November 10th, 2011
05:29 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Penn State child sex abuse scandal

(CNN) - Penn State's new interim football head coach replaced Joe Paterno with a heavy and conflicted heart overnight, carrying a blunt message of solidarity for the alleged victims of sex abuse, firm confidence in his embattled players, and a paean for the departed sporting icon.

Tom Bradley, the longtime defensive coordinator for the team, faced roomful of relentless reporters Thursday working to glean more details about a case rocking the sports world - allegations of child sex abuse against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and apparent failure of authorities to report the crimes to police.

Bradley didn't discuss the investigation, but he said he and his players were thinking about and grieving for the victims of the abuse and their families.

"We all have a responsibility to take care of our children," said Bradley, a Johnstown, Pennsylvania, native who played for the Nittany Lions in the 1970s and served on the team's coaching staff for 33 seasons.

The university's board of trustees on Wednesday night fired Paterno, the winningest coach in major college football, and Penn State President Graham Spanier, effective immediately, a bombshell announcement that punctuated the gravity of the scandal.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Erika Lehnsherr

    If we really want to prevent children from being traumatized. When something like this happens, perhaps we should think about what we are teaching our childxren with regard to touching and being touched.

    prevent from

    November 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  2. Cate

    WAKE UP CALL!!! It isn't just Penn State, Look at Notre Dame, PLEASE (if you can get that close)– trusting that what is reported is "taken care of" is naive, - naive in faith, and often only seen in hindsight. Don't be surprised if hierarchy as well as local law enforcement will NOT compromise an institution's reputation, let alone a football program, based on someone's "word". And, it isn't all about football...there are many other "organizations" in these environments, football is just one of the "carrots" to attract an interest..

    November 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  3. Amy

    Anderson, I am a big fan of yours, but I am puzzled by your reporting of the Penn State situation. I am a survivor of child sexual abuse and also a nurse. The law in PA. states that the person with knowledge of the sexual abuse is to report it to their supervisor not the police. Pa is one of only a few states where that is the case. My eyes have been opened by the reporting of the Penn State situation......I hear reporters saying things they no nothing about and making judgements over and over again. It is appalling. I sure didn't expect to hear this on your show. I have been to your morning show a couple of times and have had great respect for you......I still do, but it feels like reporters get one small bit of information and then they know everything. I will be much more cautious when listening to reporters from now on. I guess I was naive believing that the news is pretty truthful.

    November 10, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  4. Palleh

    It is sad to say and to think of such, but I think it is in the best interest of the University, our young children and the future Penn State students.

    When one is given the Power and the Authority to rule and control the World and the Masses, Vulnerability should not be a solution to one weakness, rather it should be use in the utmost “right way” and “channel” properly so that our World can continue to be a better place for our children and future generation (Matthew 19:14 Suffer Not The Little Children…). One should never stop fighting until justice is serve, were there seems to be an in justice.

    November 10, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  5. Elizabeth

    I just read the transcript. Why aren't the University Police being fired? There were multiple opportunities and they did nothing. It could have been stopped. Are any of them still there? Have them step down immediately.

    November 10, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  6. Lorraine

    Anderson this is A Sandusky scandal NOT Joe Paterno's.. Thanks for finally focusing on the Sexual Predator. I am a Senior citizen not a campus student.Many of my peers feel the same way MANY!!!!

    November 10, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  7. Tammy Kubek

    As a mom of a family caught in a predicament of a weapon/ bully/ and misplaced faith in a nun principal, that failed our childrens'

    November 10, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  8. Rich- Florida

    Penn State made a horrific incident even worse by firing Paterno. Paterno could not have done more! The reason....he was not a first hand witness to the incidents! Police would only talk with Mcquary as he was the first hand witness to the alleged crime. Mcquary should be arrested and band for failing to report a criminal act!

    Paterno notified his supervisors of the allegations and they chose to sweep it under the rug. This is the general rule in any Organization with such damaging information. If you didn't see it...you report it to supervisors, they notify authorities if they find the information credible.
    The university new before this incident there was a problem with Sandusky in 1999, yet allowed him to still remain on the campus.

    November 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Cathy

      Paterno was, and remains legally mandated to make a child abuse report to either CPS or the local police department (not campus police)the same day he gained knowledge of the abuse. The law is VERY clear on this and he did NOT have the choice to just notify his supervisors.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  9. Linda M

    Should not All of the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor of Penn State also be fired. . . Everyone in any type of capacity of Leadership to include the Trustees and Chancellor should be eliminated.

    November 10, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  10. Tim Gibson

    How would any of those students respond had they themselves been the child who was molested. It is totally outrageous that sports has more value than a child. I am disturbed that these students are the future of America.

    November 10, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  11. Belinda Lewis

    Has anyone spoke to the foster children that he had in his home over the years. His six children were all adopted. Did they witness anything throughout the years? He was able to retire as opposed to being fired or resigning. Is he getting a pension? He was able to receive assistant coach of the year in 1999 and I don't get how Paterno could have let it continue to go on knowing about the victims.........

    November 10, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  12. Bill Wynne

    By the Way, why can't a simple stated, not a legal brief, that states simply, that if you violate a child, or know of a child abuse, then you must make visible attempts to contact the police in writing within 72 hrs. Yeah, you want instantaneous, but give some leeway to stop, review and analyze what you think or think may have happened and then proceed with all due speed to put these vermin in jail for as long as possible.

    November 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Cathy

      There is already such a law. All professionals involved with children, including teachers, are legally mandated to make a child abuse report the same day they learn of the abuse. In the case of a child being raped-that would qualify as an emergency and an the expectation is that the report being made immediately. That teacher cannot turn over that responsibility to someone one or not make the report if they suspect someone else has reported the abuse. If the teacher is smart-they will cover their bases and make a report about what they have knowledge of with regard to the abuse. . If they don't make the report (depending on the state) they are facing a pretty stiff fine or potentially a jail sentence.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  13. Bill Wynne

    I wish to take nothing from the victims and those responsible, but the media is missing a very important angle. I'm just a common American, but when I hear that the police, and a Grand Jury has weighted in on this and NOTHING HAPPENS, I'm stunned. Put yourself in the whistle blower position and nothing happens, it's easy to say all these things about WHAT DID NOT HAPPEN, but why did no one of authority do anything, Many of us, in a similar situation, have a tendency to keep your head down and continue to march, Hell Nothing got done about this heinous crime and nothing was done. I may or may not wish to get MY HEAD Cut Off, Yes, It has to begin with the Grand Jury, WHY DID they not tell the POLICE,. NO ONE DID anything, so why are we trying to place all the blame on Joe and the First Witness when it should be directed on all participated and were knowledgeable!!! Think about all that has been vilified and you have to get hard and rough with the Campus Police, and all the Administration and he Grand JURY!!!!

    November 10, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  14. Pat Garcia

    SANDUSKY.....adopted children and also foster kids????? Where they all boys????? This is just the tip of hill. You just wake up one day abusing kids. I bet this ugly trail will go back years. I hope those that knew or even suspected are not sleeping.

    November 10, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  15. L.J.

    When the witnesses saw the rapes occuring did they not realize or understand by not calling the police they allowed the assult to continue..... Also isn't it against the law to not report a crime happening? If they did not want to "get involved" they could have sent in a tip to child protective services!

    November 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm |