Here's How A Botched Game Of Whisper Down The Lane Is At The centre Of The Penn State Debacle

penn state university coach mike mcqueary

Photo: AP

The Penn State football scandal centres on a 2002 incident where graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed Jerry Sandusky allegedly raping a 10-year-old boy at a Penn State football facility.As it worked its way up the Penn State food chain, McQueary’s eye-witness account became more and more sanitised.

Sara Ganim parsed out each and every detail of the incident in her report for the Patriot-News today.

Here’s how account evolved as it went up the ladder, according to the grad jury testimony of the officials involved (PDF): anal rape, fondling, horsing around, inappropriate conduct, an incident that made someone uncomfortable.

  • It started with Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant who witnessed the incident in 2002. According to the grand jury presentment: “He saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be 10 years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky.”
  • McQueary told head Joe Paterno. Paterno testified that he was told Sandusky was “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.”
  • Paterno told athletic director Tim Curley and administrator Gary Schultz. Curley testified that he was told it was “horsing around in the shower.” Schultz testified that he was told it was “disturbing and inappropriate conduct.”
  • Curley and Schultz told university president Graham Spanier. Spanier testified that he was told about some “horsing around” that made a member of Curley’s staff feel “uncomfortable.”

Anal rape — fondling — horsing around — inappropriate conduct — an incident that made someone uncomfortable.

Somewhere along the line, one of these men either misheard what they were told, or watered-down what they were saying.

And if you are looking to place blame squarely on an individual, the person along that chain who first de-fanged McQueary’s eye-witness account is a good place to start.

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