Key passages from Penn State internal review report

Penn State students rally around Coach Joe Paterno
By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) – Here are some key passages from a report on an internal Penn State review into how the school handled allegations of child sex abuse by assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky:

Spanier, Schultz, Curley and Paterno:

“Four of the most powerful people at The Pennsylvania State University — President Graham B. Spanier, Senior Vice President-Finance and Business Gary C. Schultz, Athletic Director Timothy M. Curley and Head Football Coach Joseph V. Paterno — failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade.”

“These men concealed Sandusky’s activities from the board of trustees, the university community and authorities. They exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims by failing to inquire as to their safety and well-being, especially by not attempting to determine the identity of the child who Sandusky assaulted in the Lasch Building in 2001.”

“… In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the University — Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley — repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the University’s Board of Trustees, the Penn State community, and the public at large. The avoidance of the consequences of bad publicity is the most significant, but not the only, cause for this failure to protect child victims and report to authorities.”

“These individuals, unchecked by the board of trustees that did not perform its oversight duties, empowered Sandusky to attract potential victims to the campus and football events by allowing him to have continued, unrestricted and unsupervised access to the University’s facilities and affiliation with the university’s prominent football program.”

“Indeed, that continued access provided Sandusky with the very currency that enabled him to attract his victims. Some coaches, administrators and football program staff members ignored the red flags of Sandusky’s behaviors and no one warned the public about him.”

“The most saddening finding by the Special Investigative Counsel is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims. As the grand jury similarly noted in its presentment, there was no ‘attempt to investigate, to identify Victim 2, or to protect that child or any others from similar conduct except as related to preventing its re-occurrence on University property.'”

“The investigation also revealed:

– A striking lack of empathy for child abuse victims by the most senior leaders of the University.

– A failure by the Board to exercise its oversight functions in 1998 and 2001 by not having regular reporting procedures or committee structures in place to ensure disclosure to the Board of major risks to the University.

– A failure by the Board to make reasonable inquiry in 2011 by not demanding details from Spanier and the General Counsel about the nature and direction of the grand jury investigation and the University’s response to the investigation.

– A President who discouraged discussion and dissent.

– A lack of awareness of child abuse issues, the Clery Act, and whistleblower policies and protections.”

Sandusky:

“A decision by Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley to allow Sandusky to retire in 1999, not as a suspected child predator, but as a valued member of the Penn State football legacy, with future ‘visibility’ at Penn State and ways ‘to continue to work with young people through Penn State,’ essentially granting him license to bring boys to campus facilities for ‘grooming’ as targets for his assaults. Sandusky retained unlimited access to University facilities until November 2011.”

“Before May 1998, several staff members and football coaches regularly observed Sandusky showering with young boys in the Lasch Building (now the East Area Locker Building or “Old Lasch”). None of the individuals interviewed notified their superiors of this behavior.”

Paterno:

“Paterno told a reporter (regarding the 2001 allegations) that ‘I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.'”

Spanier:

“By not promptly and fully advising the Board of Trustees about the 1998 and 2001 child sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky and the subsequent Grand Jury investigation of him, Spanier failed in his duties as President. The Board also failed in its duties to oversee the President and senior University officials in 1998 and 2001 by not inquiring about important University matters and by not creating an environment where senior University officials felt accountable.”

“Spanier said, in his interview with the Special Investigative Counsel, that he never heard a report from anyone that Sandusky was engaged in any sexual abuse of children. He also said that if he had known or suspected that Sandusky was abusing children, he would have been the first to intervene.”

“Even after criminal charges were announced against Schultz and Curley in November 2011, Spanier continued to downplay the serious harm that could result to Penn State’s reputation from the criminal charges, and issued a statement of “unconditional support” for Schultz and Curley.”

Penn State’s Board of Trustees:

“Once the Board was made aware of the investigations of Sandusky and the fact that senior University officials had testified before the Grand Jury in the investigations, it should have recognized the potential risk to the University community and to the University’s reputation. Instead, the Board, as a governing body, failed to inquire reasonably and to demand detailed information from Spanier.”

“The Board’s overconfidence in Spanier’s abilities to deal with the crisis, and its complacent attitude left them unprepared to respond to the November 2011 criminal charges filed against two senior Penn State leaders and a former prominent coach. Finally, the Board’s subsequent removal of Paterno as head football coach was poorly handled, as were the Board’s communications with the public.”

“The Board did not take steps that might have protected the University, such as conducting an internal investigation, engaging experienced criminal counsel, or preparing for the possibility that the results of the Grand Jury investigation could have a negative impact on the University. “

Changing Penn State culture:

“One of the most challenging of the tasks confronting the Penn State community is transforming the culture that permitted Sandusky’s behavior, as illustrated throughout this report, and which directly contributed to the failure of Penn State’s most powerful leaders to adequately report and respond to the actions of a serial sexual predator.”

“It is up to the entire University community — students, faculty, staff, alumni, the Board, and the administration — to undertake a thorough and honest review of its culture. The current administration and Board of Trustees should task the University community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and peers from similar institutions and outside experts in ethics and communications, to conduct such a review. The findings from such a review may well demand further changes.”

Timeline:

May 1998

“Victim 6’s mother reports to the University Police Department that Sandusky showered with her 11-year-old son in the Lasch Building on Penn State campus. The police promptly begin an investigation.

“Schultz is immediately informed of the investigation and notifies Spanier and Curley. Schultz’s confidential May 4, 1998 notes about Sandusky state: ‘Behavior — at best inappropriate @ worst sexual improprieties’ and ‘At min — Poor Judgment.’ Schultz also notes: ‘Is this opening of pandora’s box?’ and ‘Other children?’ “

May to August 1999

“A retirement agreement with Sandusky is reached in June 1999, including an unusual lump sum payment of $168,000, an agreement for the University to “work collaboratively” with Sandusky on Second Mile and other community activities, and free lifetime use of East Area Locker Room facilities.

“As the retirement package is being finalized, Curley requests the emergency re-hire of Sandusky for the 1999 football season, which is approved.

“In August 1999, Sandusky is granted ‘emeritus’ rank, which carries several privileges, including access to University recreational facilities. Documents show the unusual request for emeritus rank originated from Schultz, was approved by Spanier, and granted by the Provost, who expressed some uneasiness about the decision given Sandusky’s low academic rank and the precedent that would be set.”

CNN’s Eden Pontz contributed to this report.

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