Witness to Assault Still on Penn State Coaching Staff

Via ESPN:  Mike McQueary will coach on Saturday

Mike McQueary, one of the central figures in the burgeoning child sex abuse scandal at Penn State, will remain receivers coach Saturday when the Nittany Lions play their final home game of the season.

For those unclear on the cast of characters, McQueary was the graduate assistant who testified to the grand jury that he witnessed Sandusky engaging in anal intercourse with a 10 year-old (forgive the graphic description, but it seems that many do not fully understand the exact allegations yet).  This is the same fellow whose reaction was to 1) call his father instead of the police, and 2) wait until the next day before informing Paterno.  And while he was a “grad assistant” he was 28 years-old at the the time.

Why is he still employed by Penn State?

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Not only was he 28, he spent several years after graduating from Penn State (he was a star QB in the mid-90s) in the NFL and NFL Europe. This isn’t some timid little grad student.

  2. @Doug Mataconis: I was unaware of the playing career. Yeesh.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    I’ll quote Dave Schuler on this:

    What leapt out at me is how everyone at every step in this sordid episode failed to act with the courage not to mention outrage necessary, from the graduate assistant who witnessed the alleged violation to Mr. Paterno to the university administrators. Doing the minimum, doing the safe, following procedures and channels is not nearly enough.

    Called 911? The grad assistant should have pulled the fire alarm. He should have yelled his head off. He should have intervened physically even at the risk of his own safety or career. Honor and justice required it.

  4. It didn’t last long, obviously, hence is return to State College.

  5. @Doug Mataconis: Clearly. It just makes the notion that his reaction was to call his Dad all the more vexing. I can’t fathom not calling 911 and, as Michael quotes Dave above, it is amazing that he did not intervene in some way.

    You come around the corner and find two consenting adults engaged in sexual activity, you turn away in embarrassment, but you come across a man and a boy and you can’t even shout “WTF is going on here?”

  6. matt b says:

    This was the first time I had heard the exact charges…

    At this point, anyone associated with the program who was there during those times needs to be routed. And this is sadly a case where it really is necessary for the dirty details to be aired — if for no other reason than to hopefully demonstrate *how bad* this really was.

  7. @matt b:

    And this is sadly a case where it really is necessary for the dirty details to be aired — if for no other reason than to hopefully demonstrate *how bad* this really was.

    Sadly, this is correct.

    I cannot imagine, for example, that most of the students who demonstrated/rioted last nigh had a full grasp of the accusations. I have heard too many press accounts that had danced around the details to assume that everyone who thinks they know the details actually knows them all.

  8. Franklin says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I wasn’t aware of his playing career, either. I was imagining some meek, skinny dude who might’ve been afraid of a powerful coach. But instead, we find out it’s a former professional football player? Dude, put your physical prowess to good use!

  9. Steven,

    Tommy Christopher called the media out over this in a column at Mediaite. I think he hits it out of the park.

  10. Franklin,

    Professional FB player and, for two years in the 90s, the lead QB of the Nittany Lions. If he’d done what he should have, there’s no question in my mind which way pubic opinion would’ve gone.

  11. matt b says:

    @Steven L. Taylor & @Doug Mataconis… That Christopher essay really says it all. What a difference a single word makes.

  12. Gustopher says:

    I’m willing to forgive the immediate reaction — walking in on a old man anally raping a ten year old boy might not be one of the things that society prepares one for.

    But, after the immediate panic and freeze, you have to step up and do the right thing and call the cops. I’m not sure how long I would give someone to do the right thing, but I’d measure it in hours, not years (or never).

    He should be fired. And shunned from polite society.

  13. Marycay Doolittle says:

    In my book, McQueary condoned this egregious act against a 10 year old boy when he heard the sounds, saw a child propping himself against a wall while be sodomized, and didn’t take whatever actions necessary to stop it on the spot. He needs to be fired and nowhere near a football field this weekend. Where is the outrage???? The out pouring of student support for Paterno is out of line considering what he knew and didn’t take proper actions. I can only hope that if these students knew the sordid details it would have made a difference, but unfortunately I’m not so sure. These events at Penn State, to me, are a sad commentary on today’s society.

  14. JKB says:

    If you scan the indictment, I couldn’t read it, it’s nasty, much of the assaults took place at the Penn State building or at the hotel the team stayed at before home games. One long term victim said when the school built a sauna in the building, that is where the rapes occurred after that except for those at the team hotel. For over 15 years for these 8 victims alone.

    Worse, they mention, Sandusky set up the charity in 1977. Pedophiles don’t set up charities for young boys then years later start raping them, there could be over 30 years worth of victims out there. And 30 years worth of turning a blind eye by Penn State and the football staff and teams.

  15. John Burgess says:

    You know, even before reading the Christopher article, I wasn’t liking the use of the word ‘intercourse’ either. That word suggests some cooperative effort; rape is defined for its non-cooperative nature.

  16. Steve says:

    Mike mcQuery had one thing on his mind and it was not the best interest of a child being raped. Let’s call it like it is: he was an aspiring coach and this episode could be “problematic”. If, on the otherhand, he kept quiet and knew a horrible secret, his career was vitually assured. Here is only one reason he would not call 911 or physically intervene. The apple does not fall far from the tree evidently, since his cowardly father reinforced a vile and despicable choice. He should be fired and minimum and charged with criminal neglect and whatever else they can charge him with. He is not a person I would want coaching my kid.

  17. One possible theory:

    We know from the grand jury testimony that the investigation began when Clifton high school reported Sandusky molesting a child there. We don’t know how the DA got from that to knowing about the 2002 incident at Penn State. If McQueary was the first person to mention it to the DA, then it’s possible Penn State can’t fire him because he’s covered by the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Protection law. This would also explain why McQueary was never mentioned by name in the grand jury report.

  18. jd says:

    I can imagine coming around that corner and thinking “who are they going to believe, me or him?” He’d have to get his ducks in a row and proceed carefully.

  19. Loviatar says:


    You sir/madam are a coward. Just to be clear a coward puts himself first above others.

    I can imagine coming around that corner and thinking “who are they going to believe, me or him?”


    And here we have the ultimate coward’s way of thinking, instead of pulling the 55 year man raping a 10 year old off the child you think, hmmm:.

    He’d have to get his ducks in a row and proceed carefully.


    I’m surprised you didn’t think, hmmm, I wonder how I can use this this situation to my benefit. McQueary seems to have done so.

  20. jd says:

    @Loviatar: “Fools rush in.”

  21. ed says:


    I would have chopped off his junk as evidence to show the police.