Healing may have begun at Penn State University, but the pain isn't over yet.
On Monday, the longtime CEO of a children's charity founded by disgraced former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky announced his resignation, and the Big Ten Conference said it removed fired head coach Joe Paterno's name from its conference championship trophy.
Jack Raykovitz, who headed children's charity The Second Mile for 28 years, is the latest official to leave a post tied to Sandusky since child sex-abuse charges were filed against the former defensive coordinator Nov. 5.
Authorities say Sandusky, accused of molesting eight boys over 15 years, used his prominent position with The Second Mile to lure and sexually assault his victims in his Centre County home, Penn State's football facilities and elsewhere.
"Although the allegations against Jerry Sandusky and the alleged incidents occurred outside Second Mile programs and events, this does not change the fact that the alleged sexual abuse involved Second Mile program children, nor does it lessen the terrible impact of sexual abuse on its victims," a press release from the organization reads.
In stripping Paterno's name from the trophy for their inaugural championship game, Big Ten officials changed the name to Stagg Championship Trophy in honor of the late Chicago coach Amos Alonzo Stagg. It will be presented next month when the Big Ten holds its first championship game under its new two-division format.
"The trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. "We believe that it's important to keep the focus on the players and the teams that will be competing in the inaugural championship game."
As the police investigation continues, New York-based charity Fresh Air Fund said it is searching its records after a report that Sandusky briefly hosted children from the program in his home. Pundits jumped on the judge who let Sandusky walk free on bail, unearthing reports she had volunteered for The Second Mile.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told The Associated Press that the Sandusky scandal "reopens a wound" for Catholics, who have endured child sex scandals involving priests for the past decade.
Republican presidential candidates Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum weighed in, with the former Pennsylvania senator saying the controversy left him feeling "punched in the gut."
"Heads have rolled, but we're not done yet, and we shouldn't be done yet," Santorum, a 1980 Penn State graduate, said on CNN. "I don't know what's being taught up there anymore."
But the biggest casualty was Raykovitz, who led the charity for longer than most of the victims have been alive.
He came under fire after a grand jury report revealed he was notified of an incident of suspected abuse in 2002, when then-Penn State graduate assistant Mike McQueary stumbled upon Sandusky allegedly raping a boy in an on-campus shower. McQueary told Paterno, who passed the information on to athletic director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz.
Curley, who maintains he was told the incident was nothing more than "horseplay," testified he notified Raykovitz and told him that Sandusky was not welcome to bring children into the Penn State locker room. That policy was approved by university President Graham Spanier, who resigned last week on the same day Paterno was terminated.
No one notified police. Curley and Schultz have been charged with perjury and failure to report abuse.
The Second Mile will conduct an internal investigation to review policies and make suggestions for improvements. It has hired a law firm led by former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham as general counsel, bringing on board the former prosecutor who pursued child abuse in the Philadelphia archdiocese. The charity expects to release a report by the end of December.
As is the case with Penn State, the Sandusky scandal threatens the widespread support that Second Mile enjoyed, including from those in the Lehigh Valley.
According to The Second Mile's 2010 annual report, Valley donors collectively gave more than $100,000 last year. Among the donors were Computer Aid and its owner, Tony Salvaggio; the Poole Foundation; the late C. Thomas Fuller and his son Peter Fuller; Air Products; and the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation.
The fall of Sandusky and the questions surrounding Second Mile came as a shock to Bethlehem attorney Martin Cohen, who recently pledged $25,000 to the group.
After more than two decades of calling Sandusky his friend and making generous annual donations to Second Mile, Cohen is finding what's happening difficult to explain.
"It's been a horrible, horrible week for Penn State and Second Mile, but I hope people do not forget the thousands of kids this organization has helped," said Cohen, a 1964 Penn State graduate. "I hope that people don't confuse the small group of people who did this terrible thing with the work that Second Mile is doing."
Cohen said he met Sandusky in the mid-1980s and has attended several Penn State games a year with him. He described Sandusky as a quiet, unassuming man who seemed to genuinely care about the disadvantaged children helped by the $2.7 million in program funding the charity distributes each year.
Now Cohen finds it difficult to reconcile the Sandusky he knew with the one he's seeing in the news.
"Until this, I thought he was one of the most phenomenal guys I'd ever met. Until this, I'd seen no indication he was capable of the things they say he's done," he said.
610-820-6533Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun