While spring football is in the air, there’s a pall over Happy Valley. Legendary former defensive coordinator, and the man many thought would be JoePa’s successor, Jerry Sandusky is the subject of a grand jury investigation into whether he indecently assaulted a teenage boy.
The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) first reported the charges on Thursday. According to reports, the investigation started in 2009, when the then 15-year-old told school officials that Sandusky, who volunteered as an assistant coach at Central Mountain High School, had inappropriately touched him for a period of four years. Sandusky quit his high school position that same year, saying he wanted to spend more time on The Second Mile, the non-profit he founded in 1977 which runs camp programs for at-risk kids in the state. Sandusky officially retired from the charity this past fall.
Sandusky led the Nittany Lions defense and served on the staff for 32 years. He helped build the foundation for “Linebacker U.” Now he is being accused of sickening and heinous crimes.
At his regular press conference, Paterno declined to comment on the situation, saying he was there to talk about football. It has been reported that Paterno and Athletic Director Tim Curley have both appeared in front of the grand jury to testify.
Everyone is remaining tight-lipped about the situation and Sandusky is deferring all questions to his attorney.
It has also been rumoured that Sandusky had made inappropriate advances on another boy, but again, nothing has been proven. Allegedly he touched a then-12-year-old in the Penn State football shower facilities in 1998, however no charges were filed.
Sandusky retired from Penn State following the Nittany Lions’ trip to the Alamo Bowl in 1999. In 2000 he released his now unfortunately titled autobiography “Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story.”
If these allegations are proven to be true, it is downright horrible, particularly for the victim(s). If the allegations turn out to be false, it is only slightly less awful for a man who, on the surface at least, devoted his career to helping kids.
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Written by Stephanie Geosits