Saturday, January 7

Mike McQueary - Many Questions and No Easy Answers

It is interesting to see the people who have such superior moral character when compared to Joe Paterno, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz. Those mostly anonymous comment givers, media members, and letter writers who seem so certain of their ability to have made a difference in the days following March 1, 2002. How did 3 men of such weak character rise to such positions of responsibility at Penn State? I am struck by what I see as a common thread in the comments of those who write to scold or condemn Joe Paterno, or Curley or Schultz or all three. They seem to have an unshakable moral compass that tells them what they would have done that these three men failed to do some 9 years ago.
Most of these online judges and muckrakers and the rest of us don't know Jerry Sandusky like Joe, Tim and Gary did. And we don't know Mike McQueary like Joe did. But some of us are certain that we know what Joe or Tim or Gary did is wrong. How is that I wonder?

How do any of us know what we would have done or what they should have done without understanding what crossed their minds in two 10 minute meetings based on a report of a 45 second locker room visit that included under 10 seconds of observations over 9 years ago prior to the publication of the summary of allegations designed to justify indictment of Jerry Sandusky? Maybe we should consider what we know about that time in order to understand.

Who is Jerry Sandusky to Joe Paterno? What do we know about that and what can we guess?

  • 1) Jerry was Joe's subordinate as defensive coordinator for many years.
  • 2) Jerry was evidently very good at his job for years at "linebacker U" even heir apparent.
  • 3) Jerry and Joe had conflicts over coaching decisions
  • 4) Jerry started a very successful charity for needy kids in 1977
  • 5) Joe probably thought Jerry's attention to the charity distracted from his job
  • 6) Joe likely did not appreciate the friction he thought Jerry provided on the staff
  • 7) Joe had known Jerry for a very long time and knew his quirks and tendency to be physical - horseplay and wrestling with people - as Schultz said he knew Jerry to do.
  • 8) Joe knew Jerry raised 6 foster kids and some were friends with his kids
  • 9) Joe knew Jerry was devoted to kids - particularly underprivileged kids.
  • 10) Joe evidently told Jerry he would never succeed him as Head Coach
  • 11) Jerry evidently resigned to work full time for his charity when Joe told him this.
  • 12) Joe and Jerry were not particularly good friends - just boss and employee.

Who is Jerry Sandusky to Gary Schultz

  • 1) Some of the same things he was to Joe except for the working relationship parts.
  • 2) A guy who was physical "always wrestling, horsing around, putting people in headlocks"
  • 3) A guy who had been investigated in 1998 because a mother said her son took a shower with him.
  • 4) A guy who was exonerated of any wrong doing in that 98 investigation
  • 5) A guy who was close to 100's of kids who acted like a big kid himself sometimes
  • 6) A guy who thought it was ok to shower with kids
  • 7) A guy with 6 foster kids of his own
  • 8) A guy who most of his friends, neighbors, and co-workers thought was an almost saintly guy for his work with children.

Who was Mike McQueary?

  • 1) A 27 year old graduate assistant football coach with firey red hair
  • 2) A native of State College and son of a Doctor
  • 3) A quarterback for the PSU football team who did not make the pros

What exactly happened from Schultz and Curley's point of view

  • 1) They got a call from Joe Paterno that Mike had seen something that disturbed him
  • 2) They set up a meeting in their conference room after Spring Break some 10 days later.
  • 3) Mike spent 10 or 12 minutes with them
  • 4) Mike said he witnessed naked Jerry with young boy for 3 seconds through a mirror and 3 seconds directly
  • 5) Mike said both were standing up with Jerry behind the boy


  • 6) Mike said the boy came up to Jerry's pectoral muscle
  • 7) Mike said he heard 3 slapping sounds that gave him a preconception of something sexual he was going to see
  • 8) Mike saw it as something ‘extremely sexual' for two 2 second glances - but how it is told using what words is disputed by Schultz and Curley 9 years later
  • 9) Schultz heard it as ‘horsing around or wrestling' because he was predisposed to think of Jerry in this way. We reconcile what we hear with what we know or think we know and 10 minutes of statements could include both explanations. We don't know which was emphasized or said more often, or given the greatest credence.

Is it illogical to presume that Schultz and Curley's preconception of Jerry informed their interpretation of Mike's observations? I think not. We hear through our own filters as we read on this forum. Tim and Gary did not perceive Jerry as a sexual predator - in fact quite the opposite. Their preconception was of a guy who did a lot of great things for a lot of kids and had sacrificed to raise foster kids himself.

  • Mikes description of events was evidently not strong enough to shake that preconception. 6 seconds of viewing in a 45 second locker room visit.
  • MIke said "No Pain" or distress from the kid
  • Mike said "NO clear view of what was happening since mostly he saw Jerry's backside"
  • Mike said "I left the naked kid with Jerry" - does a man sure of sexual misconduct do that?
  • Did Tim and Gary think to themselves - How does a 6' football coach of substantial size and weight do something sexual to a 4' boy while both are standing upright on the floor?


  • Did they wonder - How would Jerry accomplish intercourse without causing serious pain to a 10 year old ?
  • Are Gary and Tim trying to understand Mike's rather vague ‘extreme sexual' description when he says he can't see anything
  • Mike says "I saw no erection"
  • Mike says ‘I did not look down there'
  • So if he did not look down there how did he perceive something extremely sexual?

Some here want to infer the 98 incident should have caused red flags for Schultz and Spanier. I argue just the opposite. There is evidently a 90 page file on that investigation that ended in no charges. Just a possibly overwrought (maybe Catholic) mother who knew Jerry showered with her boy and hugged him. That leads me to think Schulz would have a preconceived idea that Jerry hugged boys in the shower as horseplay with no sexual intent. The decision not to prosecute or bring charges actually COULD have worked in Jerry's favor.
I would ask anyone who reads this to rethink the situation with their own imaginations trying to put themselves in the position of the actual participants in this drama and what they think those participants knew or thought about the head of Second Mile and his life long association with kids in a positive way and how that would affect their conceptions.
Then remember that this entire situation rests on a 10 minute meeting between Joe and Mike and a 10 or 12 minute meeting between Tim, Gary and Mike 9 years ago that involves a 45 second locker room visit and under 10 seconds of observation of the backside of Jerry Sandusky.
So it would seem our choices are to think of Tim, Gary, Spanier, and possibly Joe as men who would put the reputation of a football program above the welfare of a child. - except we have no evidence that a guilty Sandusky caught by PSU officials would somehow harm the reputation or the program. So these are either bad men doing something they knew to be wrong or good men uncertain of what could be done other than what they decided to do. I see insufficient reason to believe the former.
That's how I see it at 2am on Saturday morning for my friends who requested this post. I perceive these events the way I have described them but it's just my interpretation of everything I have read about this situation. I don't say it's the truth. It's just one explanation informed by what I know from down here in Tennessee and my own personal experience of how people jump to conclusions. Without truly trying to put themselves in another's mind and point of view taking into account all the elements known to the participants, we can be unfair in our judgments.

I don't see any way the prosecution makes perjury charges stick.

I see no intention to mislead. I see no intentionally known false statements. I see no corroboration of Mike's version. I see incomplete recollections from a 10 minute meeting 9 years in the past, and we haven't even heard from Dranov - the guy the prosecution tried so hard to keep out of Friday's hearing.
I see an AG and prosecution bent on trying to save Mike McQueary's credibiltiy in order for them to succeed vs Sandusky. I seem them needing to indict Penn State through Schultz or Curley in order to bolster their case against Jerry. But "if the bodies don't fit the jury must acquit" and the Mike McQueary description of intercourse given the bodies involved does not fit.
We learned the Grand Jury Presentment's use of the word "anal" with intercourse is an intentional misrepresentation of what Mike McQueary told the Grand Jury. In fact Mike admits he could not see anything sexual and he never used the word "anal". He was just certain something sexual was going on because of what he had heard. He could not see because all he could see was Jerry's backside blocking the view of anything else.

The Media will continue to overstate the case and mislead the public
I truly believe my new Penn State friends have been victimized by a media that is incapable of looking at this at the deepest level of human behavior. I only hope I am better than that and that you try to put yourself in Gary and Tim's shoes with what they thought they knew about Jerry Sandusky 9 years ago without the benefit of some 23 page Summary of Allegations designed to justify an indictment and inflame public opinion.
You have to wipe that GJ Presentment from your mind and go back in time to when Jerry was just a good guy who helped kids to most of State College 9 years ago. Imagine and think about what you are hearing from Mike, how improbable it might seem to you in theory and in your conception of Jerry Sandusky as a man and then decide. The Media will not do this and very few people outside of myself and PSU will. But I believe we are much closer to a realistic look at the thoughts and reasoning applied by Schultz and Curley
Friday's hearing further removed all suspicion that Joe Paterno suffered some moral lapse or participated in some kind of coverup but the media will not play it that way. That does not sell advertising
Now you've put yourself in the mindset of Tim and Gary what do you think the police could do with Mike's suspicions and lack of concrete evidence or even a view of what he says he suspected? I think they thought the police would find exactly what they found in 98. A distraught Mike who suspected something he could not see and then behaved badly by leaving the boy with the man he suspected. Maybe they were even trying to spare Mike some embarrassment.

A possible Q&A by police investigators

  • You say you heard 3 slaps and were sure something sexual was occurring? YES
  • You saw both standing- Jerry close behind the boy whos head came up ot Jerry's pectorals? YES
  • You did not see an erection or penetration or where Jerry's hands were on the boy? YES
  • You did not see where Jerry's crotch was in relation to the boy - 'you did not look down there' ? YES
  • So you suspected extreme sexual behavior but did not see it? YES
  • And you observed this for two 2 second glances in a 45 second locker room visit? YES
  • And they separated and turned toward you and you stared into each other's eyes? YES
  • And the boy did not cry out and you did not observe distress or pain? YES
  • And you left in a hurry leaving this young boy with a man you believed to be assaulting him? YES

I don't see any evidence of coverup. I see confusion, incomprehension, and uncertainty from a couple of capable bureaucrats who oversee athletics and the physical structures of Penn State with competence trying to make sense of something they cannot comprehend being told to them in less than certain terms of some unseen but suspicious behavior. Their response was to talk to Jerry and tell him to stop bringing kids to Penn State showers in order to avoid any such confusion in the future. In hindsight not the best of things but that's in hindsight. If we all had that precognitive ability we would never make mistakes and always make the right call. Not having it does not make us criminals or even bad people.
As always my hope is that the victims tell believable stories accepted by the jury in the criminal trial so this man pays for any of the crimes he committed and I pray for the recovery and good mental health of these victims. But that has little to do with the situation involving Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, Pres. Spanier, and particularly Joe Paterno. To our knowledge there is no victim 2 identified and willing to testify. That makes the victim 2 section of this case most difficult to prove and that;s the only place Mike McQueary and Joe Paterno and PSU come into play in this whole affair. Putting Tim and Gary on trial for perjury won't do anything to advance the case against Jerry Sandusky until there is a willing participant in Victim 2.

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