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Freeh Report: Spanier More Strict Dealing with Sports Agent Than Sandusky

by on July 16, 2012 6:00 AM

In the end, Graham Spanier decided to ban a sports agent from campus but allow a would-be convicted child rapist unfettered access to university facilities despite knowledge, at the very least, that Jerry Sandusky’s showering with young boys concerned two of his top lieutenants enough to consider contacting child welfare services.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Spanier, the former leader of one of this country’s most highly regarded research and academic institutions, a man who is a trained family therapist, holds a Ph.D. in sociology and has written books about children and family, took a far more aggressive course of action against a man who bought a football player a suit to wear to a college football awards show than a man who showered boys with gifts in order to groom and sexually abuse them.

This is made clear in the university’s independent investigation headed by former FBI director Louis Freeh into the Sandusky scandal. Of course, there is no proof Spanier made such an egregious lapse in judgment at the time of the player-agent incident. It occurred just months before the first-known police investigation into Sandusky in 1998. What it does do is demonstrate one of the overarching themes of the Freeh Report: Spanier, and others, displayed a total lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims.

According to the Freeh Report, Spanier never considered a campus ban for Sandusky. Not even when another allegation of Sandusky showering with a boy fell into his lap — and this one was severe enough to make athletic director Tim Curley and vice president of finance and business Gary Schultz craft a plan to report the incident to authorities. In fact, the report asserts Spanier perpetuated Sandusky’s crimes by promising him emeritus rank upon his 1999 retirement and granting him access to facilities.

On the other hand, the agent, Jeff Nalley, “fooled around with the integrity of the university, and I won't stand for that,” Spanier said at the time.

According to the Freeh Report, an email dated May 13, 1998 — smack dab in the middle of a police investigation into Sandusky showering with the boy known as Victim No. 6 — outlines Spanier’s reasoning for administering the campus ban on Nalley.

“The idea is to keep [the sports agent] off campus permanently, to keep him away from current athletes, and to keep him away from current graduates or students whose eligibility has recently expired,” Spanier said.

The university conducted its own investigation into Nalley, finding he purchased $400 worth of clothing for running back Curtis Enis in Dec. 1997. Outraged, Spanier urged university officials to convince prosecutors in Cumberland and Dauphin counties to press charges. Nalley pleaded no contest to the charges, paid $10,000 in fines and was issued probation for a year.

It was a directive far more aggressive than ones taken after the 1998 police investigation and a separate 2001 incident in the Lasch Football Building showers. The Freeh Report shows Spanier gave approval for Sandusky’s retirement package signed on June 29, 1999 with the perquisites of:

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  • A lump sum of $168,000
  • Four free football season tickets for the rest of his life and the opportunity to purchase four more within the 35-yard lines
  • Two men’s and women’s basketball season tickets for the rest of his life
  • Lifetime use of a locker, weight rooms, fitness facilities and training room in the East Area locker room
  • A five-year agreement, subject to renewal, between him and Penn State to work collaboratively in community outreach programs, such as The Second Mile, that “provide positive visibility to the University’s Intercollegiate Athletics Program”
  • A 10-year agreement, subject to renewal, giving him an office and telephone in the East Area locker room

According to the Freeh Report, Spanier never did talk to Sandusky about his conduct during the 1998 shower incident. He took no action to limit Sandusky’s access to facilities. And, he approved a retirement package that would foster a healthy relationship between his university and the charity Sandusky used to locate his victims for more than a decade longer.

Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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