May 8, 2016
According to a Sunday report from Michael R. Sisak of the Associated Press, “Penn State’s legal settlements with Jerry Sandusky’s accusers cover alleged abuse dating to 1971.”
University spokesman Lawrence Lokman confirmed the date to the AP while responding to questions about “claims against the school” and a statement from university president Eric Barron about new allegations regarding when former head football coach Joe Paterno first knew about Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children. Sisak noted 1971 was 40 years before the former assistant football coach was arrested.
Barron “decried newly revealed allegations that former football coach Joe Paterno was told in 1976 that Sandusky had sexually abused a child and that two assistant coaches witnessed either inappropriate or sexual contact in the late 1980s,” Sisak wrote.
Before his death in 2012, Paterno said he hadn’t heard a complaint against Sandusky until 2001, per Sisak.
The allegations about Paterno surfaced in a ruling by Philadelphia Judge Gary Glazer during a case between the school and an insurance company regarding the percentage of the settlement costs Penn State is responsible for moving forward.
Sisak noted Penn State has already paid more than $90 million in settlements for civil claims involving Sandusky.
USA Today shared some of Barron’s statements: “I want you to know I am appalled by the rumor, innuendo and rush to judgment that have accompanied the media stories surrounding these allegations. All too often in our society, people are convicted in the court of public opinion, only to find a different outcome when all the facts are presented.”
Sandusky graduated from the school in 1965 and accepted a spot as the defensive line coach in 1969. He then moved to linebackers coach (1970-76) and defensive coordinator (1977-99) before he retired. Paterno was the head coach at Penn State from 1966 to 2011 and won the most games in major college football history (409).
In 2015, the NCAA reinstated 111 of those wins after having vacated them as part of the punishment for the Sandusky scandal. Paterno was fired in the aftermath.
Sandusky is 72 years old and in prison for the sexual abuse of 10 children, per Sisak.
Sisak noted three Penn State officials are still awaiting trial for criminal charges over their handling of the Sandusky scandal, including former university president Graham Spanier.
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