One line in a court order has revealed what PennLive calls a "bombshell" in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary S. Glazer wrote than an insurer—involved in a dispute over whether it should cover the $60 million in settlements Penn State has paid to 26 men who said they were abused by Sandusky, per NBC News—claims that "in 1976, a child allegedly reported to PSU's Head Coach Joseph Paterno that he [the child] was sexually molested by Sandusky." The detail comes from a deposition, ostensibly with that victim, taken as part of the insurance case.
If the allegation about Paterno is true, it would mean he knew about Sandusky's crimes 22 years earlier than stated in special investigator reports, which alleged that Paterno knew in 1998. Before his death, Paterno said he became aware of allegations in 2001. "An allegation now about an alleged event 40 years ago, as represented by a single line in a court document regarding an insurance issue, with no corroborating evidence, does not change the facts. Joe Paterno did not, at any time, cover up conduct by Jerry Sandusky," the Paterno family's lawyer says. Sports Illustrated outlines four reasons why "it will likely never be known if the allegation against Paterno is true, false or somewhere in between."