Joe Paterno knew of Sandusky abuse in 1976: Breaking down revealed court documents
Unsealed court documents show that multiple Penn State assistants, and Joe Paterno, knew of Sandusky's misconduct
Penn State has agreed to pay millions to settle civil claims involving disgraced former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, now in prison for the sexual abuse of 10 children. But the school's efforts to get some help with the bill, through an insurance policy holder, has led to more digging.
Consequently, court filings and unsealed documents have kept the story in the headlines, including the news that settlements with alleged abuse victims include instances that date back to 1971, two years after Sandusky was named a full-time assistant coach.
Furthermore, it was revealed in other released court documents that a victim testified in court in 2014 that Penn State coach Joe Paterno ignored complaints of sexual assault by Jerry Sandusky back in 1976. At the time, the victim was a 14-year-old boy who attended a football camp and claimed Sandusky assaulted him in the shower, according to the Washington Post.
"Is it accurate that Coach Paterno quickly said to you, 'I don't want to hear about any of that kind of stuff, I have a football season to worry about?'" the man's lawyer asked him in 2014.
"Specifically. Yes ... I was shocked, disappointed, offended. I was insulted... I said, is that all you're going to do? You're not going to do anything else?"
Paterno, the man testified, just walked away.
Paterno's knowledge of Sandusky's behavior decades before his arrest is the biggest takeaway here. This adds another wrinkle to story of a coaching legend who currently has hundreds of former players arguing for his statue to be returned to Beaver Stadium. The questions of who knew what and when have continued to turn up disappointing results at Penn State, and this latest set of documents only makes matters worse for all involved.
Here's a breakdown from Tuesday's document dump.
1. All of this starts with Penn State and an insurance company. According to PennLive.com, Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Insurance Co. has claimed in court that Penn State had a duty to inform it of incidents that could result in liability exposure. Therefore, instances of Sandusky's alleged abuse that were witnessed by school employees (coaches) but not reported should take PMA off the hook for helping Penn State with the financials of the settlements.
On its face, the idea that Penn State is looking for reimbursement for monies given to alleged sexual abuse victims is a little unsettling. Diving too deep into the finances of a major university like Penn State can be intimidating for the lay reader, so take this web of insurance policies and lawsuit settlements as an example of why schools shell out millions for legal fees.
2. The insurance company alleges that there were six different instances where Penn State should have reported Sandusky. Risk management expert Raymond Williams, in a report obtained by PennLive, has pointed to six separate occasions in which Penn State should have reported Sandusky's behavior. Two of the cases have been tested in court and resulted in criminal convictions and all six have resulted in settlement payments.
3. UCLA assistant Tom Bradley and Ohi0 State assistant Greg Schiano have questions to answer before taking the field in 2016. Also in the unsealed documents was testimony alleging Bradley and Schiano knew of Sandusky abusing boys. Ex-Penn State assistant Mike McQueary named both Bradley and Schiano, now defensive coordinators at UCLA and Ohio State respectively, as coaches who either witnessed or knew of Sandusky using Penn State facilities for alleged sexual misconduct.
It was Bradley, after all, that led Penn State as the interim head coach as the scandal unfolded during the 2011 season. There's a new perspective on his role in this story now. Once a steadying presence for a program rocked by the unthinkable, Bradley has now become yet another Penn State employee with documented knowledge of Sandusky's actions well before his eventual arrest.
Am told #UCLA DC Tom Bradley is expected to put out a statement later today in regards to the latest PennSt/Sandusky news.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) July 12, 2016
Schiano, a Penn State assistant during the early 1990s, offered a statement in response to the unsealed deposition: "I never saw any abuse, nor had reason to suspect any abuse, during my time at Penn State."
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