Prologue
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Prologue “Is this opening of Pandora’s box?” asked Penn State’s senior vice president for Business and Finance Gary Schultz when informed of the first allegation that Jerry Sandusky had sexually molested a young boy from Sandusky’s Second Mile foundation. Several thousand years before, when Pandora, the first woman in Greek mythology, opened a vessel given to her by the god Zeus, all the evils in the world were unleashed. Unlike Joe Paterno, who knew some ancient Greek and Roman writings as a literature major at an Ivy League institution, Schultz may not have known the mythological origin of Pandora’s box. He was trained in industrial engineering with two degrees from Penn State shortly after Paterno became head football coach. As the administrator in 1998 overseeing Penn State athletics, was Schultz aware of a mythic woman releasing the evils of the world several millennia before—evils such as disease, poverty, revenge, corruption, and child abuse? He almost surely did not know what the opening of Pandora’s box would unleash upon Penn State and its athletic program. Did the leaders of Penn State athletics, Schultz, President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley, and Coach Joe Paterno hope to keep the lid of the media vessel tightly closed? Were they more interested in treating this not as an assault on a young boy but as a public relations crisis that needed to be managed ? Those questions caused me to almost immediately search for clues about the history of Penn State athletics to see whether the way Penn State athletics had been administered historically could have contributed to the worst scandal in the school’s long history and, according to some, the worst scandal in collegiate athletic history. Was there a Penn State Pandora’s box hidden away in the serenity of Happy Valley, out of sight of those living in the central mountains of Pennsylvania—a box that was opened only when a furtive event from 1998 came to light a decade later? The insulation of athletics in a business office of the university and, as it turns out, the separation of athletics from any effective academic function within the university, would help to keep Pandora’s box festering but closed. Penn State officials had no idea how something they were deeply involved in would end. Isolating concerns about sexual criminality presaged a foreboding result in Happy Valley—an Unhappy Valley, from which wounded lions would emerge. Smith_text.indd 13 12/7/15 11:11 AM Smith_text.indd 14 12/7/15 11:11 AM ...



Subject Headings

  • Pennsylvania State University -- Sports.
  • Pennsylvania State University -- Football.
  • Paterno, Joe, 1926-2012.
  • Sandusky, Jerry.
  • Pennsylvania State University -- Sports -- Administration.
  • College sports -- Corrupt practices -- Pennsylvania -- University Park.
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