Nike Strips Paterno’s Name From Child Development Center
The president of Nike Inc. has announced that the firm is changing the name of the Joe Paterno Child Development Center, a child care center at the Nike headquarters near Beaveron, Oregon, in the light of Thursday’s report on Penn State’s handling of a child sex abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
“I have been deeply saddened by the news coming out of this investigation at Penn State,” said Mark Parker.
According to the internal review Penn State’s most powerful leaders showed “total and consistent disregard” for victims of child sex abuse and failed to protect children.
In fact, the report says several former officials “empowered” Sandusky to continue his abuse, and investigators say legendary head football coach Joe Paterno could have stopped the attacks had he done more.
In a statement released Thursday along with the 267-page report, Louis Freeh, the former FBI director and federal judge who spearheaded the review, blasted several top former officials at the school, accusing them of forging an agreement to conceal Sandusky’s attacks.
“There are more red flags here than you can count,” said Freeh, who added that the abuse occurred just “steps away” from where Paterno worked in the university’s Lasch Building.
“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State,” Freeh wrote. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
He went on to name four former school officials — former President Graham Spanier, former Vice President Gary Schultz, Paterno, and former athletic director Tim Curley — saying they “never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky’s victims until after Sandusky’s arrest.”
Their failure “to protect against a child sexual predator harming children” lasted “more than a decade,” the full report says.
“They exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims by failing to inquire as to their safety and well-being, especially by not attempting to determine the identity of the child whom Sandusky assaulted in the Lasch Building in 2001. Further, they exposed this child to additional harm by alerting Sandusky, who was the only one who knew the child’s identity, of what (Mike) McQueary saw in the shower on the night of February 9, 2001.”