Penn State’s former president, VP and AD ordered to stand trial

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier has been ordered to stand trial on cover-up charges in the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
(Christopher Weddle / Associated Press)

Penn State’s ex-president and two former top school administrators were ordered by a Harrisburg, Pa., judge Tuesday to stand trial on charges accusing them of a cover-up in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Prosecutors showed enough evidence during a two-day preliminary hearing to warrant a trial for ex-president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley, District Judge William Wenner concluded.

Wenner called it “a tragic day for Penn State University.”

The men engaged in a “conspiracy of silence,” the lead state prosecutor, Bruce Beemer, said during his closing argument. They covered up their failure to tell police about a 2001 allegation that Sandusky was molesting a boy in a university locker room shower, even after they were aware that police investigated complaints about Sandusky showering with boys in 1998, Beemer said.

The key testimony centered on a series of emails among the three defendants that discussed the 1998 and 2001 cases and the testimony of Mike McQueary, a former team assistant and quarterback who said he had immediately told Schultz, Curley and the late longtime football coach Joe Paterno that he had seen Sandusky molesting a boy in the shower in 2001.

Sandusky, a defensive coordinator under Paterno until his retirement in 1999, was convicted last year of 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

The three were charged with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy. Those charges include allegations of hiding evidence from investigators and lying to the grand jury.

Vanderdoes cleared to play at UCLA this season


Eddie Vanderdoes, the highly sought defensive lineman from Auburn (Ca.) Placer High was cleared to play for UCLA this season, according to a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to comment on it publicly. It ends more than a month of uncertainty after he asked out of his letter of intent with Notre Dame.

Vanderdoes was set free after an appeal to the National Letter of Intent Steering Committee on Monday. He will be eligible to play for the Bruins this season.

Vanderdoes, who is 6 feet 3 and 310 pounds, was ranked second nationally among high school defensive tackles by most recruiting sites last fall.

— Chris Foster

Texas A&M; redshirt freshman Polo Manukainiu and a friend who was joining the Utah football team this fall were among three people killed in a single-car rollover crash in the high desert of northern New Mexico, stunning both schools just days before fall practices begin.

Manukainiu, a 19-year-old defensive lineman for the Aggies, and 18-year-old Utah recruit Gaius “Keio” Vaenuku were killed. Also killed was 13-year-old passenger Andrew “Lolo” Uhatafe.


Pistons acquire Brandon Jennings

The Detroit Pistons made another move in their busy off-season, acquiring Brandon Jennings as they try to end a four-year postseason drought. Detroit landed the point guard from the Milwaukee Bucks for point guard Brandon Knight and two prospects, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade hasn’t been announced, said Jennings agreed to a $24-million, three-year contract with the Pistons. The person said Detroit will also give up seldom-used Ukrainian center Viacheslav Kravtsov and forward Khris Middleton in the deal.

Jennings, who played a season in Rome after high school, was drafted by Milwaukee 10th overall in 2009, and he averaged 17 points, 5.7 assists and 2.4 turnovers over four seasons with the Bucks.

The Bucks, also were finalizing a two-year deal for just under $6 million with free-agent combo guard Gary Neal.


Ledecky shatters record at world swimming championships

Missy Franklin got the Americans rolling. Then Katie Ledecky really fired ‘em up at the world swimming championships in Barcelona, Spain. Franklin and Ledecky each won her second gold medal of the meet and Matt Grevers led a 1-2 American finish in the backstroke. The Americans claimed three golds, two silvers and a bronze.

Ledecky, only 16, obliterated the world record in the 1,500-meter freestyle, winning in 15 minutes 36.53 seconds. She broke Kate Ziegler’s mark from six years ago, 15:42.54. Franklin cruised through a demanding double, easily winning the 100 backstroke in 58.42 seconds before returning to post the second-fastest time in the semifinals of the 200 free.

Grevers touched ahead of teammate David Plummer in the 100 backstroke, and there were Americans on the podium in all five finals. Conor Dwyer picked up a silver behind France’s Yannick Agnel (1:44.20) in the 200 free, and Jessica Hardy chipped in with a bronze in the 100 breaststroke won by Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte in 1:04.42.

The only disappointment for the U.S. was Ryan Lochte, who labored to a fourth-place finish in the 200 free.

Percy Harvin will have hip surgery on Thursday, sidelining the dynamic wide receiver for the start of his first season with the Seattle Seahawks. Harvin made the announcement on his Twitter account on Tuesday night, hours after getting a second opinion on the injury in New York. The Seahawks then said the operation was scheduled for Thursday, but no timetable for recovery was provided.

The San Jose Sharks signed center Joe Pavelski to a $30-million, five-year contract extension that will keep him off the free-agent market next summer.

Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, the former New York Knicks guard who scored the first basket in NBA history, died Tuesday. He was 94.

Schectman’s son Peter confirmed his father’s death, which was also announced by the Knicks. Peter said his dad died of complications from respiratory failure.

Schectman scored the opening basket of a game in what was then known as the BAA on Nov. 1, 1946 for the Knicks against the Toronto Huskies, a layup after cutting down the center of the lane. The Knicks wound up winning that game at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens 68-66, and Schectman went on to average 8.1 points that season, his only one with the franchise.