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Effect of Sandusky on Penn State

A total of 750 word response is required for the five following questions (a minimum of 2 references, one being the text: Crandall, W., Parnell, J. and Spillan, J. (2009). Crisis Management - Leading in the New Strategy
Landscape. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, Second Edition.):

1. In a narrative format, summarize the key facts and issues of the case.
2. Update the information in the case by researching it on the Internet. Focus your response on the specific issues in the case.
3. Consider the impact of the Sandusky scandal on Penn State. What organizational functions (management, marketing, human resources, etc.) were affected by the crisis?
How were they affected?
4. Who are the internal and external stakeholders? How were the stakeholders affected?
5. Imagine you are a crisis management consultant called in to advise Penn State's Board of Trustees after the scandal began. What steps would you recommend to contain the damage to long-term the university's overall image and reputation? What factors should you consider and why? Please explain your reasoning regarding your recommendation.


Solution Preview

1. In a narrative format, summarize the key facts and issues of the case.

Jerry Sandusky was a coach, hired in the late 1960s and who over a span of years, abused young men and boys. The staff at Penn State including some members of management and the athletic department were aware and while reportedly did not report the problems as they knew them, did in fact meet with law enforcement and other members of management to address the issue. The matter was handled discreetly, but ineffectually.

The reported incidents that brought the case to light included Sandusky showering with an 11 year old boy, reported by the mother and investigated by law enforcement. No crime was found, however a reprimand was issued to not shower with other children. Sandusky, as a community leader who founded a charity to help disadvantaged children, was often with children in addition to his work with young men at the college level. The Penn State officials of Spanier, Schultz, Curley and Paterno were notified of the findings of the police. They did not report the incident to the Board of Trustees for Penn State.

Two years later an assistant coach witnessed a sexual encounter between Sandusky and a ten year old boy. He reported this to Coach Paterno who met with Curley and Schultz, the Senior VP of Business and Finance and Athletic Director (AD), respectively. Later in the month, President Spanier joined them in working on a strategy for addressing this incident. AD Curley met with Sandusky and advised him to not bring any more children ...

Solution Summary

A review of the case against Sandusky that became a case against Penn State.