Jerry Sandusky reportedly looked on from the Penn State president’s box at Beaver Stadium as his former boss, Joe Paterno, was winning his record-setting 409th game on Oct. 29.
Seven days later, Sandusky, the school’s former defensive coordinator, was arrested on charges of child sexual abuse, triggering a scandal that has enveloped the school and cost Paterno and Graham Spanier, the university president, their jobs. A source close to the school’s board of trustees told the Harrisburg Patriot-News that Sandusky was in the box and at the Nittany Lion Club.
“I don’t understand how something like that can happen,” Brandon Short, a former Penn State linebacker, told the newspaper, adding that two sources told him about Sandusky’s presence in the box. “It’s for certain that the university was aware of these charges back in March, and at a minimum, we should have been much more prepared about the fallout.”
The Patriot-News reported today Sandusky obtained the ticket from Tim Curley, who has stepped down as athletic director at the university. Curley and another Penn State official have been indicted on charges of perjury and failure to report abuse. A source said that Curley did not want to give Sandusky tickets, but that his wife, Dottie, insisted.
Bill Mahon, a spokesman for the team, told the newspaper that Sandusky, who has said he is innocent and is free on $250,000 bail, has not been on the guest list for the president’s box within the last three years. The report is significant because, if true, it would indicate that Sandusky continued to have university access.
In addition, university trustees were briefed by Spanier about the investigation months before Sandusky’s arrest, according to Roger Erickson, the acting president of the school. Erickson said that he did not attend the briefing, which occurred while he was provost, and was not told about it until after Sandusky was arrested. He said the briefing occurred in May or July. Confirmation of the briefing raises more questions about what university leaders knew and what actions they took after the investigation became public last spring.
Sandusky case: Judge sets dates
The original grand jury report
The new grand jury presentment
Timeline: How Penn State scandal unfolded
Lawyer: Sandusky, wife may do interview
Sandusky freed: Wife posts $250,000 bail
NBC video: Sandusky taken into custody
Early Lead: Sandusky’s wife says her husband is innocent