Scandal rocks Penn State | President Spanier removed and Coach Paterno sacked today
• Joe Paterno, one of the biggest names in college football, will never coach another game
• Penn State president Graham Spanier also forced out by Board of Trustees
• Allegations of a cover-up as two school administrators charged with failing to report their findings about the sexual assaults
• One boy said he was assaulted at least 20 times at Jerry Sandusky’s home and the boy’s high school in 2005 or 2006
• Pennsylvania’s top police officer says Paterno should have done more to stop his one-time heir-apparent
• Penn State students rally to support beloved coach Paterno
(Above: Former leaders: Jerry Sandusky (left) was the defensive line coach under head coach Joe Paterno (right) before Sandusky retired in 1999)
Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno has tonight been sacked by the school’s Board of Trustees, who also forced the resignation of president Graham Spanier after the sex abuse scandal which has rocked the establishment.
Paterno had said today he would retire at the end of the 2011 season but the Trustees stepped in tell the legendary coach he will never take charge of another game, following allegations a former assistant coach sexually abused boys and school officials covered it up.
Assistant coach Tom Bradley has been named interim football coach while Penn State Provost, Rodney Erickson will become interim President.
The Trustees took the decision unanimously after a three-hour closed-doors meeting, adding: ‘It was in the trustees’ view that this was in the best long-term interest.’
The case of Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator accused of years of abuse of boys that allegedly was covered up by school officials, has shaken the university and its football program.
The coach, in his 46th year as head coach of the Nittany Lions and winner of two national championships, has been criticised for not doing more to intervene when incidents of Sandusky’s abuse came to light in 2002.
Two former university officials – athletic director Tim Curley and finance official Gary Schultz – were charged on Monday with failing to alert police after they were told that Sandusky had been seen sodomising a young boy in the football locker room shower in 2002.
They have also been charged with perjury in their statements to a grand jury.
They have stepped down from their positions at the university following an emergency meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees.
Lawyers for all three men have said their clients deny the charges and maintain their innocence.
Many students have rallied around the 84-year-old coach, who with his thick, black-rimmed glasses and blue windbreaker has been the face of Penn State football for generations.
Last night, several thousand gathered in front of Mr Paterno’s home before racing through downtown streets, often chanting football slogans, to the white-columned administration building to support their coach and defend the university.
Mr Paterno’s resignation comes as anticipation builds for Saturday, when Penn State is due to take an 8-1 record into its final home game of the season against the University of Nebraska.
Under his leadership, Penn State has won 409 games, a record for a coach in major college football. He set the record for wins when the Nittany Lions beat Illinois on October 29, just days before Sandusky was charged on November 5.
The ugly sex abuse scandal has cast a pall over the sprawling campus of about 45,000 students at the State College, in central Pennsylvania, which is the flagship of about two-dozen Penn State campuses across the state.
The grand jury report detailed alleged sexual assaults of eight boys by Sandusky over 15 years – during his time as a Penn State coach and after his retirement in 1999.
Since then a ninth potential victim, a man now in his 20s, has come forward, and Pennsylvania police have set up a tip line for others to call. The number of accusers in the case has more than doubled.
Sources told Fox 29 News that as many as 17 people have said they were victimized by Sandusky, up from the eight victims listed in a grand jury indictment Monday.
Sandusky (photo, left), 67, allegedly recruited his underage victims from ‘The Second Mile,’ a charity he founded to help underprivileged children, and subjected them to a pattern of escalating abuse.
The charity moved quickly this week to disassociate itself from Sandusky, who this week was also ordered not to spend time with his grandchildren without supervision.
Sandusky, 67, was arrested on Saturday and released on $100,000 bail after being arraigned on 40 criminal counts.
The allegations against Sandusky, who started The Second Mile in 1977, range from sexual advances to touching to oral and anal sex.
The young men testified before a state grand jury that they were in their early teens when some of the abuse occurred; there is evidence even younger children may have been victimised.
Sandusky is charged with multiple counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of a child, indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor, as well as single counts of aggravated indecent assault and attempted indecent assault.
A grand jury report, which recommended charges, said the first to come to light was a boy who met Sandusky when he was 11 or 12. The boy received expensive gifts and trips to sports events from Sandusky, and physical contact began during his overnight stays at Sandusky’s home, jurors said.
Sandusky was banned from the child’s school district in Clinton County in 2009, after his mother reported alleged sexual assault to his high school. That triggered the state investigation that culminated in charges Saturday.
Ms Kelly said that seven years before that, in 2002, a graduate assistant saw Sandusky sexually assault a naked boy, estimated to be about ten years old, in the locker room of the Lasch Football Building on campus.
To read the full indictment on Sandusky, please click here.
(Above: Former Penn State football coach Gerald ‘Jerry’ Sandusky is taken away in a police car after he is charged with sexually abusing eight young boys)
Source: Daily Mail