Penn State's VP/Gary Schultz & AD/Tim Curley Step Down
by: Rebel - Havertown, PA started: 11/07/11 10:53 am | updated: 11/07/11 10:53 am
Penn State senior vice president Gary Schultz has stepped down and athletic director Tim Curley has taken an administrative leave amid allegations of covering up a sex scandal involving a former assistant coach on the football team, Jerry Sandusky.
The Penn State trustees announced the moves after an executive session at the Old Main administration building on Sunday night.
Both men have been charged with failure to report and perjury and made their requests to the trustees to devote time to defend themselves against the charges.
After two decades as defensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions, Sandusky retired in 1999 but kept an office and privileges at the Lasch football complex on campus. That's where prosecutors say several assaults occurred, typically with boys Sandusky had met through a foundation he launched to serve underprivileged children.
Sandusky and the university officials have denied all charges.
"The board, along with the entire Penn State family, is shocked and saddened by the allegations involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky," said Steve Garban, chairman of the board of trustees.
The university will be interviewing candidates for Schultz's position and expects to fill that spot in the coming weeks.
University president Graham Spanier said that senior associate athletic director Mark Sherburne will serve as interim AD until Curley's status is resolved.
Garban announced several steps to improve the university's handling of child safety issues.
A task force will be formed to engage external legal counsel to conduct an independent review of university policies and procedures and publicize the findings of the review.
Police reporting protocols will be reviewed with school administrators.
Such topics will receive enhanced educational programming.
Joe Paterno said earlier Sunday that he behaved responsibly when he told university officials that his former defensive coordinator, Sandusky, had been seen showering with a young boy in 2002. He said he didn't know Sandusky allegedly had abused the child.
"If this is true, we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things," Paterno said in a statement, his first since Sandusky's arrest Saturday on charges of molesting eight boys between the mid-1990s and 2008.
"While I did what I was supposed to with the one charge brought to my attention, like anyone else involved, I can't help but be deeply saddened these matters are alleged to have occurred," he said.
Thomas J. Farrell, an attorney for Schultz, told the Associated Press that a state law requiring school officials to report suspected child abuse did not apply to a Penn State administrator. He said it applied to people who have direct contact with children. Sandusky's arrest followed a multiyear investigation that raised questions not only about his behavior but about the behavior of a roster of others who were allegedly aware of it - a high school principal, foundation executives, the university president, the school's lawyer, an assistant coach, even janitors.
"What's apparent when you read the grand jury report was just how often the red flags didn't go up for folks," said Cathleen Palm, executive director of Protect Our Children, a statewide coalition of advocacy groups.
A state senator called Sunday for the university's board of trustees to launch its own investigation.
"The board of trustees needs to get hold of it so that they can get to the bottom of it, take whatever action is necessary," said Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, (R., Dauphin), head of the state Senate Education Committee.
The 23-page grand jury presentment portrayed Sandusky, 67, as a serial predator who picked his victims through the Second Mile, the charity he founded in 1977. He resigned from the organization last year as the criminal investigation was intensifying.
The grand jury report described multiple instances in which Sandusky gave gifts to boys, one as young as 8, took them to football games, and hosted them on overnight visits to his house. Ultimately, prosecutors say, he coaxed or forced the boys into sex acts, including oral and anal sex.
Sandusky's conduct drew scrutiny as early as 1998.
That year, the university police launched an investigation after the mother of an 11-year-old boy complained that Sandusky had showered on campus with her son, the report said.
In a telephone conversation, which the boy's mother let university police monitor, Sandusky said, "I was wrong" and apologized to her, the grand jury report said.
"I wish I were dead," the report quoted him as saying.
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