CHARLESTON, S.C. — A former Penn State official charged with enforcing discipline at the school said Tuesday that Joe Paterno's players got in trouble more often than other students, and got special treatment compared to non-athletes.
Vicky Triponey, who resigned her post as the university's standards and conduct officer in 2007, confirmed that she sent a 2005 email to then-president Graham Spanier and others in which she expressed her concerns about how Penn State handled discipline cases involving football players. The Wall Street Journal published excerpts from the email on Tuesday.
Paterno "is insistent he knows best how to discipline his players ... and their status as a student when they commit violations of our standards should NOT be our concern ... and I think he was saying we should treat football players different from other students in this regard," Triponey wrote in the Aug. 12, 2005, email.
"Coach Paterno would rather we NOT inform the public when a football player is found responsible for committing a serious violation of the law and/or our student code," she wrote, "despite any moral or legal obligation to do so."
The email surfaced as Penn State is reeling in the aftermath of criminal charges filed this month against Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach accused of molesting eight boys, some on campus, over a 15-year period.
The scandal has resulted in the ousting of school President Graham Spanier and Paterno, whom trustees felt did not do enough about one accusation involving a 10-year-old boy. Athletic Director Tim Curley has been placed on administrative leave, and Vice President Gary Schultz, who was in charge of the university's police department, has stepped down.