It’s obviously way too early to draw any firm conclusions from the news about the allegations that former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused minors. But one interesting fact that we’ve been discussing at SB Nation about what has been reported so far, however, is that Penn State head coach Joe Paterno is one of the few Penn State officials involved who hasn’t come back looking dirty. Here’s the attorney general’s statement on Paterno:
Together, the two decided that the assistant should promptly report the incident to head football coach Joe Paterno.
The next morning, the assistant telephoned Paterno and then went to Paterno’s home to explain what he had seen. Paterno testified that he then called Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and met with Curley the following day, explaining that a graduate assistant had reported seeing Sandusky involved in sexual activity with a young boy in the showers at the Lasch Building.
The assistant then met with Curley and Gary Schultz, both of whom have been charged in the Sandusky scandal. Neither Curley nor Schultz relayed the assistant’s statement to the police, and neither, apparently, did they try to learn any more about who the child was or what happened. Paterno might have reported the incident to the police himself, but it appears he at least covered himself by reporting it to the university.
There are allegations of “sexually inappropriate behavior” against young boys at Penn State by Sandusky going back to at least 1998, so the worst-case scenario here is that his alleged predilections were something that lots of people in the football program knew about but no one reported. In the meantime, though, it looks unlikely that Paterno will be tied up in this any further.
UPDATE: The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports that Paterno has received praise from law enforcement officials for handling himself well throughout this scandal.
The sources said the deputy state prosecutor handling the case said that Paterno did the right thing, and handled himself appropriately in 2002 and during the three-year investigation that ended Friday.