(Note: Updated with Penn State President Rodney Erickson denying the story.)
Did things just get even worse at Penn State?
If you believe former Nittany Lions linebacker Brandon Short – and the Harrisburg Patriot-News, they most certainly did. On ESPN’s Outside the Lines tonight, Short alleged:
Two independent sources at the university have confirmed to me that Jerry Sandusky watched the Illinois-Penn State game in the President’s suite with multiple members of the Board of Trustees.
Illinois visited Happy Valley on Oct. 29, just days before Sandusky was arrested and everyone purported to shocked – shocked! – that such things could be going on.
There’s only one problem: As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported this morning, former Penn State President Graham Spanier had briefed the Trustees on the grand jury investigation months before, according to current President Rodney Erickson.
For his part, Erickson denied the report on Michael Smerconish’s radio show Thursday:
PSU President Rodney Erickson just told me it is absolutely false that J Sandusky watched Paterno get win No. 409 from President’s box.
This was what the Patriot News reported this morning:
A source close to the Penn State board of trustees told The Patriot-News that Sandusky was seen in the president’s box that day and later went to the Nitttany Lion Club. …
Penn State spokesman Bill Mahon said a search of the guest lists for the box for every Nittany Lions game during the last three seasons showed that Sandusky was never invited to the box.
The source, who requested anonymity out of fear of jeopardizing business relationships, also told The Patriot-News that Curley originally did not want to give Sandusky tickets to the game, but Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, was so insistent that he eventually relented.
So, if true, Sandusky – despite years of allegations and investigations – was allowed to watch the game in the president’s box with members of the Board of Trustees, simply because his wife insisted?
Good grief. Did nobody at Penn State have the moral authority and backbone to say, “It is inappropriate for Jerry to be here” and have him removed immediately? Did nobody have the foresight to think, “This is a problem and could bring us all down”?
Sandusky’s arrest did indeed bring down a big chunk of the university a few days later. With this disclosure, it seems more of them will have to go.
Because. They. Just. Don’t. Get. It.