Jerry Sandusky

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Jerry Sandusky’s son pleads guilty to child sex abuse

7 Comments

Jerry Sandusky still maintains his innocence over his child sex abuse crimes he has been convicted, but his son has admitted his guilt to allegations of sex abuse of a child.

Jeffrey Sandusky, the adopted son of the former Penn State assistant coach who has been essentially sentenced to life in prison for his crimes against children, pleaded guilty to charges of sexual abuse of a teenage girl. According to the Associated Press, Jeffrey Sandusky pleaded guilty a week before he was set to head to trial. Sandusky will spend up to six years in a state prison in Pennsylvania, although a judge could increase that sentence to eight years behind bars. Like father, like son.

“We are happy that these girls can move forward and experience a life with adults that deserve their trust,” Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said following the plea deal.

Jeffrey Sandusky admits to exchanging texts with a teenage girl asking for naked photos and oral sex from a girl who at the time was 15 years of age. Sandusky offered an apology and admitted what he did was wrong.

Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30-to-60 years in prison for 45 counts related to sexual abuse of young boys dating as far back as the 1970s. As he was sentenced at the age of 68 in 2012, the term of the sentence essentially assures Sandusky will spend his final days in a jail cell.

Penn State trustee who was “running out of sympathy” for “so-called victims” of Jerry Sandusky not seeking second term

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
15 Comments

The Penn State trustee who said he was “running out of sympathy” for the victims of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky will reportedly not seek a second term on the board of trustees in State College. Al Lord made his decision official while speaking at a forum.

“I’ll continue to work with you guys,” Lord said to his fellow alumni candidates, according to PennLive. “I’m just not sitting through any more of those meetings.”

Lord informed fellow trustee Anthony Lubrano that his decision was not related to his controversial comments to the Chronicle of Higher Education, although the timing of his decision sure seems to suggest it is a coincidence.

”Of course I’m disappointed,” said Lubrano. ”Al was the most cerebral member of the board. He’ll be missed.”

Lord was elected to the Penn State Board of Trustees in 2014 on the strength of attacking the university’s handling of the entire Sandusky scandal, with an emphasis on defending former head coach Joe Paterno and former university president Graham Spanier. Spanier was recently convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment and is currently awaiting sentencing. Two other Penn State officials connected to the scandal, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, are also awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment.

Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of 48 child-abuse charges in June 2012. He is currently serving a prison sentence of at least 30 years, which is essentially a life sentence at this stage in his life.

Former Penn State officials Tim Curley and Gary Schultz plead guilty to child endangerment charges

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
10 Comments

Two Penn State officials tied to the Jerry Sandusky scandal have pleaded guilty to charges of child endangerment on Monday. Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president Gary Schultz entered their pleas to a judge with an agreement to potentially testify against former Penn State president Graham Spanier next week, according to a report from Penn Live.

Curley and Schultz face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 for their misdemeanor charge. The charges are tied to each man’s connection to the failure to report an incident witnessed by former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary (Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in the showers of the Penn State football building) and reported to former head football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno reported the information to Curley, his supervisor, and Curley and Schultz never reported the incident to the authorities.

Sentencing for Curley and Schultz is expected to take place within the next 90 days.

Sandusky, the former Penn state defensive coordinator, was found guilty on 45 of 48 charges related to sexually abuse of minors from 1994 through 2009. He is currently serving a sentence of up to 60 years, effectively a life sentence for the 73-year old. A request by Sandusky for a new trial has been denied. One of Sandusky’s sons, Jeffrey Sandusky, was recently arrested and charged with sexual assault of a minor.

The NCAA used The Freeh Report into the handling of the Sandusky scandal as the basis of a hefty set of sanctions slapping Penn State’s football program with a four-year postseason ban, vacated over 100 wins from the record books and a significant reduction in scholarships, and fined the university $60 million. The NCAA has since rescinded its sanction terms, first gradually and then entirely following positive reviews from an independent review from George Mitchell and mounting legal battles.

McQueary was awarded a $7.3 million payment from Penn State in a defamation lawsuit.

Paterno passed away in January 2012. His vacated wins from the NCAA sanctions have since been restored.

Report: Penn State’s Sandusky settlement sum reaches $93 million

11 Comments

The cost of the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal continues to take a toll on Penn State University. According to a recent report from the Associated Press, the total payout total Penn State has paid to victims of the former defensive coordinator have reached nearly $93 million.

The AP report says recent financial statements from the university show an additional $33.2 million in payments related to claims connected to Sandusky’s crimes. There may be more claims to sort through as well, which means the sum of the payouts could continue to rise. Penn State previously agreed to pay 26 people connected to the Sandusky scandal a total of $56.7 million. To date, 32 claims have been paid off by the university.

Penn State agreed to pay off a $60 million fine issued by the NCAA, with the money going toward addressing child sexual abuse in the state of Pennsylvania. even after the NCAA lifted all terms of the sanctions levied against the university and football program in September 2014, Penn State remained committed to paying the entire fine as a part of a settlement with the NCAA. The NCAA lost a fight to distribute the fine money nationally, so the money will be used in-state.

Sandusky is appealing his court decision finding him guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse to children, netting him a sentence between 30 and 60 years (effectively a life sentence for the 71-year old convicted felon).

Three years after the NCAA hammer, Penn State still alive and well

26 Comments

Three summers ago Penn State’s football program was thought to be wiped as much from existence as a program can get this side of the SMU death penalty. The NCAA dropped a three-ton anvil on the program following the release of the Freeh Report related to the university’s handling of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and his sickening crimes against children both on and off campus; a $60 million fine, a four-year postseason ban, 112 victories vacated, a loss of scholarships ultimately limiting the program to 65 available scholarships instead of the NCAA limit of 85, five years of probation and the possibility of further NCAA investigations following criminal proceedings related to Penn State officials. A lot has changed since that July morning in 2012. Through it all, Penn State has managed to not only survive but also find a path moving forward with great promise.

NCAA president Mark Emmert suggested Penn State had a culture problem on its hands, where the football way of life trumped all other facets of the university. Some applauded Emmert and the NCAA for going all in on Penn State. Others believed the NCAA should have gone further. Others felt it was too harsh a punishment or the NCAA had no jurisdiction on the Penn State shortcomings. Everyone had a side on this subject, and many have stuck to those opinions over the years. Whatever your opinion was at the time, things looked bleak for the future of Penn State football.

The NCAA assigned former Senator George Mitchell to monitor and keep tabs on Penn State by way of an annual progress report. Through Mitchell’s reports, the NCAA saw fit to cut back on some of the sanctions dropped on the program. First the NCAA handed back a handful of scholarships. It later lifted all scholarship restrictions as well as the final two years of the postseason ban. Finally, the program was relieved of all NCAA sanction terms earlier this year with all vacated wins going back on the books, although Penn State remained committed to fulfilling its intent to pay off the $60 million fine, with that money being put to good use to promote the awareness of child and sexual abuse in Pennsylvania.

New head coach Bill O’Brien, the former offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, served admirably in his role as head coach and should someday be recognized for the job he did in his two years in State College. O’Brien took over a program some deemed toxic and was soon hampered even more with the sanctions. O’Brien could have whined about the situation left and right, but instead he kept the program moving forward with whatever players chose to stay with him. Yes, some players took advantage fo a free transfer opportunity from the sanctions (most notably running back Silas Redd to USC), and some recruits opted to go elsewhere. O’Brien worked with what he had, and decided to fight for the players who remained committed. Names were placed on the jerseys to recognize those who stayed. Some schools say those who stay will be champions. Penn State’s 2012 squad may not have won a championship, but it was honored on the inside of Beaver Stadium alongside past memorable teams like the Big Ten champions of 2005 and 2008, the undefeated 1994 team and the national championship squads of the 1980s. Penn State’s 2012 team had a championship mentality and personality.

O’Brien left after two years at Penn State to become the head coach of the NFL’s Houston Texans. O’Brien always seemed like a coach looking for an NFL opportunity, and few begrudge him for leaving the program when he did. This is because he made sure the program would be as ready to take the next steps forward as possible under grave circumstances. Penn State hired Vanderbilt’s James Franklin, who is now in the midst of doing just that with a full allotment of scholarships and no sanctions to work around. Depth is rebuilding, and the pride in the program remains. It may even be stronger than ever before, as the football program has ironically played a role in bringing the community together in a new way. This season Penn State will strip the names off the jerseys in another show of moving forward while embracing the tradition of the program.

Penn State’s football program may very well have been the product of a football culture gone overboard to some degree, but it also plays a role in the rebuilding the faith of a fractured community. There is still work to be done in State College, Pennsylvania and the pains suffered by the victims of Sandusky may never heal, but the football program can serve as an outlet to promote awareness of child and sexual abuse in the community. Lessons can be learned from the Penn State saga, and ultimately that is more valuable than any win experienced on the field.