Acting on the heels of a Pennsylvania court’s decision to convict Jerry Sandusky on 45 of 48 counts of child abuse, Penn State has released a statement concerning their relationship to Sandusky—employed as assistant football coach throughout the period of abuse.
According to CBS, the University has written that they want “to provide a forum where the University can privately, expeditiously and fairly address the victims' concerns and compensate them for claims relating to the University."
Penn State faces civil suits regarding their handling of the case, including the accusation that high ranking officials at the university covered up their knowledge of the abuse.
In an interview with CBS This Morning, Tom Kline—the lawyer for the victim known as “Victim Number 5”—had the following to say:
"I've made no bones about it, that now that the attention will shift away from the perpetrator, we have to look at what I call the enabler. And there's no doubt that Penn State has responsibility here, just from what we know, that's reported publicly and just from what we've uncovered in our initial investigation.”
The University's reputation has suffered greatly from the scandal. Business Week reports that the charges “had an immediate effect on the football team’s recruiting,” leading at least four recruits away from the Nittany Lions--and that's in addition to drastic administrative turnover at the highest levels.
Furthermore, reports Reuters, Penn is in a legal battle with its main liability insurer to determine whether the school or the insurer should have to pay for any forthcoming civil suits.
It’s likely that the Sandusky case, and its haunting of Penn State, will go on for years says The Christian Science Monitor. The FBI has launched a probe into any interstate travel that Sandusky undertook with his victims, and federal charges could be leveled against the abuser. The widespread fall-out from the case has extended to the closing of Sandusky's charity Second Mile, and many observers have drawn parallels to abuse scandals within the Catholic Church.
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated