Mcqueary Testifies At Penn State Hearing

07.30.13 | Bob Price

In 2010, as rumors of the investigation into Sandusky swirled through State College, Paterno's discussions became more detailed. At one point, the legendary coach told McQueary "Old Main screwed it up," McQueary testified.

Then the Wednesday after Sandusky was arrested for using his connections to Penn State and the Second Mile to groom young boys to sexually assault -- hours before the university trustees fired him over the phone -- Paterno walked up to McQueary on the practice field between kicking drills, McQueary said.

"He said the university is going to come down hard on you," McQueary said. "'Don't worry about me. They're going to try to scapegoat you. Trust your lawyers. Don't trust Cynthia Baldwin. Don't trust Old Main.' I'm sorry, but that's what he said."

That's how the preliminary hearing for former Penn State President Graham Spanier, former university vice president Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley began in Dauphin County Courthouse Monday. The former officials are charged with perjury and failure to report child abuse.

'Don't worry about me. They're going to try to scapegoat you. Trust your lawyers. ... Don't trust Old Main.' - Paterno to McQueary

McQueary, the former Penn State quarterback who went on to become a graduate assistant then assistant coach for the Nittany Lions, has grown into a much more comfortable and assertive witness as the various hearing in the Sandusky case have played out. In his hour on the stand Monday, McQueary repeatedly asked for questions to be clarified and for terms to be defined, so he could make as precise of an answer as possible. More than once, he remarked that people often take things out of context.

Prosecutors led McQueary through what is now a familiar story.

In February 2001, McQueary saw Sandusky molesting a boy in a Penn State football locker room shower. He called Paterno around 8 a.m. the next morning, a Saturday, because "I had seen something terrible the night before at the Penn State football facility that I needed to bring to his attention right away."

The old coach slumped in the chair in his kitchen when McQueary told him what he saw, McQueary said. Then, McQueary said, Paterno told him he had done the right thing, he would need to think about it, talk to some people and he would follow up.

During cross-examination, when asked if Paterno had used those words -- "Old Main screwed it up" -- McQueary replied "Absolutely. I'm sorry, but absolutely."

McQueary testified that he didn't confront Curley or anyone else about their handling of the Sandusky case because it was not his personality nature to question authority.

Curley's lawyer pressed McQueary about why he hadn't called police himself. McQueary interrupted her and said "Are there things I should have done? Yes … I'll point the finger at myself before anybody else."