A sex scandal, a break-down in communication and a beloved football coach fired from a renowned college. These are exactly the events that have unfolded over the last week that put Penn State at the center of a national media frenzy.
According to msnbc.msn.com, Mike McQueary, who is currently on administrative leave, claimed in a Nov. 8 email to a former classmate: “I did stop it, not physically, but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room.” This development, along with his claim that he spoke with police, may be a game changer for how far the allegations of misconduct will reach.
The ordeal began in 1994 and continued through 2009, a period of time during which Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coordinator for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team, allegedly sexually assaulted as many as 40 young boys, a number that seems to be growing by the day. Now, 17 years after the initial incident, the situation is finally coming to light and being brought to court. Sandusky’s hearing will not be held until Dec. 7, but the court has been processing other witnesses involved in an attempt to shed more light on the situation. Also, U.S. Senator Bob Casey has asked for a hearing to see how the investigation might pertain to federal laws.
The story goes that in 2002, McQueary, now an assistant coach, reported seeing Sandusky sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in the locker room showers. Rather than breaking up the incident or calling the police, McQueary reported what he had seen to former Head Coach Joe Paterno, who in turn notified Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President of Finance and Business, Gary Schultz.
It appears, however, that this is where communication stopped, and the incident was allegedly never brought to any law officials. On Nov. 8, Schultz and Curley were brought before a grand jury and arraigned on charges of perjury and failure to report child endangerment. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, both men were later released on $75,000 unsecured bond.
The story has not stopped there, however, and media interest quickly grew and shifted focus as soon as Joe Paterno’s name was mentioned as playing a part in the scandal.
Penn State kept quiet for as long as possible, but on that same day, Paterno’s weekly press conference was canceled. Keeping with the trend of silence, officials at the Penn State athletic office declined to comment on the situation when contacted by phone, and explained that they had no hard facts to share.