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UNL Announce

Penn State journalism prof to analyze school's ongoing scandal, Nov. 9

Malcolm Moran
Malcolm Moran

One year after scandal engulfed Penn State, its athletic program and its legendary football coach, the story is not over. Malcolm Moran, sports journalist, Penn State journalism teacher and ethicist, said the case is far from closed.

Moran will talk about the ongoing story on Friday, Nov. 9, at 2:30 p.m. at UNL’s Andersen Hall, Room 15. Moran asks “How could this happen?” and will discuss some of the answers – and more questions – about the Sandusky scandal. His visit is sponsored by the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Moran will pursue the evolution of the Freeh Report, an independent investigation commissioned by Penn State’s board of trustees into the university’s actions surrounding accusations of child sexual abuse against assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.

“At this point,” Moran said, “the destination still has more questions than answers.” Sandusky, 68, was convicted in June on 45 counts of abusing young boys over a 15-year period and sentenced in October to 30 years in prison.

But the trials of athletic director Tim Curley, who is on leave, and former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz – both charged with perjury before the grand jury and failure to report child sexual abuse – are not scheduled to begin until January.

“The information that emerges from those trials could help explain what was or was not said or done starting in 1998,” Moran said.

When accusations against Sandusky became public in fall 2011, many criticized Joe Paterno, Penn State’s head football coach since 1966, for allowing Sandusky to retain emeritus status and access to the university’s facilities despite his knowledge of the allegations against the former assistant. Eventually, the university fired Paterno and asked Penn State president Graham Spanier to resign. Paterno died from lung cancer in January 2012.

In July, the NCAA placed Penn State’s athletic program on probation for five years and fined the school $60 million. The Big Ten Conference levied a fine of $13 million against the school.

Moran has held the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Penn State’s College of Communications since 2006. He also was director of the college’s John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. In January, he will become director of the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University, overseeing programming for the center, and will hold an endowed chair at the Indiana School of Journalism.

A former sportswriter at USA Today, Newsday, The New York Times and Chicago Tribune, Moran received the Curt Gowdy Print Media Award in 2007 from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

During his sportswriting career, Moran covered 26 bowl games, 26 men’s NCAA Final Fours, 16 World Series, 11 Super Bowls and two Olympic Games.

Watch Moran's lecture here at http://mediahub.unl.edu/media/3134