UNIVERSITY PARK — Following a board of trustees executive session late Sunday night in Old Main, a Penn State spokesman announced Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, interim vice president for finance and business, will step down while the case surrounding them and former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is investigated.
University spokesman Bill Mahon gave reporters a written statement and answered a few questions outside Old Main early Monday morning. About a dozen trustees left the building around 9:30 p.m., declining to comment, and President Graham Spanier left at about midnight, only saying Mahon and spokeswoman Lisa Powers would release the statement.
The board and Spanier received a request from the officials to step down so they may defend themselves in the case. Curley asked to be placed on administrative leave; Schultz will return to retirement, according to the statement.
Both men are charge with failure to report alleged sexual abuse against children and perjury. Both maintain their innocence. Sandusky was arrested Saturday on charges of alleged sexual abuse against children.
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Mahon said about half the board was present, with the other half joining the meeting by phone. The 7 p.m. meeting was called on Sunday.
"They asked to step down and the trustees accepted that," Mahon said.
Curley and Schultz were not present at the meeting, but Mahon said Spanier notified them afterward. There was no discussion of Spanier or head football coach Joe Paterno stepping down from their positions.
Senior associate athletic Director Mark Sherburne will serve as interim athletic director, pending the outcome of the criminal charges against Curley.
"The board, along with the entire Penn State family, is shocked and saddened by the allegations involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky," said board Chairman Steve Garban in the statement. "Under no circumstances does the university tolerate behavior that would put children at risk, and we are deeply troubled.
The statement went on to say that the university will take a number of steps to increase safety and security in its facilities. Garban will appoint a task force to retain external legal counsel for an independent review of Penn State's policies and procedures related to the protection of children, and will publicize the findings.
Officials also will review with administrators police reporting protocols and enhance education around such subjects.
The trustees are scheduled to meet Friday.