Penn State asks NCAA for time

Updated: December 16, 2011, 4:02 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

With a Friday deadline looming, Penn State has asked for more time to respond to an NCAA inquiry over the university's handling of accusations of child sex abuse against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Penn State general counsel Cynthia Baldwin said in a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert that answers to the NCAA's questions about the Sandusky case might come from separate probes already in progress. Among them is a university trustees investigation spearheaded by former FBI director Louis Freeh.

Sandusky
Sandusky

Baldwin spoke to Emmert and other NCAA staff by phone Nov. 23 about the concurrent inquiries, according to the letter dated Dec. 12 and released Thursday.

"The university understands that the NCAA will continue to monitor these investigations and will have access to the report" from Freeh and the trustees, Baldwin said.

"At that time, the NCAA will determine if further response from the university is necessary," she wrote before requesting more time.

Freeh's investigation is already sharing information that the NCAA said would help determine how the college sports governing body would proceed.

"Although this information will aid in our real-time review, once the counsel's work is complete the university likely will need to formally respond to the questions raised by President Emmert," the NCAA said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Friday also is when two other Penn State officials linked to the Sandusky case -- athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz -- will have their preliminary hearings in Harrisburg. They are charged with lying to a grand jury and failing to report sex-abuse allegations to police.

Curley
Curley
Schultz
Schultz

Their attorneys will not present their own witnesses, according to The Patriot-News of Harrisburg. Instead, they plan to challenge the evidence and try to have the charges dismissed.

Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant at Penn State and now an assistant coach, is at the heart of the case and may testify for the first time in public.

McQueary told a grand jury he saw Sandusky raping a boy in 2002. But Curley and Schultz say they remember McQueary reporting only inappropriate conduct.

Tom Farrell, the attorney representing Schultz, and Caroline Roberto, a lawyer for Curley, declined to comment Thursday. In a statement earlier this week, they said: "Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz look forward to the preliminary hearing to start the process of clearing their good names and demonstrating that they testified truthfully to the grand jury."

On Tuesday, Sandusky waived his hearing, pleading not guilty to 52 charges accusing him of sexually abusing 10 boys in a span of 12 years. The attorneys for Curley and Schultz said Tuesday, however, that their clients would not be waiving their hearings.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.