Report: Penn St. president on way out

BY foxsports • November 9, 2011

Penn State University president Graham Spanier is expected to resign or be voted out by the university's board of trustees at some point Wednesday, The Express-Times reported.

According to the report, an interim president will be appointed, with Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney A. Erickson seen as the most likely candidate. A national search for a permanent replacement would follow.

Spanier's departure would come with the university engulfed in scandal over its handling of child sexual abuse allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Head coach Joe Paterno announced Wednesday morning that he plans to retire at season's end, but there has been no announcement from the school on the 84-year-old's status as coach. Paterno's statement was issued through a public relations firm.

Earlier, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported that Spanier had lost the support of most of the trustees and possible replacements — including former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge — were being discussed.

Spanier reportedly angered the board members by initially expressing "unconditional support" for athletic director Tim Curley and vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz, who were charged with perjury and accused of failing to notify police about allegations of Sandusky's abuse.

Sandusky, 67, has been charged with 21 felony counts for allegedly abusing eight victims over a period of 15 years. Since his arrest over the weekend, more victims have come forward to police, with the total reaching almost 20, reported.

The grand jury's findings state that Paterno notified Curley in 2002 after a then-graduate assistant — identified as current wide receivers coach Mike McQueary — told him that he witnessed Sandusky having sexually assaulting a boy who looked to be about 10 years old in the locker-room shower.

Paterno passed the information on to Curley, as he was legally required to do. But according to authorities, the allegations never reached police.

The indictment states that Spanier was briefed on the allegations by Curley, who informed him that Sandusky would not be allowed to bring children onto the Penn State campus. Curley "was not specific about the language he used" in describing the alleged abuse to Spanier, the indictment states.

A source close to Spanier told The Chronicle of Higher Education that Spanier "believes he never had any indication of any kind that a sexual assault occurred." Spanier was not charged with a crime in the case.

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