State lawmaker wants investigation of Penn State officials

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The scandal involving the alleged sexual abuse of children at the hands of a former Penn State assistant coach is quickly roiling to a boil.

Jerry Sandusky, the one-time heir apparent to Joe Paterno as the Nittany Lions, was indicted Friday on 40 counts related to the sexual abuse of minors.  Two top university officials, including current athletic director Tim Curley, have been charged with perjury and failure to report suspected sex abuse related to the Sandusky case.  The calls for Joe Paternoto be dismissed in the clean sweep that must follow” are growing louder by the minute.

Now, a Pennsylvania lawmaker is rightly calling for a probe into the actions — or inaction, as the case may be — undertaken by top university officials.

State Senator Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin County, told the Patriot-News Saturday that Penn State’s board of trustees should be disturbed by the allegations brought to light by the grand jury in the Sandusky case and that an investigation into the university’s response is warranted.  As the chairman of the state Senate Education Committee, Piccola’s in a position where his “suggestions” carry a little more weight than some hack with a keyboard and Internet access.

Piccola also questioned the tack taken by PSU president Graham Spanier, who released a statement yesterday expressing unconditional support for Curley and the other school official facing charges, vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz.

“A university president defending an indicted employee? I mean, he shouldn’t make any judgment on guilt or innocence. That’s not his role. He needs to distance himself from that,” said Piccola.

“This is a major blemish on the reputation of Penn State University. This makes recruiting violations look like small potatoes.”

 

Piccola is 100-percent correct.  This is not tattoos in Columbus or hookers in South Beach or shady recruiting services in Eugene.  This is a university employee allegedly committing at least one act of sexual abuse of children on school grounds in 2002, in the locker room of the football building no less, and the administration, in essence, sat on its collective hands.

An exhaustive, independent investigation of the Penn State administration that overturns every sordid rock should and must be conducted.  Two questions must be answered above all else: one, what did Curley and other university officials know and, two, if they knew of even one incident, why were the authorities not contacted.

There should be no sacred cows, from Spanier, who per the grand jury indictment was made aware of the 2002 incident and signed off on a slap of Sandusky’s wrist, all the way down to the coaching legend, who informed Curley of the same incident but must explain why he didn’t contact law enforcement after it became clear the university would not act on the information in their possession.  Anyone who’s culpable, either through inaction or active participation into what amounts to a coverup, must be held accountable.

For the eight alleged victims named in the grand jury indictment — and the countless others who may have become victims in the ensuing years due to PSU’s apparent decision to sweep at least one incident that took place on school grounds under the rug — it’s the least the university can do.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.