According to the report released by the Freeh Group, former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was already aware before a May 1998 incident that he would not become the next football coach at Penn State.
Former athletic director Tim Curley met with Sandusky in 1998 to discuss his future and offered him a position as assistant Athletic Director. Sandusky turned the position down in favor of continuing to work as a coach, according to the Freeh Group’s findings.
Curley wrote in an email to former Penn State President Graham Spanier and former Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz that, “Joe tells me he made it clear to Jerry that he will not be the next head coach.”
Sandusky and others had, according to the report, looked into the possibility of starting a Division III team at the Penn State Altoona campus, with Sandusky as coach.
Former head coach Joe Paterno kept notes on the situation at his home, and in them he told Sandusky to pursue this plan, according to the report.
On May 19, 1998, Spanier, Curley and Schultz received notification that the funds needed to found the Altoona team were not raised. The Freeh investigation found no evidence that the fundraising failure was connected to the 1998 report related to the person referred to as “Victim 6” in court documents.
On January 19, 1999, Curley emailed Spanier and Schultz to say that Sandusky was interested in transitioning into a spot in the team’s outreach program.
“[Sandusky] is not pleased about the entire situation as you might expect,” Curley wrote.
Documents turned over from Paterno’s attorney show plans for a meeting between the two coaches to discuss Sandusky’s retirement. Paterno wrote that Sandusky’s commitments to The Second Mile, the charity he founded for at-risk youth, were keeping him from earning the top coaching spot.
“Don’t worry about the 2nd Mile — you don’t have the luxury of doing both,” Paterno wrote, according to the report. “One will always demand a decision of preference. You are too deeply involved in both.”
Paterno’s file included a list of “retirement requests” from Sandusky, including the right to run a middle school youth football camp.
On June 13, 1999, Curley again emailed Spanier and Schultz to talk about Sandusky’s retirement plan. He wrote that he “touched based with Joe and we are in agreement that we should not do anything more for Jerry.”
Wendell Courtney, the university’s outside legal counsel at the time, gave Curley a draft of the retirement agreement on June 17.
Payroll records show that Sandusky received a “special payment” worth $168,000 on June 30. A “senior official” in the controller’s office told the investigators that “he had never heard of a payment being made to a retiring employee like the one made to Sandusky.”
The report says that payment was not related to the 1998 report involving the person referred to as “Victim 6.”
Sandusky was awarded “emeritus” rank on August 31, 1991, which allowed him access to university facilities. Sandusky did not hold a position that was typically given the title, but Spanier promised him the rank.
President Rodney Erickson, who was the executive vice president at the time, honored the promise, but told Freeh investigators that he felt “uneasiness” about the decision.
Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley also “put children in danger” by permitting Sandusky to remain on campus after retirement, according to the Freeh report.
The report stated that all four were aware of an investigation by Penn State Police of Sandusky as early as 1998, but the university continued to provide him with support after his retirement until his November 2011 arrest.
The next year on July 1, 1999, the University released Sandusky’s retirement announcement in which Paterno is quoted as saying Sandusky was “…a person of great character and integrity,” according to the report.
In a February 2009 attempt to fundraise, Schultz told a bank on behalf of Sandusky and The Second Mile, “they are really good people and this is a great cause related to kids,” according to the report.
“If University leaders had not granted Sandusky full use of Penn State’s football facilities and supported his ways to ‘work with you people through Penn State,’ sexual assaults of several young boys on the Penn State Campus might have been prevented,” according to the report.
Though it was standard procedure the for the university to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with external parties using university facilities, Sandusky was allowed to hold overnight youth football camps without an MOA.
The report said that university employees admired Sandusky “like a god.”
At the Penn State Behrend campus, Sandusky provided an insurance certificate from his company, Sandusky and Associates. They required “only ‘a handshake’ with him to permit him to run his youth football camps each year from 2000 to 2008,” according to the report.
Between January 5, 2000 and July 22, 2008, Penn State “made 71 separate payments to Sandusky for travel, meals, lodging, speaking engagements, camps and other activities,” according to the report.
Also, as recently as 2010, Sandusky had a “sub-master” key to the press box at Beaver Stadium.
Curley deleted Sandusky’s name from the invitation list for the Nittany Lion Club seating area for the 2011 football season for the first time in July 2011. Curley “reversed his previous decision” in September after receiving a call from Sandusky’s wife, according to the report.
The report also said that the University’s visible support of The Second Mile allowed Sandusky to have numerous opportunities to bring boys to campus and interact with them through his camps and activities.