Former PSU coach recalls learning of Sandusky complaint
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — Jurors heard Thursday that a former Penn State head football coach testified that Mike McQueary told him years before Jerry Sandusky’s arrest that he had made a complaint about Sandusky to university administrators.
The deposition by Tom Bradley was read during the fourth day of trial in McQueary’s defamation and whistleblower lawsuit against the university over his treatment after Sandusky’s 2011 child molestation arrest.
Bradley said he fielded a rumor that made him approach McQueary, a fellow assistant under Paterno, in 2004 or 2005.
“I’m not sure how this happened, but somebody said something and I asked Mike about it. He said there was an incident,” Bradley said in May 2015. “I don’t know his exact words.”
Bradley said he asked McQueary what he did.
“He said, àI turned it in to Joe and Curley and Schultz,'” Bradley said, references to then-head coach Joe Paterno, then-athletic director Tim Curley and then-vice president Gary Schultz.
He said he did not remember if McQueary used the word, “sexual.”
“It was not a long, detailed description, if that’s what you’re asking me,” Bradley sad
Bradley also said he believes the school mistreated McQueary, citing a bowl game bonus McQueary wasn’t given at the end of the 2011 season. Bradley was briefly the school’s head coach after university trustees fired Paterno, in part over his handling of the McQueary complaint.
Bradley said he never discussed the McQueary incident with Sandusky, although he would occasionally see him in team facilities after Sandusky retired in 1999.
Questions about whether rumors regarding Sandusky had cropped up before the investigation that produced charges have long hung over the Penn State football program.
A lawyer for Bradley, now UCLA’s defensive coordinator, told The Associated Press this summer he never witnessed any inappropriate behavior and had no knowledge of alleged incidents in the 1980s and 1990s.
The lawyer, Brett Senior, said Thursday he was not aware the testimony was being read. “I think whatever’s been said is old and stale,” Senior said.
Outside the courthouse after Thursday’s session, McQueary declined comment about Bradley’s deposition.
McQueary has testified he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in a team shower one evening in 2001 and reported it the next day to Paterno. He then met with Curley and Schultz about the incident a few days later.
Nothing happened in the matter for more than a decade, when authorities investigating another complaint about Sandusky got a tip suggesting they contact McQueary.
McQueary testified against Sandusky at the 2012 criminal trial that resulted in a 45-count conviction.
In the civil case, McQueary is seeking more than $4 million in lost wages and other claims.
The school maintains it did not retaliate against McQueary and that he was damaged in the public’s eye by questions about why he didn’t physically intervene to help the boy or call police.
Earlier Thursday, former Penn State President Graham Spanier testified that he issued a statement the day Curley and Schultz, two of his top lieutenants, were charged, calling the allegations groundless because he trusted them and believed they were honest people.
McQueary’s lawsuit against the university alleges Spanier’s statement made it appear McQueary was a liar.
Spanier said he came to trust Curley and Schultz after working closely with them for many years. They were charged with perjury and failure to properly report suspected child abuse.
“This was an unbelievable injustice, that these two guys, who are like Boy Scouts, would be charged with a crime,” Spanier said. “And that’s what was in my head as I was giving this opinion.”
Spanier began drafting the statement about a week earlier. He said that’s when the school’s then-general counsel got a tip through the attorney general’s office that Sandusky, Curley and Schultz would be charged.
Spanier was forced out by the board of trustees a few days later, and the next year he also was charged over his handling of the Sandusky matter. A state appeals court earlier this year threw out several of the charges against all three administrators, but they remain accused of failure to properly report suspected abuse and endangering the welfare of children. They await trial in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
He said he wasn’t thinking about McQueary when drafting the statement, and in fact didn’t realize at that time that McQueary was a key figure in the investigation and an unnamed assistant described in the grand jury presentment used to help charge Sandusky.