The Chronicle of Higher Education released a report Friday claiming late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno communicated through email with former university President Graham Spanier in 2007 about player disciplinary matters.
The report, which cites documents allegedly released by a source close to the Jerry Sandusky investigation, appears to contradict a statement made by the Paterno family about the former coach’s use of email.
In response to a separate report by CNN, Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers said Paterno never communicated through email.
The CNN report detailed emails allegedly sent between Spanier and former top university administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.
The messages appear to focus on deciding how to respond to a report that then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary saw Sandusky in a university shower with a boy who appeared to be 10 years old.
The CNN report leaves the impression that after speaking with Paterno about the incident, Curley favored talking with Sandusky directly rather than going to authorities, and Spanier agreed.
Curley and Schultz are facing charges of perjury and failure to report abuse. They maintain their innocence, and that they did not know the extent of the allegations.
Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts related to sexually abusing 10 boys.
The email released by the Chronicle deals with a 2007 disciplinary case resulting from an off-campus fight involving about two dozen football players. The message was sent from an email account used by Paterno’s secretary to Spanier, the report said.
“I want to make sure everyone understands that the discipline of the players involved will be handled by me as soon as I am comfortable that I know all the facts,” said the email, which, according to the report, was signed “Joe.”
“This is my understanding as well,” the report said Spanier wrote in response.