The former President of Penn State is speaking out against what he calls elements of a false narrative in the Jerry Sandusky scandal that cost him his job.
More now from Gary Sinderson. In the period of the past decade, Graham Spanier, Penn State’s 16th President, went from old man to the Centre County Jail. Today, he says he’s doing well. I’ve had a tremendous amount of support.
“Thousands of letters, emails, cards from people. If I ever get depressed, I just have to go to the grocery store and it’s like a receiving line. So at least in the community, people are very supportive. Alumni are supportive.”
Spanier was in trouble almost immediately after Jerry Sandusky was charged in November of 2011 on child abuse accusations. Also indicted two university administrators, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, Spanier’s press release expressing confidence in the two not well received.
Spanier maintains his statement was supported by the then chairman and Vice Chairman of the University Trustees and others.
“So the idea that I kind of went off on my own half cocked and said something supportive about Tim and Gary, that was the appropriate thing to do,
And I said to my cabinet, I said to all of the people in the room. I could get fired for this because it’s not. The public relations response. Some people would distance themselves from Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, I said, but I have worked every day with these individuals every day for 16 years.”
Spanier himself eventually charged a misdemeanor count. He fought for years, and at one point it was dismissed in federal court eventually went to trial, refusing to take a plea bargain.
“I was offered a plea bargain five times, as I recall, three times before the trial, Once during the trial and once while the jury was out. Some may say he’s in denial about the Sandusky scandal. Spanier, though, strongly disagrees.There has been a false narrative, and I don’t think any of the university’s administrators were guilty of anything.”
“We did not know anything about child abuse or sexual abuse. We’re never told that, never heard it. The climate became so polluted that there really was not much of an opportunity for a fair trial.”