Paterno gone, but questions at Penn State remain

The most tumultuous week Penn State has ever endured is drawing

to a close.

Questions, however, still linger.

Gov. Tom Corbett will be on hand Friday to help the board of

trustees navigate a course through the turmoil from a child

sex-abuse scandal that has engulfed the state’s largest university

and led to the firing of Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno.

Corbett, an ex-officio member of the board, will participate in

Friday’s regularly scheduled trustees meeting, where a committee

will be appointed to investigate the ”circumstances” that led to

the indictments of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, as

well as two university officials.

”Certainly every Pennsylvanian who has any knowledge of this

case, who has read the grand jury report, feels a sense of regret

and a sorrow to also see careers end,” Corbett said after arriving

on campus Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Tom Bradley was introduced as interim head

coach, marking the first time in almost a half-century the Nittany

Lions have been guided by anyone other than Paterno.

”We’re obviously in a very unprecedented situation,” said

Bradley, who was Paterno’s lead assistant for the last 11 seasons.

”I have to find a way to restore the confidence.”

The committee has no timetable.

And no shortage of questions to answer – from how much Paterno

actually knew to the future of his staff, including assistant coach

Mike McQueary, who told Paterno but not police about seeing

Sandusky in a shower with a young boy in 2002.

McQueary, now the team’s wide receivers coach, won’t be present

for the final home game of the season Saturday against Nebraska

because of what the university said were ”multiple threats.”

”We intend to be as responsible as we can and make whatever

changes are necessary,” board vice chair John Surma said.

Sandusky, Paterno’s onetime heir apparent, has been charged with

molesting eight boys over 15 years. Athletic director Tim Curley

and university vice president Gary Schultz have been charged with

perjury and failure to report the 2002 assault to police, as

required by state law.

All three maintain their innocence.

Paterno is not a target of the criminal investigation, having

fulfilled his legal requirement by reporting what McQueary told him

to Curley and Schultz. But the state police commissioner called

Paterno’s failure to contact police or follow up on the incident a

lapse in ”moral responsibility.”

Paterno has acknowledged that he should have done more but has

not said why he didn’t go to the police, nor has he said whether he

was aware of any earlier alleged assaults. Aside from a few brief

comments outside his house and two statements, Paterno has not

spoken publicly since Sandusky was indicted.

McQueary told the grand jury that he saw Sandusky sodomizing a

boy of about 10 in the showers at the Penn State football building

in March 2002.

McQueary later told Paterno, Curley and Schultz, although it is

not clear how detailed his description was. Schultz, in turn,

notified Spanier.

Curley and Schultz – as well as Paterno – testified that they

were told that Sandusky behaved inappropriately in that 2002

incident, but not to the extent of McQueary’s graphic account to

the grand jury.

McQueary has not spoken publicly. His mother, Anne, said

Thursday they have been advised not to comment.

Then 28, McQueary was ”distraught” after witnessing the

alleged 2002 assault, according to the indictment. Yet it appears

he may have continued to participate in fundraising events with

Sandusky – including one held less than a month later.

Sandusky was a coach at a March 28, 2002, flag-football

fundraiser for the Easter Seals of Central Pennsylvania, and

McQueary and other Penn State staff members participated by either

playing or signing autographs, according to a ”Letter of special

thanks” published in the Centre Daily Times.

The paper also reported that McQueary was scheduled to play in

The Second Mile Celebrity Golf Classic in 2002 and 2003. The Second

Mile is the charity Sandusky founded in 1997 to provide education

and life skills to almost 100,000 at-risk kids each year.

And in 2004, the Centre Daily Times reported that McQueary

played in the third annual Subway Easter Bowl Game, an Easter Seals

fundraiser that was jointly coached by Sandusky.

Sandusky, a former Penn State player and assistant for 30 years,

including 22 as defensive coordinator, had long been considered the

likely successor to Paterno. But Paterno told Sandusky around May

1999 that he wouldn’t get the top job.

According to the indictment, one of the alleged victims

testified that Sandusky was ”emotionally upset” after that

meeting with Paterno, and Sandusky announced his retirement the

next month.

Sandusky said he wanted to spend more time with The Second Mile,

as well as taking advantage of a generous retirement package that

included continued use of an office and access to the school’s

athletic facilities. Several of the alleged assaults took place on

Penn State property.

Sandusky was just 55 when he retired with a sparkling resume. He

stepped off college football’s fast track when he would have been

considered a top candidate for vacancies at any big-time

program.

Bradley spent most of his career at Penn State as a defensive

assistant and succeeded Sandusky as defensive coordinator.

Penn State has said Bradley will be interim coach for the rest

of the season. It has not said if he will be a candidate for the

permanent job, nor has it given any timetable for hiring a new

coach.

It’s not even clear who will do the hiring, with Curley on leave

and provost Rodney Erickson serving as interim school

president.

Associated Press Writer Genaro C. Armas contributed to this

story.