Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Joetta L. Carr, Gender and Women's Studies

Second Advisor

Kevin B. Wordelman, Political Science




Ever since the Penn State University scandal broke, I have been very intrigued with the whole case because it was a huge shock. I don't think anyone saw it coming. Joe Paterno, who recently passed away from cancer, was one of the greatest coaches in all of colleague sports. A lot of people, including me, were very irritated because he was fired due to his lack of actions regarding the case against Coach Jerry Sandusky. Thousands of students fled to the streets the night the scandal broke to express their frustration. These students decided to start a riot; flipping over news trucks, throwing bottles at the police, and yelling chants well into the night. What these students did not know was the facts of the case or what really happened. Their actions that night made the entire situation much worse. The decision of Joe Paterno (Penn State University's Head Football Coach), Tim Curley (Penn State University's Athletic Director), Gary Schultz (Penn State University's Senior Vice President of Finance and Business), and Graham Spanier (Penn State University's President) to remain silent and not report the 1998 and 2002 incidents to the police, led to the termination of all of their jobs. Many unanswered questions have come up since the scandal went public. What was going on in Jerry Sandusky's head that made him allegedly do these awful things to these kids? Why didn't the graduate assistant or the janitor, two people who witnessed the sexual abuse, step in and stop it? Is this the only university in the country that this is happening at? What legal trouble are all of the players in the case and the university in? These are all questions that I am going to answer throughout my research by using the top research in the field.


Abstract and citation only available

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted