CEO: Second Mile looks at options

Updated: November 18, 2011, 11:25 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Second Mile, a Pennsylvania-based youth charity at the center of the child sex-abuse charges against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, has begun to look at options to continue in some form, the organization's chief executive told The Patriot-News on Friday.

The Second Mile is refuting a New York Times report that it is going to fold, CEO Dave Woodle told The Patriot-News.

"No decision has been made," Woodle told The Patriot-News. "I told (the New York Times) exactly what I told (The Patriot-News); we have three viable options."

Those options include continuing the programs under The Second Mile name, continuing the the programs under a different charity or folding.

"We hope (option No. 3) doesn't happen," Woodle told The Patriot-News. "We're only into this four days. We're figuring out what's viable."

The Second Mile was founded by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. The organization has come under fire in the wake of child sex abuse charges.

"We are deeply troubled by the factual allegations in this case," Woodle said in a statement. "Right now, we are doing everything in our power to investigate and understand what happened. As we strive to come to grips with these events, we are giving law enforcement authorities our full cooperation. Indeed, cooperating fully with investigators stands as one of our paramount duties in the coming days."

The Second Mile has said that its youth programs serve as many as 100,000 boys and girls a year. Many children are referred by guidance counselors but the charity also works with foster children and operates fitness camps. According to Sandusky's biography, "Touched," the charity began by serving just 35 children through two programs.

On Monday, The Second Mile's president resigned, saying he hoped his departure would help restore faith in its mission. The group also announced it had hired Philadelphia's longtime district attorney as its new general counsel.

Jack Raykovitz, a practicing psychologist, had led the group, which was founded by Sandusky in 1977, for 28 years.

Raykovitz had testified before the grand jury that recommended indicting Sandusky on child abuse charges. The panel said Sandusky found his victims through the charity's programs.

The grand jury report called Sandusky the charity's primary fundraiser, and The Second Mile's annual reports show that some donations came from entities now involved in the scandal.

Sandusky, who retired from Penn State in 1999, informed The Second Mile board in November 2008 that he was under investigation. The charity subsequently barred him from activities involving children, charity officials said.

The ex-coach allegedly assaulted eight children over a 15-year span. His attorney has said he's innocent.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.