Statements from Penn State regarding recent media reports

STATEMENT FROM PENN STATE REGARDING ALLEGED 1976 INCIDENT AND RECENT COURT RULING

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In a court opinion issued yesterday (May 5) by Judge Gary Glazer related to a lawsuit between Penn State and an insurance provider, testimony was released about allegations that former Penn State Coach Joe Paterno was aware of incidents of sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky in 1976. Media organizations have been reporting on the contents of the court documents and the University is issuing the following statement in response to these recent events.

We note the court's opinion states the alleged incidents are based upon the deposition testimony of persons who claim to have been victims of Jerry Sandusky.  We note these are allegations, and not established fact.  The university has no records from the time to help evaluate the claims.  More importantly, Coach Paterno is not here to defend himself.  Penn State does not intend to comment further, out of concern for privacy, and due to the strict confidentiality commitments that govern our various settlement agreements.


STATEMENT FROM PENN STATE REGARDING NBC NIGHTLY NEWS REPORT

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State has released a statement following the surfacing of allegations involving former coaches.

The university is facing and has faced a number of litigation matters and claims related to the Sandusky events.  Allegations of various kinds have been made, and will likely continue to be made.  The university does not speculate publicly or hypothesize about individual allegations.  These are sensitive matters, and we want to be respectful of the rights of all individuals involved.  It would be inappropriate to do otherwise. 

Penn State has continuously expressed its concern for victims of child abuse and its overarching commitment to not only ensuring our campuses are safe for children, but to also helping to build greater awareness of child sexual abuse and maltreatment.

In the past five years, Penn State has enacted a multitude of reforms focused on fighting child abuse, and has introduced best practices in governance, management and compliance.

These include, but are not limited to the following:

-- The establishment of the Network on Child Protection and Well-Being (http://protectchildren.psu.edu/) with the goal of advancing knowledge, practice, education and outreach to combat child abuse.

-- Creation of the Center for Protection of Children (at Penn State Hershey Medical Center). The over-arching purpose of the Center for the Protection of Children is to develop and coordinate research, education and policy initiatives having to do with child abuse/protection – within Penn State Hershey, Penn State's broader Network on Child Protection and Wellbeing, as well as with community partners.

-- The institution of a new administrative policy,  AD-72, "Reporting Suspected Child Abuse," to provide guidance to University employees regarding mandated reporting requirements according to the University and the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law.

-- Development of an online “Reporting Child Abuse” training required for new employees, and current employees. Employees who work with children are required to take the training annually; all others are required to take the training every three years.

-- The creation of a national conference on child sexual abuse. The inaugural conference was held Oct. 28-30, 2012, and is held annually.

-- Creation of an Office of Ethics and Compliance, and the Ethics and Compliance Council to coordinate, integrate and oversee all University compliance functions.

-- Hired an athletics integrity officer and changed the reporting line of the University’s athletics compliance office to the director of ethics and compliance rather than the athletic director.

-- Enacted a formal policy review process that resulted in the creation or revision of policies and procedures regarding youth protection, facility security, reporting potential wrongdoing, anti-retaliation, discrimination and sexual harassment, employee background checks, and institutional financial conflicts of interest and board conflicts of interest.

-- Developed comprehensive compliance and ethics training and education programs.

-- Developed and implemented a comprehensive action plan to ensure compliance with Title IX requirements and to address a national concern about sexual assault on campuses; and
-- Undertook a University-wide effort to promote a “see something, say something” climate and to enforce the University’s anti-retaliation policy.

-- Instituted a series of policies to correct and promote appropriate conduct (Policy AD88: Code of Responsible Conduct; Policy AD67: Disclosure of Wrongful Conduct and Protection from Retaliation; Policy AD88: Code of Responsible Conduct; Policy AD83: Institutional Financial Conflict of Interest; HR101: Positions Requiring National Search Process; Policies AD86: Acceptance of Gifts and Entertainment; AD89: University Export Compliance Policy; and AD53: Privacy Statement)

Last Updated May 13, 2016