Posts tagged ‘Jerry Sandusky’

More Recommended Reading: Preliminary Hearing

If you’re trying to get a handle on the last-minute announcement that Jerry Sandusky ’66, ’71g would waive his preliminary hearing, you’re not alone. I’ve spent part of the afternoon monitoring Twitter and checking out various news organizations’ coverage, and here’s what’s caught my eye:

Adam Smeltz ’05 of provides a good synopsis here, and the New York Times, which obviously has a broader audience, does something similar here on its college sports blog, The Quad. This MSNBC video, featuring investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, is also good, although the studio host mangles the pronunciation of Bellefonte.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talked to a couple of defense lawyers who are baffled by the strategy of Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola ’70. ESPN’s Lester Munson, a lawyer and journalist, gets into more of the details here, with everything from how the preliminary hearing can benefit the defense to whether the defense will eventually request a trial by judge, not jury. There’s a video of Bob Ley speaking with legal analyst Roger Cossack at the same link.

Dan Wetzel, a columnist for Yahoo Sports who has weighed in early and often on the scandal, has what might be one of the first opinion pieces published; he says that Sandusky’s late decision “put the accusers through the wringer.”

And while I don’t love everything that Deadspin does, this piece on the morning’s events is a really good read.

Please let us know in the comments if you’ve found other worthwhile stories.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

December 13, 2011 at 5:45 pm 4 comments

Sandusky Waives Preliminary Hearing

Sandusky_tweetsI don’t think anyone saw that coming.

With the whole world, or so it seems, poised for Jerry Sandusky’s preliminary hearing to start in the Centre County courthouse in Bellefonte this morning, Sandusky ’66, ’71g waived his right to that hearing.

His case would now go to trial, though the abrupt cancellation of the hearing will probably fuel immediate speculation that a plea bargain may be in the works.

The announcement was reported instantly via the dozens of news media tweeting from the courtroom. You can read some of the tweets in the screen-grab at left (click on it to see it bigger), or check them out yourself on Twitter—just search on “Sandusky” or the hashtag #PSUCharges.

It’s not that uncommon for a defendant to waive his or her right to a preliminary hearing. It just doesn’t usually happen a minute before the hearing, inside a courtroom packed with national media and the general public. And Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola ’70, had insisted that he would not waive the hearing.

This whole thing just gets curiouser and curiouser.

Tina Hay, editor

December 13, 2011 at 9:41 am 1 comment

Bellefonte Awaits the Media Circus

Bellefonte_courthouseUpdate: The judge in charge of Tuesday’s preliminary hearing ruled Monday that reporters can indeed send Twitter updates from the hearing. A partial list of those who will be tweeting can be found here.

The town of Bellefonte, population about 6,000, is about to be overrun with news media. Its courthouse (Bellefonte is the county seat of Centre County) will be the site of tomorrow’s preliminary hearing for Jerry Sandusky ’66, ’71g, charged with 52 counts related to alleged acts of sexual abuse against 10 boys.

Usually a preliminary hearing is a pretty routine affair in which the prosecution calls a few witnesses and a district justice decides whether there’s enough evidence to take the case to trial. But nothing about the Sandusky case is routine.

It’s expected that the prosecution will call at least six witnesses tomorrow, including some of the alleged victims, and that defense attorney Joe Amendola ’70 will engage in substantial cross examination of at least some of them. The hearing could stretch well into (more…)

December 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm 1 comment

Sandusky Talks to the New York Times

Jerry-SanduskyYou can’t help but wonder how Jerry Sandusky sees the world.

Sandusky ’66, ’71g, of course, is the man whose alleged actions have emotionally scarred at least eight boys, ended the careers of Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno, and caused anguish for thousands of Penn Staters and others worldwide. You can’t help but wonder, If it’s true, what was he thinking? And what is he thinking about now, as he sees the damage done and contemplates spending possibly the rest of his life in prison?

The New York Times’ Jo Becker managed to persuade Sandusky to sit down with her to answer some of those questions. Becker spent four hours with Sandusky, in two sessions, at the home of his lawyer, Joe Amendola. You can read the resulting story here.

Also of note are the nine-minute video clip, in which you can listen to and watch Sandusky during the interview, and a collection of 13 audio clips (under “Multimedia”) in which he addresses topics ranging from physical activity with kids to his thoughts on Joe Paterno to his life today.

Tina Hay, editor

December 3, 2011 at 9:44 am Leave a comment

Trying to Find Teaching Moments

After a night of wandering downtown State College and campus, sadly reporting on the riots that followed the firing of Joe Paterno (the resignation of president Graham Spanier didn’t seem to be on anyone’s mind), I got up this morning, and I went to class.

Mike Poorman ’82 developed and teaches COMM 497G, “Joe Paterno: Communications and the Media,” and this semester’s section conveniently meets Thursday mornings at 9:45. I sat in the back row, a few seats a way from a couple of current football players who are enrolled in the class, and listened to two of sports journalism’s best, Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated and Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports, speak about how the media has covered the sexual abuse charges against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky ’66, ’71g, the perjury charges against athletic director Tim Curley ’76, ’78g and acting vice president Gary Schultz ’71, ’75g, and the ensuing events.

Said Posnanski, who’s been living in town to write a biography of Paterno, “I’ve never been around a story that has changed as fast as this one.”

Said Forde, who parachuted in after the LSU–Alabama game last weekend to jump on the story, “I packed for two days and this is Day 4, with Days 5 and 6 to come. I might be running around here in gym shorts soon.”

The students asked good questions, including (more…)

November 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm 3 comments

Joe Paterno Announces Retirement

The news here at Penn State continues to come in a torrent, and it’s hard to keep up, but the latest is that Joe Paterno this morning announced his retirement, effective at the end of the current season. A number of media have posted his comments, which can also be found at

“I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.

“I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.

“That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.

“This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.

“My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this University.”

Tina Hay, editor

November 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm 5 comments

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