Sexual Abuse Charges Filed Against Jerry Sandusky; Penn State Officials Charged With Perjury and Failure to Report

Sexual Abuse Charges Filed Against Jerry Sandusky; Penn State Officials Charged With Perjury and Failure to Report

Disturbing news out of the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office today, where charges of child sexual abuse have been filed against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Charges of perjury and failure to report have been entered against Timothy Curley, Penn State's Athletic Director, and Gary Schultz, Senior VP of Finance and Business, a position that oversees the Penn State police department. Head coach Joe Paterno is also said to have testified to a grand jury, although he has not been charged with wrongdoing.

Sandusky is the founder of a program called The Second Mile, which operates programs for young people, according to a press release given by the Attorney General's office. A grand jury investigation has identified eight boys as being targets of sexual activity by Sandusky between 1994 and 2009; all of the encounters began with Second Mile activities.  

“This is a case about a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys,” [Attorney General Linda Kelly] Kelly said. “It is also a case about high-ranking university officials who allegedly failed to report the sexual assault of a young boy after the information was brought to their attention, and later made false statements to a grand jury that was investigating a series of assaults on young boys.

The press release issued by the state's Attorney General details a very troubling story in which Sandusky is said to have encountered a victim, aged either 11 or 12 at the time, through The Second Mile program, then initiated a sexual relationship with him that involved providing expensive gifts and trips to sporting events.

The statement notes that suspicious behavior was discovered by employees of a high school in Clinton County, where Sandusky was a volunteer coach and maintained contact with the boy. After the boy's mother reported allegations of sexual assault in 2009, an investigation was initiated.

Unfortunately, the behavior had been noticed years earlier and discussed with Penn State officials, reportedly including Paterno, who relayed the incident to Curley, but the Penn State officials did not report the incident to external police or follow-up in any way beyond trying to distance Second Mile from the football program, according to the AG's statement.

Curley and Schultz have been charged with perjury after a ground jury determined that they provided false testimony in the case. They are scheduled to surrender on Monday. The perjury offense is a third degree felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Failure to report is a summary offense punishable by up to 90 days in prison and a $200 fine.

A summary of the Attorney General's report, including the extensive charges filed against Sandusky and an account of the timeline of events, can be read here. The complete report can be found here. It's horrifying. Both the acts that transpired between Sandusky and at least eight young boys, and that key members of the Penn State athletics program, including Joe Paterno, knew that at least one such act went unpunished, with Sandusky maintaining a presence both in the youth charity and the university. It is far worse than recruiting scandals, gifts to players, and academic cheating, and it will forever mark this era of Penn State football.

A search for additional victims is ongoing.

Villanova stays put at No. 2 for the 3rd straight week

Villanova stays put at No. 2 for the 3rd straight week

Villanova stayed put in the national rankings this week.

The defending champion Wildcats remained the No. 2 overall team in the Associated Press top-25 poll behind 24-0 Gonzaga. The Bulldogs received 59 first-place votes while Villanova received five votes. Kansas, which came in at No. 3, received the other No. 1 vote.

Villanova stayed where they were in the rankings after holding their own with two comfortable road wins, in large part thanks to sophomore point guard Jalen Brunson. Brunson was the big man on campus this week, beginning with a team-high 18 points in a 75-62 win at DePaul on Monday. He followed it up with his first career double-double as he put together a 22-point, 10-assist effort in a blowout win over Seton Hall in Newark on Saturday.

The win over the Pirates meant the Wildcats clinched a share of the Big East regular-season title for the fourth straight year. One win in their last three regular season games or one loss each by Butler and Creighton would hand Villanova sole possession of the Big East crown. 

Therefore, it's only fitting that the Wildcats' next two games are against none other than Butler and Creighton. Butler handed Villanova its first loss of the season back on Jan. 4 at Hinkle Fieldhouse, but the No. 22 Bulldogs now have to travel to Philadelphia for the rematch on Wednesday. The No. 23 Blue Jays then head to the Pavillion for a Saturday afternoon duel. The Wildcats beat Creighton, 80-70, on New Year's Eve in Omaha, Neb. 

At this point last season, Villanova had four losses (two in conference) and had just a one-game lead in the conference. This year, they have much more room for comfort, albeit with a tough week with two ranked opponents ahead of them. 

Behind the top three, which remained static this week, the Pac 12 had three teams ranked 4-6 – Arizona, UCLA and Oregon – in the poll this week. The ACC had six teams in the top 25, including No. 7 Louisville, No. 8 North Carolina and No. 10 Duke. Baylor, which lost to Kansas on Saturday, fell from No. 4 to No. 9. 

Sixers were right to reject Pelicans' reported Jahlil Okafor trade offer

Sixers were right to reject Pelicans' reported Jahlil Okafor trade offer

If the reports are accurate, Bryan Colangelo probably made the right decision not trading Jahlil Okafor last week.

After the Pelicans acquired DeMarcus Cousins early Monday morning in a shocking, post-All-Star Game blockbuster, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported several interesting pieces of information regarding the Sixers.

"The Pelicans were very close on a deal for Jahlil Okafor about 10 days ago, offering a similar package except it didn't include [Buddy] Hield," Shelburne wrote

A few hours earlier, she reported on ESPN that the deal for Okafor would have netted the Sixers Tyreke Evans, a protected first-round pick and a future second-round pick from New Orleans.

The protection the Pelicans sought was heavy — they wanted top-20 protection, according to Shelburne.

That just isn't a meaningful enough return, even for a player without a role in Philly.

Why? 

• Evans is a free agent after the season who has had three knee surgeries in the last two years and can't shoot threes. 

• A second-round pick is just a sweetener, so moving on from that ...

• A top-20 protected first-round pick isn't that enticing at all. Of the players selected between 20 and 30 in the last draft, only Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Toronto's Pascal Siakam and San Antonio's Dejounte Murray even have roles. 

In the previous year's draft, the best picks between 20-30 were Bobby Portis and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. 

The year before, Rodney Hood and Clint Capela panned out for their teams, but the eight others selected in that range have done little.

This sort of trade might have worked for the Sixers if they weren't already accumulating some roster depth. They don't need to go search for another late-first-round pick they can hopefully turn into the eighth or ninth guy in a rotation. With players developing like T.J. McConnell, Robert Covington, Richaun Holmes and Nik Stauskas, the Sixers are already building a decent second unit for the future.

There are a lot of people in this city ready to give Okafor away, but doing so just makes no sense for the Sixers. All it would solve is the center logjam and awkwardness, but the value in that New Orleans proposal just wasn't there for the Sixers. 

At this point, it's looking extremely unlikely Okafor is traded before the Feb. 23 deadline. The Blazers were interested but acquired Jusuf Nurkic from Denver instead. The Pelicans were interested but landed Cousins. 

The only team left we've heard connected to Okafor is the Bulls, who don't have much of intrigue to send the Sixers' way.

But still, hanging on to Okafor and trading him after the season, or on draft night, could yield the Sixers a better return than New Orleans was offering. Forget about Evans and forget about the second-round pick — that offer was basically a pick in the 20-30 range for Okafor. 

Not enough. 

The Sixers held out in hopes of New Orleans' making the pick top-10 protected or lottery-protected instead, but Pels GM Dell Demps knew the Sixers didn't have much leverage and thought to himself, "If I'm trading away a potentially valuable draft pick, I want a better player in return."

And so he got Cousins. That's how we ended up where we are today.

The Sixers' future is brighter because their pick swap with the Kings now holds more value, so last night was a win for them even though Okafor remains on the roster.