I was on 1350 AM in Lancaster with our friend Adam McAllister on Tuesday. He asked me my thoughts on just how much more information is going to come out in this Penn State saga. I said that we’re at the point now where all of these – weird – individual threads are starting to pop out. It leads you to believe that, at some point, they're all going to tie together to reveal that certain people knew more than they're letting on.
In 2001, Penn State sold a piece of land, just off campus, to the Second Mile. [Penn State’s own website on Sept. 21, 2001]
The University will sell 40.7 acres in Patton Township to the Second Mile, former Penn State football defensive coach Jerry Sandusky’s non-profit group for prevention, early intervention and community-based programs for Pennsylvania youth. The mission of Second Mile is to challenge young people to achieve their potential as individuals and community members by providing opportunities for them to develop positive life skills and self-esteem.
That was three years after Sandusky was investigated for showering with a young boy.
According to The Bellingham Herald, the sale was finalized on April 23, 2002… just six weeks after Mike McQueary told athletic director Tim Curley and VP Gary Schultz that he saw Sandusky raping a boy in the showers. As it now turns out, Second Mile had planned – as recently as this year – to build dorms on that land.
FOX Philly has the story of Rob Lehr, a former camp operator who rented his camp to the Second Mile. Lehr said the group crossed dressed one year, and another year had the kids cross dressing:
"Camp counselors cross dressing for one of the evening events with children. The following year now they [had] some of the boys cross dressing," he says.
Lehr also said shower curtains would be taken down when Second Mile was at the camp. He said he never saw anything illegal, but did see things that were immoral and questionable (FOX Philly has video).
If there’s one story that lends even a shred of credibility to last week’s rumor of Second Mile involvment, as told by Pittsburgh radio personality Mark Madden, it’s this one.
What else have we learned? Well, this summer, Joe Pa sold his house to his wife. For a dollar.
Documents filed in Centre County, Pa., show that on July 21 Paterno’s house near campus was turned over to “Suzanne P. Paterno, trustee” for a dollar plus “love and affection.” The couple had previously held joint ownership of the house, which they bought in 1969 for $58,000.
According to documents filed with the county, the house’s fair-market value was listed at $594,484.40. Wick Sollers, a lawyer for Paterno, said in an e-mail that the Paternos had been engaged in a “multiyear estate planning program,” and the transfer “was simply one element of that plan.” He said it had nothing to do with the scandal.
You might be wondering: Why, Kyle, does this matter?* Well, the New York Times thought it mattered enough to write a story about it. They also spoke to a law professor from Pitt who said that he never heard of someone selling their house to a spouse (poet!) for tax advantages. His immediate thought was that it would be to shield assets in case of personal liability. Two lawyers they spoke with we're split on possible motives: one thought it was an attempt to shield assets, the other thought it was meaningless.
As you know, Paterno is one of many Penn State folks who will likely face lawsuits in the upcoming weeks and months.
*Another reason: Joe Pa’s house is worth $600,000??? Really? That Golden Girls-looking thing? Did the housing market just have a major resurgence that I missed? This seems unlikely.
And this is nothing earth shattering, but a former graduate assistant, Matt Paknis, who was with Penn State in 1987 and 1988, told WFAN in New York the following:
As a childhood victim of sexual abuse, he said he remembered thinking how inappropriate it was when he saw Sandusky tickle and pinch little boys during football camps, sometimes putting them in headlocks.
“I thought it was a boundary issue, more than anything else,” Paknis said.
Paknis described Paterno’s rule over the Penn State campus as absolute. “I think he had more power in the state of Pennsylvania than anybody.”
So, yeah, Paknis tells us what we already knew– Sandusky was a creeper and Joe Pa knew everything that went on at Penn State.
There are a lot of red flags here, and together they don’t paint a pretty picture.
An update to the photo of Joe Amendola’s wife from before: In 2007, Sandusky’s charity held a fundraiser on-campus. The event was organized by Mary Amendola, the wife of Sandusky’s lawyer. Gary Schultz, who five years earlier told Sandusky that he couldn’t bring children onto campus, was in attendance. Small world.[Related: Former Penn Stater says Graham Spanier ignored his claim saying he was abused by profressor]