OT: Penn State emails reveal... stuff

Submitted by BiSB on June 29th, 2012 at 8:31 PM

From Anderson Cooper 360 tonight:

(H/T Scott Bell, @sbell021)

Holy shit. That is all.



June 29th, 2012 at 8:33 PM ^

1) These victims are going to own Happy Valley, and a good portion of central Pennsylvania. 

2) Holy Stupid Thing To Write Down, Batman


June 29th, 2012 at 9:37 PM ^

I didn't see any other existing email than this screen shot so I may be speaking with only having partial info...but...

legally speaking, can you really tie this email to this scandal? Common sense says yes, but is there enough there to make a concrete link?


June 30th, 2012 at 10:56 AM ^

My guess is. that someone will trade information for a lighter sentence or be a aprosecution witness.

I believe. PSU has never. a had a major. NCAA violation. Maybe this is the reason why.

MGJS SuperKick Party

June 29th, 2012 at 8:41 PM ^

Remember all the talk when this first broke about kicking Penn State out of the Big Ten, or even the Death Penalty? I think they are going to do that to themselves based on the fact that information of the cover up keeps on dropping... sheesh, Penn State will no longer be a major University soon at this rate... As BiSB stated, the victims are going to own Penn State.

This story gets sadder and sadder by the day. I would like to think that they would have done the right thing when the accusations involved children... absolutely sickening... I know neither Bo nor Woody, both rest in peace, would have let this go down this way.


June 29th, 2012 at 9:09 PM ^

Life isn't fair. This isn't just a couple of rogue higher ups at Penn State. This was a colossal cover-up that implicates almost everyone in power at the school including the one guy (sorry JoePa. RIP) who everyone else would take their cue from.

Sorry. The fact that this cover- up effectively allowed Sandusky to rape children for at least a decade is the point. How many kids could have been saved from that monster if just ONE person did the right thing?

It's embarrassing to have Penn St represent the B1G


July 2nd, 2012 at 8:24 PM ^

Cutting the football program would entail removing scholarships from current players, yes? How is that fair to them?  They had nothing to do with the scandals.   Your anger at PSU is fully understandable but punishing current players who I think it's safe to say had nothing to do with the scandalous incidents is simply wrong.



July 2nd, 2012 at 11:57 PM ^

Why would cutting the football program remove scholarships from anyone? PSU could keep paying out all of the current scholarships without fielding a team; I guess they could choose not to pay scholarships, but one last PR nightmare over their former football team probably isn't what they want.


June 29th, 2012 at 9:45 PM ^

1) That's not how "cruel and unusual punishment" works.

2) When the "few individuals" involved are powerful forces at the university, it isn't unreasonable to punish the university. It isn't like they'd be punishing PSU because of some drunk sophomore frat guy.


June 29th, 2012 at 11:39 PM ^

But a public university is essentially a charitable institution intended for the public good.  Private corporations that have capital (i.e. are solvent) can be punished monetarily, sending the signal to its shareholders that they shouldn't put their capital in the hands of knuckleheads.  Here, you would (potentially, at the extreme) accomplish elimination of the largest public university in Pennsylvania at the expense of the entire citizenry of Pennsylvania.  From the perspective of Pennsylvania, there is no "them" here to blame, only "us." 

I have not heard it discussed much, but as a lawyer I would be shocked if Penn State is not entitled to sovereign immunity as an arm of the state.  (I'm not a Pennsylvania attorney and I don't know whether Pennsylvania gave PSU immunity from suits.  If they didn't, they might want to consider it for the future for its public universities.)


June 29th, 2012 at 11:48 PM ^

from what I've read, it's murky. Both are protected from FOIA requests (at least to some extent) and have argued for years that they're not a state arm. Neither is considered a public school in PA, but are "state-related". The NYT quoted a Philadelphia lawyer claiming that this would allow suits to be filed, although there were quotes from a Duke Law professor saying otherwise.


STW P. Brabbs

June 30th, 2012 at 11:27 PM ^

Blue in South Bend is a mod, and some degree of politeness is therefore required, I suppose. But he's being far too nice.

SalvatoreQuattro's use of this phrase is possibly one of the stupidest fucking examples thereof made this year. By anyone, anywhere.

Mabel Pines

June 30th, 2012 at 1:31 PM ^

That in many cases, several people are punished for the acts of a few.  Had Penn State immediately taken away the creep's office and other perks and called the cops, this might not be an issue.  I think it's a bit of a cover up and perhaps the program should face the consequences.


June 29th, 2012 at 11:02 PM ^

I think you and I have a very different opinion of what a mistake is.  A kid shoplifting is a mistake.  A coordinated effort to cover up and allow child rape is not a mistake.   They chose to keep the image of the athletic department and the university over the welfare of children vulnerable from an unstable homelife.  Spanier, Curley, Schultz, and Paterno all schemed to keep this a secret for the benefit of themselves and the university.  The university atheletic department benefitted by keeping their money from lawsuit, their image and Joe Paterno's image intact, and the alumni and donators are none the wiser.

They knew what they were doing, they knew there were ramifications, they knew they were taking a risk.  This is an excerpt from an email Spainer sent:


The report goes on to cite an email Spanier allegedly sent, saying in part, "I am supportive. ... The only downside for us is if the message isn't heard and acted upon and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it. But that can be assessed down the road."


This is not a mistake. This is a cover up to keep the money flowing into the AD and to the university in general.  Curley even said that Sandusky should get professional help!   Now, should PSU be kicked out of the Big 10?  No.  They should have what they were trying to preserve by covering this up taken away from them.  The football team should take a hit.  Whether it be money, scholarship limitations, TV blackouts, practice time, bowl bans, I don't know.  You may say what did the current players do to deserve this?  Let them transfer without penalty.  This is a very unfortunate incedent and it's hard to see any good coming from it.


June 30th, 2012 at 7:58 AM ^

PSU is not under any NCAA sanctions at this time related to Sandusky. My feeling is they should be, regardless of the fact that JoePa, who was involved in the cover-up, is gone.

The NCAA should use this as an object lesson and penalize the team so that other schools understand you don't break the law just to further a sport.

Zone Left

June 29th, 2012 at 11:41 PM ^

Matt Hinton at CBS Sports wrote an interesting piece against the Death Penalty for Penn State earlier this week. He acknowledges the moral strength behind the argument, but argues that it wasn't done with the intention of gaining an advantage for the football team, so it therefore isn't really doesn't fall under the NCAA's mandate. Unfortunately, I have to agree that Penn State shouldn't get the axe, but on a technical basis rather than his argument.

To me, the point of not going to law enforcement with the information was probably done to prevent the scandal that has erupted, which I think would have been done to help the football team. Sandusky was directly associated with the team, so the coverup points to not a lack of institutional control, which is punishable by the NCAA, but a complete lack of institutional morality. However, peoples' crimes have never been punished by the NCAA and it probably sets a bad precedent to start. Besides, this isn't a circumstance covered in the NCAA rulebook and a death penalty imposition would probably not stand up to the civil suit Penn State would be forced to launch to stop it.

As for Big 10 membership...I'm really not sure what I'd do. Being kicked out of the conference and the AAU would be a much worse fate for Penn State than any NCAA penalty, but my guess is that wouldn't stand up in court either. These types of unions typically don't have provisions to kick members out.


June 30th, 2012 at 10:44 AM ^

Penn State football is comprised of a hundred current athletes, a bunch of staff, thousands of former players and many more fans.  You don't axe the whole program because 4 men acted horribly.  In fact, it sounds like the leadership was going to report the incident until they talked with Paterno.  Anybody stickng up for "poor" JoePa needs their head examined.


June 30th, 2012 at 12:27 PM ^

Lack of institutional control charges include the case where you have control but choose not to use it, so that's not really a reason to avoid NCAA punishment.

I don't know NCAA rules well enough to say whether a criminal coverup is a violation, which is strange to say, but I don't know that I'm very comfortable making up new punishments if isn't. If it is, they deserve appropriate punishment--the way the NCAA works, unfortunately, is that the football team is punished as a whole for the actions of individuals.

Mr Miggle

June 29th, 2012 at 10:39 PM ^

I'm not sure about that, but I'd put them on double secret probation.

PSU needs to make some changes, far beyond just replacing a few criminal administrators. I'd like to see what they do. So far I'm completely unimpressed.

This is an institution in which every person in authority in a position to stop a child molestor decided to hinder legal investigations, apparently even when it meant breaking the law. Their identity as an institution was overshadowed by their worship of a man and his football program, and the myth that he and they were morally superior. Even when a prosecutor finally decided to pursue the case, he waited until Paterno set the career win record before filing charges. Even so, he complained during Sandusky's trial about the continuing lack of cooperation from PSU.

I'm sure most Penn Staters are fine people and were genuinely disgusted by what went on. At the same time it certainly seemed that the outrage of many was the strongest when it came to how Paterno had been treated. In response PSU offered to name the stadium after him, without waiting to see where this investigation ultimately goes. .

At the very least, PSU needs to do a thorough self-examination. Somebody like Jerry Sandusky could be anywhere. But the reasons he was enabled need to be addressed. I expected they would take some steps to rein in the football program and to cleanse it thoroughly. A new coach gets hired from the outside, but he is allowed to retain the assistants he wanted. Setting the football program back by losing a top-notch recruiter was just not an option. I realize that cutting loose all of the coaches isn't necessarily fair to them, but this wasn't a situation that called for giving them the benefit of the doubt either.



June 29th, 2012 at 11:04 PM ^

came off too strongly on my part. It was a visceral reaction to this very disturbing news, and I don't support throwing them out based on this one email. I do support going through a conference hearing with that as the harshest punishment, though, and I do think that hearing will start pointing to either incredibly harsh sanctions or expulsion.

I could get behind either expulsion or the Big Ten appointing a trustee to oversee PSU's athletic department for a set length of time, after which they could possibly be "reinstated" or whatever term would be applicable for a department that lost its autonomy. Either would accomplish the goal of maintaining the conference's reputation and setting a precedent for "what not to do" when high ranking university officials hear news of child molestation, and hopefully prevents actions like theirs in the future.


June 29th, 2012 at 8:54 PM ^

One of the biggest things I've learned in corporate america is that you never, ever, ever, ever send anything in an email that you wouldn't want brought up in court, on the front page of the newspaper, read on TV, etc. I can't believe that two guys this high up in a major university would make that mistake


June 29th, 2012 at 10:07 PM ^

From Curley to Spanier, carbon copy to Schultz.

Here are three people that I hope see some jail time for that. Holy incredibly self-serving and incriminating e-mail, Batman.

I don't know if the Big Ten needs to kick Penn State out - things like this, if there is in fact more (please,  no more - it's sick enough as it is) might make them so irrelevant that it might not even matter now. If there is anything worse than this attached to PSU, I don't think I want to know.


June 30th, 2012 at 12:16 AM ^

It's hard exactly to figure out how to punish PSU.  I mean on one hand their medical center treated my mother and many other people for cancer.  I have no desire to see that burned to the ground.

On the other hand they enacted a coverup of child rape to keep the legacy of Paterno and their sports program intact.  The punishment clearly needs to be PSU restitution to the victims.  They also need to very clearly admit fault and the football program needs to suffer in some way.  TV ban, bowl ban, something in the history books regarding it.  Basically they tried to bury their head in the sand to keep the stain of child rape off their program, so now that stain needs to be afixed in a way that it can't be removed.

The really sad part is if Sandusky had just been outed and handed over to the cops the moment PSU found out, PSU would not have their legacy tarnished.  No one would blame Paterno for lacking some sixth sense that let him detect Sandusky raped kids in his free time.  The coverup only made everything worse.  It gave Sandusky more time to prey on victims and it threatens a large research school now.  Society loses twice because of it.