In mid-June of 2012, former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 charges of child sexual abuse.
The conviction brought cheers to the town square of Bellefonte, Pa., the tiny Central Pennsylvania town where the trial took place. It brought some sense of closure to Sandusky's victims, as well.
But even with Sandusky's conviction, it remained quite clear that Penn Stat's troubles were far from over. Here, we follow the course of events at Penn State following the Sandusky conviction--from the university's internal response to the results of ongoing investigations into the scandal and much more.
In the immediate wake of the NCAA announcement that basically crippled his program, Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien and his boss—Penn State athletic director David Joyner—issued statements regarding the scandal and their feelings on the punishments dealt out by the Emmert.
After learning of the crushing penalties levied against his football program, Penn State president Rodney Erickson issued a statement in which he said Penn State would accept and comply with the sanctions.
NCAA President Mark Emmert, acting with unprecedented authority, has decreed that Penn State will be ineligible for postseason play for the next four years. The NCAA also stripped the program of 20 scholarships, slapped Penn State with a staggering $60 million fine and erased all of its wins dating to the 1998 season.
On Friday night, June 29, CNN released a stunning report that seemed to indicate that the highest levels of the Penn State administration were aware of allegations against Sandusky in February of 2011, just five months before another victim was abused by Sandusky, and yet apparently decided against taking the matter to police, or even the charity that Sandusky founded and used to cultivate his victims. The emails also hint that the three men were well aware of an earlier allegation against Sandusky--a 1998 incident that was actually investigated by police, yet resulted in no charges--yet still didn't believe that the 2001 incident was sufficient cause alarm to alert police. In the end, the men decided to keep the matter in-house.
Yes, Jerry Sandusky is now locked up. At the same time, however, investigations into what went wrong at Penn State--who knew what, and when, and why certain decisions were made along the way--continue. Civil suits are almost guaranteed. More disturbing revelations
are possible. And yes, major questions remain about the future of the Penn State football program.
Some will and already have begun calling for the program to get the "death penalty," and those calls will likely only grow louder if Penn State's internal investigation turns up any evidence that there was a football-focused cover-up of Sandusky's actions. In the end, however, it seems unlikely that Penn State football will face any serious sanctions for the scandal.
In a statement, Penn State president Erickson said: "My administration ... maintain[s] a steadfast commitment to pursuing the truth regarding Mr. Sandusky’s actions. While we cannot change what happened, we can and do accept the responsibility to take action on the societal issue of child sexual abuse -- both in our community and beyond. The University is committed to ensuring that our campuses are safe for children and to being a constructive participant in building greater awareness of child sexual abuse and the practical steps that can be undertaken to prevent, report and respond to such abuse. ... Now that the jury has spoken, the University wants to continue that dialogue and do its part to help victims continue their path forward.
Mere hours before Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 charges of child sexual abuse, another bombshell was dropped in a scandal that certainly has had no shortage of them.
Matt Sandusky, the adoptive son of Jerry Sandusky, announced through his attorneys that he, too, had been a victim of his father's abuse. The announcement followed earlier reports that Matt Sandusky was prepared to testify against his father in the the case that shook Penn State University to the core, led to the firing of longtime coach Joe Paterno and the removal of three top Penn State officials and raised serious questions about the future of Penn State football.