Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Figuring Out The Penn State Scandal: Is Victim Six The Key?

The picture is starting to clear up a bit in Happy Valley. And interestingly, the sign posts are now pointing back to the three original figures in this scandal -- Jerry Sandusky (of course), Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.

NBC news now says Mike McQuearyclaims he did break up the Sandusky rape contrary to what seemingly everybody inferred from the Grand Jury report.  The CEO of The Second Mile has resigned and it looks like event the judge in the case bleeds Penn State blue and is a contributor to Sandusky's "charity."

Here at TodaysACCHeadlines. com, we have dedicated some time, energy and cyberspace to both trying to figure out what the hell happened, and, more importantly, why did the decision makers at Penn State do what they did while Sandusky prowled around their campus.

The unwritten conclusion from last week's PSU articles was that major college football has become such a monster of power, money and greed that it corrupts people – even a program that has prioritized sportsmanship and academics such as Penn State’s under Joe Paterno’s watch.  In this case, the college football machine appears to have corrupted people who are parents and grandparents with otherwise spotless track records.  

So with all of that swirling around, somehow yesterday we had what Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction called a “rare  moment of clarity.”  The key to figuring out how this went so wrong for so many people isn’t what McQueary did or didn’t do or even what Paterno did or didn't do.  The key  is Victim #6 in the now infamous Sandusky Grand Jury report and how then athletic director Tim Curley and others responded.

Here’s why.

CURLEY - BAD GUY #2 (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)
In 1998, according to several sources, Victim 6, who was 12 at the time, alleged he and Sandusky were showering in the football building on Penn State’s campus when Sandusky subjected him to a variety of inappropriate behavior.

According to various published reports, the boy’s mother contacted the police and participated in the investigation.  The woman reportedly told the Mechanicsburg, PA Patriot-News she was specifically instructed by state police not to speak the press.  In spite of some confessional remarks made by Sandusky to Victim 6’s mother in a conversation monitored by the police, no formal charges we filed.  

Again, according to published sources, Victim 6’s mother said she took her son to Penn State police for questioning in 1998 but didn’t listen to the interview. She said she never asked her son what happened   (which seems odd, yes?).

Retired Penn State Police Officer Ron Schreffler handled the 1998 case. When approached for a comment by a reporter, he is alleged to have said: “How did you see that report?”

In yet another very  bizarre  twist, Ray Gricar, the Centre County district attorney at the time of the 1998 Victim 6 investigation went missing in 2005 and was declared legally dead in July of 2011. The hard drive from Gricar's computer turned up on the banks of the Susquehanna River six months after his disappearance.

So it appears the cover-up started in a very pro-Penn State world all the way back in 1998, and perhaps earlier than that.

Now connect the dots with us.

Sandusky starts The Second Mile, which now looks to have been his farm system for recruiting victims in 1977.  In 1998, he is accused of a similar incident as the 2002 shower incident.  Nobody prosecutes him in 1998 and, similarly, there is no prosecution in 2002.  Who’s in on this?

Answer:  Everybody. 

Some people at Penn State, The Second Mile, the police, the late prosecutor and the current judge all look to be so blinded by loyalty to all things Penn State that they have ceased to function normally.  (Note: yesterday, the CEO of The Second Mile resigned.)

When we first got wind of the scandal, simple logic dictated that the prudent move would have been to simply throw Sandusky under the bus back in 2002.  The University would suffer a black eye, but the arrest and prosecution of their retired coach wouldn’t be the devastating scandal it has turned out to be.  That might have been the course of action taken by athletic director Tim Curley were it not for Victim 6 in 1998.

Simply put, in 2002 had McQueary, Paterno or Curley called the cops, it would have become clear very quickly that from 1998 to 2002 Penn State allowed a pedophile access to their facilities and did nothing to protect innocent children from Sandusky.  It wouldn’t have been long before the media would be asking what was going on from 1977, when The Second Mile was founded, until 1998 both at the charity and at Penn State? 

As a result of the ensuing scandal, the Joe Pa era at Penn State would have ended in disgrace in 2002 just as it has now in 2011. It would now appear that a significant number of the decision makers realized that and opted to pursue Plan B - the cover up.  

Not surprisingly, there is a debate about whether or not Paterno knew about the 1998 incident. Paterno’s son claims that Penn State lawyers say Joe Pa was never notified.  If that is true, Paterno’s actions make a bit more sense, but his unwillingness to demand that the police investigate the incident is a moral failure worthy of ultimately being relieved of his duties.  Paterno is the main man, like it or not, he’s ultimately responsible for all things in his realm.

Senior Vice President Schultz and Curley most certainly knew about the 1998 incident. How could they not? Schultz’s department included PSU campus police.  Curley must have known that a full-blown investigation and prosecution of Sandusky would trigger program-rocking inquiries that would lead to Paterno’s demise and the dismissal of all the other key PSU decision makers including himself.

So when presented with an eye-witness report in 2002, it appears that Curley decided yet again to try to cover it up to protect himself, Paterno and Penn State football.  The contradictions between his testimony and McQueary’s in the Sandusky Grand Jury report lead to no other conclusion.  If that’s the case, his strategy worked for nine years.  He protected Paterno, Sandusky, Penn State and himself, while he fed a group of innocent children to the pedophile wolf.  The prevailing philosophy of “me and mine first” strikes yet again.

While it has been logical to this point to vilify McQueary, the next step is to carefully examine the role Curley played in allowing Sandusky to prey on innocent children during his tenure in State College.
The conclusion looks simple:  Curley and Schultz participated in the cover up for at least eleven years.

Whether or not they fully understood what Sandusky was up to is a moot point.  They should have smelled the rat at some point and taken the appropriate action. While they managed to postpone their record-setting coach’s ugly departure they did so at the expense of innocent children.  They were rightly terminated and they look to be the ultimate bad guys here along with the criminal Sandusky.

If Penn State football is to survive the atrocities committed by their long-time defensive coordinator and the cover-up that seems to have ensued, they must purge everyone with knowledge of and/or complicity in Sandusky’s alleged abuses.

Time will tell if the new Penn State leadership has the stomach for such a difficult task. 


  1. "...they did so at the expense of innocent children." It echoes in my head. Your analysis is dead on: a college football program - you know the one making millions of dollars for people and institutions on the arms and legs of (mostly) unpaid athletes - became more important than the lives of young boys. It is absolutely surreal.

  2. Here are a few points that you do not have correct: 1) Gricar officially made the decision not to pursue the case in 1998 stating there was not enough evidence. This was prior to him going missing. If he went missing due to some nefarious character involved in this case, it would be a relative of the abused boy who was outraged by him deciding not to pursue the case. 2) Paterno called in Curry and then Shultz to tell them about the reported abuse in 2002. Shultz was the head of the university Police who have standing as official police...they are not glorified private security as seen in a closed housing development, but actual police. So McQuery is right when he said he reported it to the police. It is not his fault, nor Paterno's that Shultz did not file the report. Shultz and Curry deserve their charges. Paterno and McQuery do not deserve the villification on the assumption that they could have done more. when the police have decided not to do more as they did in 1998 and in 2002, there is not a whole lot you can do about it.

  3. Anonymous: We believe everything we said about Gricar is factually correct. We would agree that his demise probably came at the hands of a relative of one of the victims. We have noted prior that McQueary is technically correct in saying he notified the police. That said, telling the guy who oversees campus police and dialing 911 shortly after witnessing a crime are two very different things...


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