In the Lions' Den: The Penn State Scandal and a Rush to Judgment

In the Lions' Den: The Penn State Scandal and a Rush to Judgment

by Graham Spanier
In the Lions' Den: The Penn State Scandal and a Rush to Judgment

In the Lions' Den: The Penn State Scandal and a Rush to Judgment

by Graham Spanier


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In the Lions’ Den tells the true story of a scandal at Penn State University that unfairly resulted in the firing of the nation’s most successful and admired collegiate football coach and the respected president of the university. The book chronicles a criminal justice system run amok, political vindictiveness and retribution, moral panic, and the influence of a twisted media narrative. It is, in short, the anatomy of a smear, a memoir told by the university president who lost his job after an outstanding career in higher education. The story, which is so outlandish that it would be impossible to make up, involves villains and heroes, fear and bravery, the rehabilitative value of friends and family, and coping with adversity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9798985699494
Publisher: Gryphon/Eagle Press
Publication date: 09/06/2022
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Graham Spanier served as president of The Pennsylvania State University from 1995 to 2011. His prior positions include chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oregon State University, and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He previously served Penn State from 1973 to 1982 as a member of the faculty and in three administrative positions in the College of Health and Human Development. He currently works as a consultant in national and international security, intelligence, and risk management. A family sociologist, demographer, and marriage and family therapist, he earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Iowa State University. He is the recipient of three honorary doctorates. Spanier is now President Emeritus and University Professor Emeritus. He held academic appointments as professor of human development and family studies, sociology, demography, and family and community medicine.

Table of Contents

Prologue xi

Disclaimer xvi

1 An Unlikely Path 1

2 On the Career Trajectory 16

3 The Initial Trauma 26

4 Moral Panic 34

5 Joe and Sue Paterno 43

6 The Heads Up 61

7 The Year before the Storm 67

8 The November Massacre 80

9 The Year from Hell Begins 103

10 The Screws Tighten 116

11 Picking Up the Pieces 133

12 Mixing Politics and Justice 144

13 Louis Freeh Strikes 156

14 National Security 171

15 Gary Schultz and Tim Curley 177

16 Unmasking Freeh 188

17 Athletic Culture 206

18 The NCAA and the Big Ten 225

19 Prosecutors, Indictment, Arraignment 246

20 A Flurry of Lawsuits 272

21 Porngate and the Keystone Kops 297

22 Judicial Hearings 323

23 Unfolding Legal Decisions 340

24 The Trial 372

25 Post-Trial Unraveling 383

26 The Anti-Freeh Report 393

27 The Vindication Roller Coaster 400

28 Media Culpa 415

29 Learning Who Your Friends Are 437

30 Incarceration 449

Who's Who 477

Acknowledgments 489

Biography 491

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