night.

“The KU football family is heartbroken to hear of the passing of Jack Roche,” the coach wrote. “Jack was a tremendous, hard-working young man who embodied what our program is all about. We will remember Jack and he will forever be a part of our family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Roches.”

Roche was beloved by players past and present as well.

“He always had a smile on his face and was genuinely one of the best people in the entire program,” ex-Jayhawk quarterback Carter Stanley said according to the Journal-World. “We’d talk every day, but I’d go in earlier than usual on Mondays and we’d share the results of our fantasy football teams from the day before, which usually gave me a chance to give him a hard time for being a Bears fan.”

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those impacted by Roche’s way-too-soon passing.

SEC reiterates no decision on football until late July

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As expected, the SEC is going to wait as long as possible until making its next decision when it comes to the fate of football.

Last week, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey warned that “we are running out of time” when it comes to the 2020 college football season.  That said, Sankey reiterated Monday that his conference will still wait to make any type of decision until the end of this month.

Below is Sankey’s statement on the current state of affairs, which came after an expected face-to-face meeting of the conference’s 14 athletic directors.  The biggest takeaway? Sankey allowed that the current trend of COVID-19 positives across the country must begin trending downward in order for there to be a college football season in 2020.

We had a productive meeting on Monday and engaged in discussions on a number of important issues that will contribute to critical decisions to be made in the weeks ahead. The ability to personally interact over the course of an entire day contributed to the productivity of the meeting.

It is clear that current circumstances related to COVID-19 must improve and we will continue to closely monitor developments around the virus on a daily basis. In the coming weeks we will continue to meet regularly with campus leaders via videoconferences and gather relevant information while guided by medical advisors. We believe that late July will provide the best clarity for making the important decisions ahead of us.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already announced they are going to a conference-only schedule for football.  The ACC is in line with the SEC in making such a determination at the end of July.  It’s expected the Big 12 will announce its next move around the same time as well.