In a letter sent to the Board of Trustees Monday, former Penn State President Graham Spanier wrote that it is “unfathomable and illogical” to think that someone -- referring to himself -- who personally experienced child abuse would have “knowingly turned a blind eye” to any report of abuse.
“Had I known then what we now know about Jerry Sandusky, had I received any information about a sexual act in the shower or elsewhere, or had I had some basis for a higher level of suspicion about Sandusky, I would have immediately intervened,” Spanier wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Daily Collegian.
Spanier also wrote to the trustees that Penn State’s former General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin, who he does not name specifically in the letter, told him “very little” about how she was handling the grand jury investigation into Sandusky’s abuse.
Baldwin told Spanier, according to his letter, that this was the third or fourth grand jury on the matter and there appeared to be no issue for the university.
“I was never told by her of any materials being subpoenaed from the University, or even that I had been subpoenaed to testify,” Spanier wrote in the letter.
He also wrote that he has no recollection of any conversations or emails sent to him about Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator who was convicted of abusing 10 boys, although an internal investigation found that Spanier was copied on emails about the incident.
He wrote in the letter that the investigation, which was conducted by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, “is full of factual errors and jumps to conclusions that are untrue and unwarranted.”
In the letter to the board, Spanier also wrote that former assistant coach Mike McQueary’s name was never mentioned to him in 2001 -- the year McQueary testified he saw Sandusky with a boy in the shower in the football building.
Spanier wrote in the letter that his reputation has been “profoundly damaged.”
“Together we accomplished a great deal of good during my 16-year presidency of Penn State,” Spanier wrote to the trustees. “Yet I find myself excoriated by the Freeh report and individual trustees speaking negatively of me in public.”