Former UNL chancellor sentenced to jail in Penn State case

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Ex-Penn State President Graham Spanier (SPAN'-yur) and two other former school administrators are facing sentencing for child endangerment for failing to report now-convicted sexual predator Jerry Sandusky to authorities.

The sentence of two months in jail plus another two under house arrest against a once-leading figure in American higher education marks a low point in the largely distinguished career of Graham Spanier, who was Penn State's president from 1995 to 2011.

Curley received a seven- to 23-month sentence and can serve four months under house arrest.

Spanier, Schultz and Curley were found guilty of the charges in March, when prosecutors determined they knew of Sandusky molesting boys on Penn State's campus for many years but, along with head football coach Joe Paterno, declined to alert authorities.

Spanier, 69, was convicted one week after guilty pleas from former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz on misdemeanor charges of child endangerment.

Prosecutors slammed all three men, saying they cared more about themselves than about protecting children.

Said Schultz: "It really sickens me to think I might have played a part in children being hurt". The 68-year-old Sandusky was sentenced to at least 30 years and not more that 60 years in prison for his conviction in June on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including while he was the defensive coordinator for the Penn State college football team.

Since Sandusky's conviction, Penn State has paid more than $90 million to settle civil claims filed by accusers.

The trio of former admins will begin their respective sentences on July 15.

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"I deeply regret I didn't intervene more forcefully", Spanier told the court Friday. Those men described McQueary's account to Spanier.

"What was it about that conversation that made you change your mind?"

Curley and Schultz have said that McQueary never told them he had witnessed a sex crime and that McQueary had reported seeing Sandusky engaged only in "horseplay" with the child.

Penn State's football program suffered heavy sanctions from the NCAA, and the university has paid out almost a quarter-billion dollars in fines, court verdicts, settlements and other costs.

"He was a complete and utter failure as a leader when it mattered most", said Laura Ditka, a state prosecutor.

Paterno "could have made that phone call without so much as getting his hands dirty". Spanier never met with McQueary, and heard about the incident through Curley and Schultz. The emails the men exchanged in 2001 - in which Curley suggested changing the plan and Spanier agreed - formed the core of the prosecution's case.

The men were sentenced Friday.

In sentencing memos, prosecutors accused Curley in particular of "astonishing" and unbelievable memory lapses on the witness stand.

In an interview late Friday afternoon, Paterno's son, Jay, said he believed the judge's words misrepresented what actually happened. And of McQueary, Boccabella said: "He wasn't a child".

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