PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — An email reported by CNN may inflict serious damage on Joe Paterno’s legacy, indicating that contrary to the late coach’s grand jury testimony, he moved to protect Jerry Sandusky rather than report him.
“The emails are suggestive that Mr. Paterno had a larger role in the outcome than what he told the grand jury,” Point Park University Professor Bill Moushey said.
The email in question is one of several between former Penn State President Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley.
All three reportedly discussed reporting graduate assistant Mike McQueary’s claim that he saw Sandusky with a boy in the shower to the state Department of Welfare, but it appears that Curley changed his mind after a conversation with Paterno.
According to the email released by CNN, Curley wrote:
“After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps. I am having trouble with going to everyone…”
Curley instead, according to the email, wants to confront Sandusky telling him: “We feel there is a problem” and offer “professional help.”
Moushey, co-author of the book “Game Over: Penn State, Jerry Sandusky and the Culture of Silence,” says that seems to put Paterno in the middle of a cover-up.
“If what Mr. Curley said in that email turns out to be true, then Joe Paterno had a lot more to do with what happened to Jerry Sandusky or what didn’t happen to him in 2001 than anyone has suggested to this point.”
Monday, the Paterno family released a statement through a lawyer in which the family is critical of the emails referencing Paterno.
“With the leaking of selective emails over the past few days, it is clear that someone in a position of authority is not interested in a fair or thorough investigation.”