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What others say: Penn State's inaction

Chicago Tribune

Published: Thursday, Nov. 10 2011 9:00 p.m. MST

The following editorial appeared recently in the Chicago Tribune:

There's stunning news from State College, Pa. Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator with Penn State's football team, has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years.

Two high-ranking Penn State officials — Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President Gary Schultz — have been charged with failure to report the allegations to authorities and with lying to a grand jury. Curley is on leave. Schultz has resigned. Both men deny wrongdoing.

If those charges are true, two school leaders had reason to suspect a predator was on the loose and they kept it all under wraps. They didn't report information that police could have used to investigate.

There's a lot of focus on what legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno did and didn't do in this case. When a graduate assistant told Paterno in 2002 about an abuse allegation against Sandusky, he immediately reported what he knew to Curley. Paterno didn't contact law enforcement authorities, but he was not required to do so by law.

"The failure of top university officials to act on reports of Sandusky's alleged sexual misconduct, even after it was reported to them in graphic detail by an eyewitness, allowed a predator to walk free for years — continuing to target new victims," said Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly. "Equally disturbing is the lack of action and apparent lack of concern among those same officials, and others who received information about this case, who either avoided asking difficult questions or chose to look the other way."

Chose to look the other way. There is criminal behavior. And there are decisions in life that haunt.

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