Timothy Curley

Last updated
Timothy Curley
Tim Curley.jpg
Born (1954-04-28) April 28, 1954 (age 68)
Occupation Athletic director
Years active1993–2011
Employer Penn State Nittany Lions
Conviction(s) child endangerment
Criminal penalty7- to 23-month jail term

Timothy M. Curley (born April 28, 1954) is a former athletic director for Penn State University.



Curley was appointed athletic director on December 30, 1993. He succeeded Jim Tarman, for whom he had served as an assistant. During his 18 years as athletic director, Penn State won 18 national championships and 64 Big Ten titles. [1]

Curley drew criticism for his handling of allegations of anti-gay discrimination by Penn State women's basketball coach Rene Portland. Curley and Portland were sued by a former player who alleged that Portland had actively discriminated against players who were lesbian or perceived to be lesbian. [2] Portland was ultimately fined by the university after the allegations came to light. [3]

Child sex abuse scandal

In 2011, former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested and indicted on 40 counts of child molestation dating back to 1994. During the grand jury investigation, Curley had testified as to his awareness of a 2002 incident that occurred in the Penn State football locker room, in which assistant coach Mike McQueary testified he witnessed Sandusky horsing around with a 10-year-old boy. [4] McQueary notified head coach Joe Paterno, who brought the matter to Curley's attention.

Curley testified that he had only been told that Sandusky was "horsing around" with an underage boy. Curley, along with Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz, did not report the incident to police, and their discipline of Sandusky was limited to restricting him from bringing underage children to campus.

The grand jury investigating Sandusky ultimately did not find Curley's testimony credible, and indicted him and Schultz for perjury and for failing to report possible abuse. [5] After the indictment, Curley and Schultz were suspended from their duties. University President Graham Spanier issued a statement expressing support for both men that said: "Tim Curley and Gary Schultz operate at the highest levels of honesty, integrity and compassion." [6] Spanier was forced to resign by the school's Board of Trustees on November 9, 2011, in part because of this statement. [7] [8]

The report of an independent investigation conducted by former FBI director Louis Freeh and his firm stated that Curley, along with Schultz, Spanier and Paterno, had knowledge of past abuse allegations against Sandusky and concealed them, concluding that they "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade". [9] [10]

Curley was placed on administrative leave pending trial. [11] On October 16, 2012, Penn State announced it would not renew Curley's contract when it expired in June 2013. [12]

On November 1, 2012, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly announced that a grand jury had returned a superseding indictment against Curley and Schultz. The indictment added additional charges of child endangerment, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. Spanier was also indicted for allegedly covering up Sandusky's crimes. [13]

On July 30, 2013, Curley was ordered by Judge William Wenner to stand trial on charges accusing them of a cover-up. [14]

On March 13, 2017, Curley and Schultz each pled guilty to child endangerment charges in exchange for the dismissal of the conspiracy charges against them. [15] Both men, however, later testified against Spanier, who, in a split verdict, was convicted of one charge of child endangerment, but also acquitted of the charge of conspiracy and another charge of child endangerment as well. [16]

On June 3, 2017, Curley was sentenced to a 7- to 23-month jail term, with the last four months of his sentence being served on house arrest. He also received two years of probation and a $5,000 fine. The judge gave Curley the harshest sentence out of the three defendants. Judge John Boccabella was skeptical of Curley's testimony during Spanier's trial when he could not recall conversations related to the decision on to inform authorities about Sandusky's behavior. Boccabella also pointed out that he "probably made the most glaring error" due to his control of the football program. [17] He began serving his sentence on July 15, [18] and was released from jail on October 9. [19]

Related Research Articles

Joe Paterno American football player and coach (1926–2012)

Joseph Vincent Paterno, sometimes referred to as JoePa, was an American college football player, athletic director, and coach. He was the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1966 to 2011. With 409 victories, Paterno is the most victorious coach in NCAA FBS history. He recorded his 409th victory on October 29, 2011; his career ended with his dismissal from the team on November 9, 2011, as a result of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. He died 74 days later, of complications from lung cancer.

Graham Spanier American sociologist and university administrator

Graham Basil Spanier is a South African-born American sociologist and university administrator who became the 16th president of Pennsylvania State University on September 1, 1995. On November 9, 2011, in the wake of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, Spanier and longtime football coach Joe Paterno were “removed from their positions” by the Penn State board of trustees.

Pennsylvania State University Public university in Pennsylvania, United States

The Pennsylvania State University is a public state-related land-grant research university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855 as the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania, Penn State became the state's only land-grant university in 1863. Today, Penn State is a major research university which conducts teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. The University Park campus has been labeled one of the "Public Ivies," a publicly funded university considered as providing a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League.

Mark Emmert 5th president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association

Mark Allen Emmert is the current president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He is the fifth CEO of the NCAA; he was named as the incoming president on April 27, 2010, and assumed his duties on November 1, 2010.

Penn State Nittany Lions football American football team

The Penn State Nittany Lions team represents the Pennsylvania State University in college football. The Nittany Lions compete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision as a member of the Big Ten Conference, which they joined in 1993 after playing as an Independent from 1892 to 1992.

The 1999 Penn State Nittany Lions football team represented the Pennsylvania State University in the 1999 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Joe Paterno and played its home games in Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. This was the final season for defensive coach Jerry Sandusky; it was later found in 2012 that Sandusky had been accused of sexual abuse of young children in 1998, but it was the decision of head coach Joe Paterno, university president Graham Spanier, athletic director Timothy Curley and senior vice president of finance and business Gary C. Schultz to conceal the revelation to the board of trustees and the authorities.

Mike McQueary American football player and coach

Michael Jacob McQueary is a former American football assistant coach for the Pennsylvania State University under head coach Joe Paterno until late in the 2011 football season. McQueary was identified as a key witness in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.

Jerry Sandusky American college football coach and convicted child sex offender

Gerald Arthur Sandusky is an American retired college football coach and convicted serial child molester. Sandusky served as an assistant coach for his entire career, mostly at Pennsylvania State University under Joe Paterno, from 1969 to 1999, the last 22 years as defensive coordinator. He received "Assistant Coach of the Year" awards in 1986 and 1999. Sandusky authored several books related to his football coaching experiences.

Louis Freeh American judge

Louis Joseph Freeh is an American attorney and former judge who served as the fifth Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from September 1993 to June 2001.

The 2011 Penn State Nittany Lions football team represented the Pennsylvania State University in the 2011 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team was coached by Joe Paterno for the first nine games until he was fired in the wake of the Penn State sex abuse scandal, with defensive coordinator Tom Bradley taking over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. The team played its home games in Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania, US. They were members of the Big Ten Conference in the newly formed Leaders Division. They finished the season 9–4, 6–2 in the Leaders Division to be co–division champions with Wisconsin. Due to their head-to-head loss to Wisconsin, they did not represent the division in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game. They were invited to the TicketCity Bowl where they lost to Houston 14–30.

The Penn State child sex abuse scandal concerned allegations and subsequent convictions of child sexual abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky, an assistant coach for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team, over a period of at least fifteen years. The scandal began to emerge publicly in March 2011 and broke in early November 2011 when Sandusky was indicted on 52 counts of child molestation, stemming from incidents that occurred between 1994 and 2009. Sandusky was ultimately convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse on June 22, 2012, and was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of 60 years in prison.

The Second Mile

The Second Mile was a nonprofit organization for underprivileged youth, providing help for at-risk children and support for their parents in Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1977 by Jerry Sandusky, a then-Penn State assistant college football coach. The charity said its youth programs served as many as 100,000 children annually. The organization has since ceased operations after Sandusky was charged and found guilty of child sex abuse.

<i>Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story</i> Book by Jerry Sandusky

Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story is a 2001 autobiography of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky outlining his career with the Penn State Nittany Lions and his charitable work with The Second Mile. The book is somewhat unusual among sports biographies in that it focuses on an assistant coach, and in its focus on Sandusky's work with his charity. It garnered renewed attention after Sandusky was charged with several counts of child sexual abuse.

David M. Joyner, an orthopedic physician and a former member of the Penn State University Board of Trustees, was the former Athletic Director for Penn State.

Sara Ganim American journalist

Sara Elizabeth Ganim is an American journalist, now a correspondent for CNN. Previously she was a reporter for The Patriot-News, a daily newspaper in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. There she broke the story that featured the Sandusky scandal and the Second Mile charity. For the Sandusky/Penn State coverage, "Sara Ganim and members of The Patriot-News Staff" won a number of national awards including the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, making Ganim the third-youngest winner of a Pulitzer. The award cited "courageously revealing and adeptly covering the explosive Sandusky sex scandal involving former football coach Jerry Sandusky."

<i>Game Over: Jerry Sandusky, Penn State, and the Culture of Silence</i>

Game Over: Jerry Sandusky, Penn State, and the Culture of Silence is a 2012 book written by Bill Moushey and Bob Dvorchak about Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. Moushey in an investigative journalist, formerly with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and a professor at the school of Communications at Point Park University. He won National Press Club's Freedom of Information Award in 1997. Dvorchak is a 40-year veteran journalist.

Cynthia Baldwin is an American jurist who was a justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after serving sixteen years as a Pennsylvania County Court judge. Baldwin was the first African-American woman elected to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas and the second African-American woman to serve on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. She retired from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2008. After her retirement from the Court, she became a partner with Duane Morris and served as the first General Counsel for the Pennsylvania State University.

<i>Silent No More</i> (book)

Silent No More: Victim 1's Fight for Justice Against Jerry Sandusky is a 2012 book by Aaron Fisher, identified as "Victim 1" in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. Fisher is called "Victim 1" because it was his reporting his abuse to high school officials that set off the investigation that led to Sandusky's conviction. The book follows Fisher's experience from the beginning of his interaction with Jerry Sandusky at The Second Mile through Sandusky's conviction of 45 of 48 counts related to child sex abuse.

Timothy John Piazza died as the result of hazing at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Pennsylvania State University at University Park, Pennsylvania. The incident led to closure of the fraternity's chapter at the university and, as of November 14, 2017, at least 26 members of the fraternity face charges including involuntary manslaughter. The initial investigation was led by Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller and Special Investigator Bruce Castor.

<i>Paterno</i> (film) 2018 film

Paterno is a 2018 American television drama film directed by Barry Levinson. It stars Al Pacino as former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, and his career leading up to his dismissal following the university's child sex abuse scandal in 2011. Riley Keough, Kathy Baker, Greg Grunberg and Annie Parisse also star. The film premiered on HBO on April 7, 2018.


  1. Penn State Athletics profile Archived 2011-11-09 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Controversial Penn State Coach Resigns
  3. University concludes investigation of claims against women's basketball coach
  4. Report of Thirty Third Statewide Investigating Grand Jury ('Grand Jury Report')". Pennsylvania Attorney General.
  5. Penn State students react to grand jury investigation, charges against former coach Sandusky, AD Curley, VP for Finance and Business Schultz Archived 2011-11-09 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Spanier: Curley, Schultz 'Operate at the Highest Levels of Honesty'
  7. Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier removed, November 10, 2011
  8. Former Penn State president Graham Spanier volunteered to resign, wasn't fired, report says. The Patriot-News, 2011-11-17.
  9. Report of the Special Investigative Counsel Regarding the Pennsylvania State University Related to the Child Sexual Abuse Committed by Gerald A. Sandusky. Jul 2012. pp. 14-15.
  10. Ganim, Sarah (July 12, 2012). "Joe Paterno, others covered up Jerry Sandusky abuse of children, PSU-Freeh report says". The Patriot-News. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  11. PSU: McQueary put on administrative leave
  12. Cash, Rana. "Penn State won't renew Tim Curley's contract as athletic director". The Sporting News. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  13. Ganim, Sarah (November 1, 2012). "Ex-PSU President Graham Spanier charged with obstruction, endangerment and perjury; more charges filed against other administrators". The Patriot-News. PennLive. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  14. "Judge orders 3 former Penn State officials to stand trial in Sandusky scandal". FOX News. July 31, 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  15. Kearney, Laila (13 March 2017). "Two former Penn State officials cut deal in Sandusky cover-up, media say". Reuters.
  16. Slotkin, Jason (24 March 2017). "Ex-Penn State President Guilty of Child Endangerment in Abuse Scandal". NPR.
  17. Miller, Matt (June 2, 2017). "Judge slams Paterno, McQueary as he sends Spanier, Curley and Schultz to jail over Sandusky child-sex case". The Patriot-News. PennLive. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  18. Couloumbis, Angela (June 2, 2017). "Penn State's Spanier gets jail for role in Sandusky scandal". Philly.com. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  19. Miller, Matt (October 9, 2017). "Ex-Penn State athletic director Tim Curley freed from prison, under house arrest". The Patriot-News. PennLive. Retrieved November 2, 2017.