By Jane Roh
Nov. 8, 2011
Charges of child abuse against a former assistant football coach at Penn State and a cover-up by university officials have alumni across South Jersey in mourning.
“It’s like a funeral,” said Shannon Furman of Marlton.
The 2003 graduate spent Monday morning in her office at NFL Films in Mount Laurel discussing with co-workers the 40-count indictment against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who is accused of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span.
Sandusky, who is alleged to have chosen his prey from a charitable organization for disadvantaged boys he founded, was charged Friday by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. Tim Curley, Penn State’s athletic director, and Gary Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business, stepped down Monday following charges they failed to report a 2002 incident in which Sandusky was allegedly seen sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in a team facility shower on campus.
After Pennsylvania, New Jersey has the second-highest number of Penn State alumni in the United States, but is No. 1 in the percentage of graduates who belong to an alumni association. The darkness in Happy Valley is felt acutely here.