Joe Paterno firing: What’s next for Penn State after scandal?

November 10, 2011


View Photo Gallery: Jerry Sandusky is accused of assaulting eight boys over 15 years in a scandal that has led to the firings of coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier and perjury charges against Penn State’s athletic director and vice president for finance and business.

Tom Bradley during the 2009 Rose Bbowl. (Jeff Gross / Getty Images)

Bradley, is a 55-year-old Penn State lifer who has been on the staff since 1979 and has three regular-season games (with a possible Big Ten title game and bowl game) in which to nail down the job. Already, though, other names have been mentioned, including Urban Meyer, the former Florida coach, and Miami Coach Al Golden.

Whether Mike McQueary, the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, will be on the sidelines Saturday has not been determined. McQueary is at the heart of the most horrifying incident, the one that occurred in the showers at Penn State in 2002. According to the grand jury report, he witnessed an alleged sexual assault on a minor boy by Sandusky and told his father, then told Paterno about it. He is one of only two witnesses; the other is a janitor who now is suffering from dementia.


Mike McQueary, in a 2009 photo. (TONY DING / AP)

The firing of Paterno by the board portends a power shift at the school, where the president was the second-most powerful person. Rodney Erickson, Penn State’s executive vice-president and provost, will be the acting president and will deal with the U.S. Department of Education’s investigation into the school’s handling of the case. First, though, the campus must clean up from the rioting that occurred after Paterno was fired.

Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, Penn State administrators who stepped down Monday, prepare for their day in court on charges of perjury and failure to report a crime.

Jerry Sandusky will appear in court Dec. 7. He faces 40 counts of sex crimes. He is free on $100,000 unsecured bail.

The victims and their families continue to live their lives, as their harrowing stories only begin to emerge. The sister of one victim described the difficulty of going to class at Penn State. Although students are wearing blue students wear blue “Stop Child Abuse” ribbons and planning a “blue-out” at Saturday’s game, there are also jokes about being “Sanduskied.”

“I can’t escape it,” the student, whose brother was allegedly molested in a shower when he was 11, told Sara Ganim of the Harrisburg Patriot-News. “I’ve been going to minimal classes, because every class I go to I get sick to my stomach. People are making jokes about it. I understand they don’t know I’m involved and it was my brother, but it’s still really hard to swallow that.”

Meanwhile, everyone waits for more details to emerge. This story isn’t over yet.

More coverage of the Penn State scandal from The Washington Post:

Video: Trustees announce firing

Thomas Boswell: A sad end for Paterno

Jason Reid: Board did the right thing

Sally Jenkins: Blame for the scandal does not lie with Joe Paterno

John Feinstein: Scandal threatens one of sports’ greatest legacies

Tracee Hamilton: Joe Paterno ignored his moral responsibility

Early Lead: Penn State students rally to support Joe Paterno

Hard Hits: Jerry Sandusky scandal shocks former player LaVar Arrington

Mike Wise: Penn State is close to beyond redemption

Early Lead: Scandal may affect incoming football recruits

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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