As the fate of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno hangs in the balance, new details have emerged about how the university failed to report the child sexual assaults allegedly committed by his former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
According to prosecutors, Penn State had multiple opportunities to stop Sandusky's alleged abuse. In 1998 two boys reportedly came forward to say Sandusky had fondled them in the team's showers. Campus police had eavesdropped on a conversation between Sandusky and one boy's mother. That mother recently described the exchange to local reporter Sara Ganim with the Patriot News.
"He admitted to taking the shower, he admitted to some extent something bad happened," the woman, who was not identified, said. "He asked her for forgiveness. He said 'I probably won't get it from you,' and then he said 'I wish I were dead.'"
The mother said that she was proud of her son, who had the courage stand up to one of the giants of college football, according to Ganim. The boy's allegation led to the three-year grand jury investigation that resulted in sexual assault charges.
The allegations against Sandusky include eight named victims who have testified that the coach befriended them through the charitable organization he founded, tried to mentor the boys, plied them with gifts, trips to sporting events and access to the Penn State football facilities, and then sexually assaulted them.
The Penn State Board of Trustees broke their silence late Tuesday night to express outrage at the allegations surrounding Sandusky, and to say that a committee will be created on Friday to give a "a full and complete investigation of the circumstances that gave rise to the Grand Jury Report."
"The Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University is outraged by the horrifying details contained in the Grand Jury Report," the statement read. "As parents, alumni and members of the Penn State Community, our hearts go out to all of those impacted by these terrible events, especially the tragedies involving children and their families."
"We cannot begin to express the combination of sorrow and anger that we feel about the allegations surrounding Jerry Sandusky. We hear those of you who feel betrayed and we want to assure all of you that the board will take swift, decisive action."
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is set to attend the Board of Trustees meeting Friday morning; Corbett is a member of the board. It is unclear if he plans to address the board or the public during the meeting.
Speaking on "Good Moring America" Wednesday, ESPN's Jeremy Schaap said that this scandal could very well mean the end of a career for the longtime coach.
"Right now Joe Paterno's future is very much in doubt, after six decades at Penn State and 45 years as head coach … If this were happening to a different coach it would be a different story. People expect more from Joe Paterno.
"He has indicated what he believes was brought to his attention in 2002 was factual. Patreo said he believed what [his assistant] told him -- which raises further questions about his actions."
Paterno Breaks His SilenceOn Tuesday night Paterno emerged from his home to speak to supporters, just hours after university officials canceled his weekly press conference. Outside his house, which was mobbed by hundreds of students linking arms, chanting and singing in support of him, Paterno addressed the situation, but not his standing as Penn State's football coach.
"I've lived for this place. I've lived for people like you guys and girls," Paterno said to the hundreds of fans. "It's hard for me to say how much this means.
"As you know, the kids that were the victims, I think we ought to say a prayer for them," he said.
Paterno, 84, didn't answer when he was asked if he was still the coach.
Earlier Tuesday Paterno's son said reports of his father being ousted by the Penn State board of trustees were premature.
Scott Paterno, who has been acting as his father's spokesman since the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the university came to light, sent out a Twitter message today that referenced a New York Times report that the board was in the process of planning Joe Paterno's exit from the university "within days or weeks."
"NYT report premature. No discussions about retirement with JVP," he tweeted.
Scott Paterno also said that he was "working on" setting up a press conference for his father off campus to address questions about the coach's involvement in the alleged cover-up of the crimes.
Penn State officials also said Tuesday that they had not heard that the iconic football coach is getting the boot. Representatives from the public information office, board of trustees, and football department all denied being told anything that pointed to Paterno being removed from the head coach position, which he's held for 46 years.
The football department said that Paterno will be at the helm of the team as it plays Nebraska this Saturday. A board member told ABCNews.com that reports of Paterno being forced out "sounds like a crazy report," but that she had no firsthand knowledge of the meetings taking place.
The chairman of the board, Steve Garban, was unable to take phone calls Tuesday and had meetings scheduled all day, according to his family.
The Times report came after public appearances by Paterno and university president Graham Spanier were both cancelled.
The university said the cancellation was due to the "on-going legal circumstances centered around the recent allegations and charges," and would not be rescheduled.
In 2002, graduate assistant coach Mike McQueary allegedly saw Sandusky in the shower of the football team's locker rooms sexually assaulting a boy of about 10. McQueary told Paterno what he saw, and rather than tell the police, Paterno reported the information to his boss, Curly, and then never spoke of the incident again, according to a grand jury presentment.
Paterno released a statement Sunday saying he "did what (he) was supposed to do" by reporting the incident only to his supervisor, Curly.
Curly and his supervisor, Gary Schultz, did not report the incident to police. They then told Spanier that Sandusky had been seen acting inappropriately with a boy in the showers and had therefore restricted his access to campus grounds. Spanier approved, and did not contact the police.
Under Pennsylvania state law, only Curly and Schultz were responsible for contacting the police to report the incident, according to the attorney general.