We don't have the facts
Los Angeles Times
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier's indictment gets to the heart of what critics of big-time college sports have said for years: University presidents need to take more responsibility for their athletic programs.
The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics recently issued a report asking schools to devise stronger policies to balance sports with academics while curtailing improper behavior by coaches and athletes.
It remains to be seen how our major colleges will react. The fact is, no one but the prosecutors have a thorough knowledge of the evidence that will be presented in court. Without this knowledge, any conjecture on whether the Spanier will or should be convicted is premature if not worthless.
Hope the truth comes out
Even if I had fulfilled my mother's wishes and gone to law school, I do not believe I'd be able to answer this question. What evidence will be presented at trial? Will the judge assigned to the case feel pressure to lean to the side of the prosecution?
The accusation against Graham Spanier is that he engaged in a "conspiracy of silence" to mute child sex abuse complaints involving Jerry Sandusky. The grand jury report states that Spanier underling Gary Schultz kept a file on Sandusky that he instructed his administrative assistant not to examine. Was Spanier aware of the file? Did he know that Sandusky was a serial predator?
We can only hope that the truth will come out at trial.
He could make a deal
Iliana Limón Romero
It's early in the legal process, but the forecast does not look good for former Penn State President Graham Spanier.
Spanier was accused of a "conspiracy of silence," a term that barely scratches the surface of what it appears he did. He was charged with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy.
While university presidents and other members of this country's elite often can buy their way out of jail thanks to great attorneys, Spanier's legal team faces an uphill battle. There is documentation of his actions, and it's hard to imagine a judge or jury going easy on him. A plea deal may be his best option.
It's a question for a jury
Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly presented a compelling media prosecution of former Penn State President Graham Spanier on Thursday. Is that enough to get Spanier convicted? As a sportswriter with no legal training, I am unqualified to say. Besides, that's a jury's job.
But living in Penn State country, I find an equally compelling counterargument being made for a systemic university failure over an active cover-up. Is it possible that Spanier, Tim Curley and/or Gary Schultz acted poorly, but not criminally, when presented with accusations against Jerry Sandusky?
Is that a distinction without difference? I'll wait for the trials to find out.