Penn State Sex Scandal – Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Penn State, abused eight boys in a sex scandal. It has shocked the community.
News that a former assistant coach at football-centric Penn State University had been charged with sexually assaulting young boys for years drew reactions from students and residents on Sunday ranging from shock to indifference.
Skip to next paragraphFormer Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald “Jerry” Sandusky, 67, of State College, where Penn State is located, faces an array of charges involving eight boys, assaulting at least one in the college team’s facilities, according to state prosecutors.
Penn State’s athletic director Tim Curley has been placed on administrative leave and Gary Schultz, interim senior vice president for finance and business, will return to retirement to give themselves time to defend themselves, Penn State said in a statement on Monday on its website. Some are now questioning whether Penn State long-time football coach Joe Paterno will also be forced to relinquish his position.
Sandusky’s attorney Joe Amendola has said his client, who left Penn State coaching in 1999, was shaken by the charges but knew they were coming. “He’s maintained his innocence,” Amendola said.
“People are definitely talking about it… it’s totally gross. The university in general tries to cover up everything,” said Marijane Mackey, the dreadlocked manager of the Jamaica Junction clothing store in downtown State College.
Massimo Napoli, the 39-year-old owner of Mamma Mia’s pizzeria across the street from the white-columned administration building, said he was following the scandal minute by minute online even as he worked behind his counter.
“This is sickening, this is sad,” he said. “You’re talking about (abuse)” over many years, “not just a few cases.”
Sandusky, who was defensive coordinator for 23 years and was once considered a likely successor to Paterno, allegedly targeted boys from 1994 to 2009, a grand jury report said.
“And they call this Happy Valley,” Napoli said, referring to the area’s nickname.
About a half-dozen protesters gathered outside the administration building with signs including one reading, “Tonight I am ashamed of PSU.”
Tyler Barnard, a junior from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania,, said in Mamma Mia that he objected to the university paying for legal counsel for Athletic Director Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business.
They have been charged with failing to report the alleged crimes, and with perjury.
“I want to start a protest movement saying I don’t want my tuition to pay for their screwups,” Barnard said.
Alyssia Motah, 20, a food science major who was among the protesters at the administration building, said the university needed to be held accountable.
“The reason they have been so silent is in part due to this football culture that we have here,” she said.