Former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary exits the Dauphin County Courthouse on July 29 in Harrisburg, Pa.
(Photo: Bradley C Bower AP)
(USA TODAY) Former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary alleged that Joe Paterno warned him that he would be scapegoated in a cover-up involving the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.
Mike McQueary, who appeared as a witness in a hearing for three former Penn State officials Mondperay, accused them of scapegoating him as part of their cover up.
In his testimony, McQueary recounted an exchange he had with Paterno a week before the head coach was fired in November 2011. He alleged that Paterno criticized Penn State's handling of the allegations made against then-defense coordinator Jerry Sandusky, told him not to trust the administration and that the administrators would try to make McQueary a scapegoat.
Paterno told the former assistant coach, "Old Main screwed up," McQueary alleged.
The hearing was scheduled to determine whether the charges against former president Graham Spanier, retired university vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley should go to trial. They face are accused of failing to tell police about a sexual abuse allegation involving Sandusky and then trying to cover it up.
Dan McGinn, Paterno family spokesman, says McQueary's testimony reflects the flaws in the Freeh Report that was released in 2012.
"Paterno's approach on this looks far sounder than the board," he said.
While McGinn says he cannot speak to the details of McQueary's testimony, he said that Paterno never focused on his own reputation when speaking about the Sandusky scandal.
"The only charge he gave me and his family is to make sure the full truth is out.," McGinn says.
McQueary's has testified that he saw Sandusky treating a boy inappropriately in the shower of the football locker room in 2001. He says he reported it to Paterno, Curley and Schultz in 2001.
Curley and Schultz says McQueary never said the encounter was sexual in nature. Spanier says he never heard about sexual abuse involving a boy from Curley and Schultz and thought it was just horseplay.
McGinn says the Freeh Report has warped the judicial process in making conclusions about Penn State's culture rather than looking at how the university handled the situation, the spokesman says.
Since the scandal came to light, Paterno's family has denied accusations that the longtime coach covered up the allegations. McGinn says that the report was just another example of how the attempt to find justice was rushed, eclipsing the truth.
"I believe that over the last 12-and-a-half months, the credibility of the Freeh report has deteriorated every day," McGinn says.
The former officials face charges of perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of a child and failing to report suspected abuse and conspiracy.
Curley and Schultz were charged in November 2011, when Sandusky was arrested, and accused of perjury and failure to report.
Spanier was forced out as president at that time, and he was charged a year later when more counts were added against Curley and Schultz. He is a faculty member on administrative leave.
Sandusky, who maintains his innocence, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence after being convicted last year of sexually abusing 10 boys.
Steph Solis, USA TODAY Sports