Child Sex Scandal Rocks Penn State Football Program

Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of eight young boys over a 15-year period. Two high-ranking university officials are being charged with perjury and failure to report to authorities.

If you haven't already heard, the previously pristine Penn State football program is about to be in some hot water. On Saturday, former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of eight young boys over a 15-year period. All of the children originally came into contact with Sandusky through his Second Mile Foundation for needy children. Even worse, two high-ranking university officials -- athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz -- were charged with perjury and failure to report to authorities what they knew of the allegations. 

Though longtime head coach Joe Paterno does not face charges, there are questions about whether he did enough to report the allegations of sexual abuse when he first heard of them. According to the grand jury report, a graduate assistant went to Paterno's house in 2002 to tell the coach he had seen Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in the showers in the Lasch Football Building on Penn State's campus. Paterno told Curley, who met with Schultz and the graduate assistant and ultimately concluded that Sandusky was no longer allowed to bring children to campus with him. No university official ever attempted to find the child in question or reported the allegations to law enforcement officials.

University president Graham Spanier told the grand jury that Curley and Schultz had described the allegations to him as being merely "horsing around" in the shower and on Saturday issued a statement pledging his unconditional support to Curley and Schultz. If convicted Curley and Schultz could each face a $15,000 fine and up to seven years in prison. Lawyers for both men released statements proclaiming their innocence.

For more on the situation, check out Penn State alumnus Mark Viera's report for the New York Times. Check out our Penn State blog, Black Shoe diaries, for additional commentary and analysis as the story progresses.

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