RadioPA Roundtable

Radio PA Roundtable 11.02.12

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, Brad Christman and Matt Paul sum up the impact of “Superstorm” Sandy and bring you details on the indictment of former Penn State University President Graham Spanier. Matt will also bring you an interview with incumbent state Treasurer Rob McCord after last week profiling his Republican challenger.

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting on the top news stories of the week.

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Former Penn State President Graham Spanier Charged

Graham Spanier, who served as Penn State University’s president from 1995 through 2001, is the latest big name to face criminal charges in the ongoing Jerry Sandusky child sex case. Sandusky, the former assistant football coach, is in state prison serving a 30-60 year sentence for the molestation of young boys. He was convicted on 45 counts over the summer and was transferred to the state prison in Greene County this week.

Two other university officials, former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Senior Vice-President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz, were charged perjury and failure to report the alleged abuse shortly after the Sandusky story broke. Curley is currently on paid leave, while Schultz retired in 2009. Both are awaiting trial in January.

Spanier was fired the same night as the late Head Coach Joe Paterno, and it has been widely speculated that the former president would face criminal charges himself after the release of the Freeh Report last summer. That report included a series of notes and emails dating back to 1998 showing that Spanier was informed of the Sandusky allegations. The Freeh Report findings listed Spanier as one of four people (along with Curley, Schultz and Paterno) who failed to protect children from a sexual predator, and the report stated that Spanier had failed in his role as university president.

Perhaps the most incriminating entry from the Freeh Report quotes Spanier in a written exchange with Curley in 2001. The two had just decided to deviate from a previously agreed-to plan to notify state officials about an alleged encounter between Sandusky and a young boy in the Lasch Hall showers, an incident infamously witnessed by then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary. Instead of reporting the incident to the Department of Public Welfare and the chair of Sandusky’s Second Mile charity, Spanier and Curley decide to approach Sandusky himself and urge him to seek professional help. Spanier writes in a February 2001 email: “The only downside for us is if the message isn’t ‘heard’ and acted upon, and then we become vulnerable for not having reported it.”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan announced the charges against Spanier Monday from the Media Center at the state capitol.  According to court documents, Spanier faces eight counts, including three charges for conspiracy, 2 for endangering the welfare of children, and one count each for perjury, obstruction and failure to report suspected child abuse.

Additional charges were also filed against Curley and Schultz on Thursday. In addition to the previous charges, each will now also be charged with conspiracy, obstruction and endangering the welfare of children.

The announcement comes just 4 days shy of the first anniversary of Sandusky’s arrest on child rape charges and 8 days from the anniversary of the firings of Spanier and Paterno on November 9th, 2011.



RadioPA Roundtable

Radio PA Roundtable 10.12.12

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, Brad Christman and Matt Paul wrap up the Jerry Sandusky sentencing in Centre County, bringing you reactions and a three-minute statement from Sandusky himself. Also, a look ahead toward the prospects for a good holiday shopping season to boost a sluggish economy…

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting on the top news stories of the week.

Click the audio player below to hear the full broadcast:

RadioPA Roundtable

Radio PA Roundtable 08.24.12

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, Brad Christman and Matt Paul preview Penn State’s attempt to shift focus from off-the-field disasters to the team that will take the field next Saturday for the 2012 season opener against Ohio University. You’ll also get an update on a select committee on property taxes and hear details about the report generated by the governor’s Advisory Committee on Manufacturing.

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting on the top news stories of the week.

Click the audio player below to hear the full broadcast:

RadioPA Roundtable

Radio PA Roundtable 08.03.12

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, Brad Christman and Matt Paul discuss the latest Voter ID developments as a Commonwealth Court hearing wrapped this week; you’ll also get a wrap-up of another busy week at Penn State University as attentions shift to on-the-field concerns in the football program; and an update on the efforts to privatize PA Lottery management. You can also play along with Brad and Matt as they offer a quiz on the new AP NFL power poll. Where did your Eagles and Steelers rank?

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting on the top news stories of the week.

Click the audio player below to hear the full broadcast:

RadioPA Roundtable

Radio PA Roundtable 07.27.12

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, Brad Christman and Matt Paul discuss the NCAA sanctions levied against Penn State University and analyze the football players’ reaction. Matt also follows up on his ongoing reports on the proposal to privatize the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery with an interview with PA Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser.

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting on the top news stories of the week. Professionally produced and delivered every Friday, Roundtable includes commercial breaks for local sale and quarterly reports for affiliate files.

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Staggering NCAA Sanctions Against Penn State University

Twelve months ago, Joe Paterno was prepping for his 46th season and leading one of the most respected college football programs in the country.

What a difference a year makes.

On Sunday, Paterno’s statue outside Beaver Stadium was dismantled and today NCAA President Mark Emmert dismantled his record, vacating 111 victories from 1998 through 2011. Additional sanctions against Penn State are staggering. They include:

-A $60 million fine (to go into a special fund to aid programs for victims of child sex abuse)

-No bowl games for 4 years

-A reduction in scholarships for 4 years

-A 5-year probation


The vacating of victories means Paterno’s win total drops from a record 409 to 298. The NCAA will allow current Penn State  players and recruits to transfer to another school without penalty.

Emmert says the so-called “death penalty,” whereby the football program would have been suspended for a year or more, was considered, but the NCAA felt that would punish too many people who had nothing to do with the Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

Meanwhile, Jerry Sandusky sits in prison awaiting his formal sentencing in September for the sexual abuse of young boys.


Additional penalties from the Big Ten Conference were expected today and the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors issued a statement that included the following language:

Today, we have read the NCAA release on Penn State University.  We note in the release, and have independently confirmed, that Penn State has accepted the factual findings in the July 12, 2012 Report of the Special Investigative Counsel prepared by Louis Freeh and his firm (the Freeh Report).  Based on the findings, as accepted by Penn State, we fully support the actions taken by the NCAA.  Further, following a thorough review of the Freeh Report, the COPC has voted to impose the following additional sanctions on Penn State, effective immediately:

 1.       Censure:  The accepted findings support the conclusion that our colleagues at Penn State, individuals that we have known and with whom we have worked for many years, have egregiously failed on many levels-morally, ethically and potentially criminally.  They have failed their great university, their faculty and staff, their students and alumni, their community and state-and they have failed their fellow member institutions in the Big Ten Conference.  For these failures, committed at the highest level of the institution, we hereby condemn this conduct and officially censure Penn State.

 2.       Probation:  The Big Ten Conference will be a party to the Athletic Integrity Agreement referenced in the NCAA release, and will work closely with the NCAA and Penn State to ensure complete compliance with its provisions over the 5 year term of the Agreement.

 3.       Ineligibility:  As referenced in the NCAA release, Penn State’s football team will be ineligible for postseason bowl games.  It will also be ineligible for Big Ten Conference Championship Games for four years, a period of time that runs concurrently with the NCAA postseason bowl ban imposed this morning.

 4.       Fine:  Because Penn State will be ineligible for bowl games for the next four years, it will therefore be ineligible to receive its share of Big Ten Conference bowl revenues over those same four years.  That money, estimated to be approximately $13 million, will be donated to established charitable organizations in Big Ten communities dedicated to the protection of children.

 Penn State University is a great institution and has been a valued member of the Big Ten Conference for more than 20 years.  Since early November 2011, it has been working very hard to right a terrible wrong.   There is more to be done.  The intent of the sanctions imposed today is not to destroy a great university, but rather to seek justice and constructively assist a member institution with its efforts to reform.  From this day forward, as Penn State continues to make amends, the Big Ten conference and its member institutions will continue to engage with them in every aspect of conference membership.


Paterno Statue Removed; NCAA to Sanction Penn State University

Today is the day Penn State University learns of its fate from the NCAA. In the wake of the Sandusky scandal and the Freeh Report – which detailed a cover-up involving former school President Graham Spanier and former Head Coach Joe Paterno, among others – the school will learn this morning what sanctions it will face in the coming years. Possible penalties include the loss of scholarships, bowl games and television appearances.

NCAA President Mark Emmert is scheduled to make the announcement in Indianapolis at 9:00am (ET). Reports indicate that the so-called “death penalty,” which would suspend the entire football program, will not be imposed but the sanctions will be among the harshest ever handed down by the NCAA.

On Sunday, the centerpiece of the Paterno legacy was gone, as a crew removed the statue of the former coach outside Beaver Stadium. That decision was made by university President Rodney Erickson, who said in a statement that the statue had become a “source of division” and an “obstacle to healing.” Erickson said Joe and Sue Paterno’s names will remain on the library they helped to build.

Meanwhile, Jerry Sandusky awaits sentencing in September for his convictions on 45 counts involving the sexual abuse of young boys. Former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former university Vice-President Gary Schultz are awaiting trial on charges they failed to report the abuse allegations.


Joe Paterno Memorabilia Still a Hot Item at Centre County Arts Festival

It was another rough week for Centre County, but it ended with a celebration of the arts. With music and food in the backdrop, more than 100 artisans displayed their wares at the People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg over the weekend. The annual event near State College drew a large crowd, with many people still proudly wearing Penn State shirts, hats and other items just days after the Freeh Report cast a shadow on the legacy of former Coach Joe Paterno.

Joe Paterno memorabilia continues to be a top seller for Harrisburg-based “The Stadium Store”

Vendors displayed and sold handmade clothing, jewelry, pottery, furniture, artwork and numerous other items. Among the artist vendors at the festival were Jacob and Betsy Eisenhour of Harrisburg-based “The Stadium Store.” Items for sale in the Eisenhours’ tent included a large number of framed Paterno-themed works, which were predominantly displayed. The mother and son duo says Paterno items continue to be among their top sellers, and people who stopped by their festival tent this weekend have been “as supportive as ever” of the once-revered head coach. Betsy says she saw many emotional reactions to her son’s Paterno artwork this weekend, with some visitors crying and one woman kissing a picture of Paterno while saying “I love you, Joe.” Eisenhour also doesn’t shy away from her own continued support of Paterno and his legacy. She says she hopes that Paterno’s statue remains in its place outside Beaver Stadium. She visited the statue for the first time this past weekend.    The Jerry Sandusky scandal and the ensuing fallout at Penn State hit home for Jacob Eisenhour. In addition to being lined up to design what would have been Joe Paterno’s commemorative retirement coin, the talented artist had also been previously commissioned to produce original program cover art for The Second Mile’s retirement dinner for Jerry Sandusky. He says he met Sandusky multiple times but never suspected the horrific life the former defensive coordinator was leading in private. Eisenhour says he’s saddened that Paterno is now being “more villainized than Jerry Sandusky.”

Last week, former FBI Director Louis Freeh released the results of his 8-month independent internal investigation of Penn State University’s role in the Sandusky sex scandal. The scathing 267-page report linked Joe Paterno to attempts to cover up Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children in 2001. The former head coach died in January at age 85 before he could be interviewed by Freeh’s team. Former university President Graham Spanier was also criticized in the report, along with former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Vice-President Gary Schultz, both of whom are facing criminal charges for what prosecutors say was their failure to report Sandusky to authorities. Spanier has yet to be charged.

Jerry Sandusky is awaiting sentencing for his convictions on 45 counts of molesting young boys, most of whom he met through his Second Mile charity foundation. The former defensive coordinator was convicted in June and is scheduled to be sentenced in September.


Jerry Sandusky Guilty: Now What?

The conviction of Jerry Sandusky on 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse sent the former Penn State assistant football coach to jail while he awaits sentencing, which is expected in September. Meanwhile, the defense is preparing an appeal of the conviction.

Lead defense attorney Joe Amendola says there are several grounds for an appeal, but he did not seem to be surprised by the guilty verdicts handed down Friday night. To the jeers of a crowd gathered outside the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Amendola did indicate that he believed his client is innocent.

Sandusky will be housed in the Centre County lockup until he is sentenced in about three months. Given the number of counts and the seriousness of the crimes, it is expected that the sentence will put Sandusky away for the rest of his life.