Emails show Penn State's former president Graham Spanier agreed not to take allegations of sex abuse against ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to authorities but worried university officials would be ''vulnerable'' for failing to report it, a news organization has reported.
The emails followed a graduate assistant's 2001 report he saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in the team locker room shower, CNN reported. The existence of the emails was first reported earlier this month by NBC.
The emails show athletic director Tim Curley and retired vice president Gary Schultz intended to report the allegation, then reconsidered. Spanier responded that he was ''supportive'' of their plan, but he worried they might ''become vulnerable for not having reported it.''
Sandusky was convicted this month of 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys. The scandal led to the ouster of Spanier and revered coach Joe Paterno and charges against Curley and Schultz, who are accused of perjury for their grand jury testimony and failing to properly report suspected child abuse. Spanier hasn't been charged.
The timing of their change in plans - coming after Curley's discussion with Paterno - raises questions about whether the coach was more involved than he said in the decision.
The CNN report cites an email from Schultz to Curley on Feb. 26, 2001, 16 days after graduate assistant Mike McQueary told veteran coach Joe Paterno about the shower assault. Schultz suggests bringing the allegation to the attention of Sandusky, Sandusky's charity and the Department of Welfare, which investigates suspected child abuse, according to the report.
But the next night, Curley sent an email to Spanier, saying that after thinking about it more and talking to Paterno, he was ''uncomfortable'' with that plan and wanted to work with Sandusky before contacting authorities, the report said.