- Associated Press - Monday, November 7, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA. (AP) - Two top Penn State officials charged with covering up allegations of an explosive child-sex abuse scandal stepped down late Sunday after an emergency meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees.

Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley requested to be placed on administrative leave so he could devote the time needed to defend himself against perjury and other charges, university President Graham Spanier said. Gary Schultz, vice president for finance and business, will step down and go back into retirement, Spanier said. He declined to comment to reporters after the meeting.

University spokesman Bill Mahon said resignations of famed football coach Joe Paterno and Spanier weren’t discussed at the meeting, which was arranged Sunday and lasted two hours.

Curley and Schultz were charged Saturday after a grand jury investigation of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. He’s been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years. Lawyers for all three men have said they’re innocent.

Sandusky, once considered Paterno’s heir apparent, retired in 1999 but continued to use the school’s facilities for his work with The Second Mile, a foundation he established to help at-risk kids. Curley and Schultz were accused of failing to alert police _ as required by state law _ of their investigation of the allegations.

“This is a case about a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys,” state Attorney General Linda Kelly said Saturday.

Paterno, who last week became the coach with the most wins in Division I football history, wasn’t charged, and the grand jury report didn’t appear to implicate him in wrongdoing.

In a statement issued Sunday night, Paterno said he was shocked, saddened and surprised as everyone else to hear of the charges.

“If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers,” Paterno said in a statement issued by his son, Scott.

Under Paterno’s four-decades-and-counting stewardship, the Nittany Lions became a bedrock in the college game, and fans packed the stadium in State College, a campus town routinely ranked among America’s best places to live and nicknamed Happy Valley. Paterno’s teams were revered both for winning games _ including two national championships _ and largely steering clear of trouble. Sandusky, whose defenses were usually anchored by tough-guy linebackers _ hence the moniker “Linebacker U” _ spent three decades at the school. The charges against him cover the period from 1994 to 2009.

Sandusky, 67, was arrested Saturday and released on $100,000 bail after being arraigned on 40 criminal counts. Curley, 57, and Schultz, 62, were expected to turn themselves in on Monday in Harrisburg.

Curley was named athletic director on Dec. 30, 1993. Senior Associate Athletic Director Mark Sherburne will serve as interim athletic director until Curley’s legal situation is resolved, board Chairman Steve Garban said.

Schultz served as senior vice president and treasurer from 1993 to 2009. He returned to the job this year to fill in until a new person could be found.

The allegations against Sandusky, who started The Second Mile in 1977, range from sexual advances to touching to oral and anal sex. The young men testified before a state grand jury that they were in their early teens when some of the abuse occurred; there is evidence even younger children may have been victimized. Sandusky’s attorney Joe Amendola said his client has been aware of the accusations for about three years and has maintained his innocence.

“He’s shaky, as you can expect,” Amendola told WJAC-TV after Sandusky was arraigned. “Being 67 years old, never having faced criminal charges in his life and having the distinguished career that he’s had, these are very serious allegations.”

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