According to this report from CNN, it looks like Graham Spanier and Gary Schultz, former Penn State President and Vice-President, knew they were supposed to go to the authorities but made a deliberate decision not to report Jerry Sandusky upon learning of the sexual abuse allegations back in 2001.
And those email exchanges didn't take place until over two weeks after assistant coach Mike McQueary reported the incident to Paterno, who up channeled it to Spanier, Schultz, and AD Tim Curley.
They felt confronting Sandusky directly and not allowing 'the subject' (as he was referred to in the emails) to bring any more 'guests' (as his abuse victims were referred to as) on campus to use Penn State facilities anymore was a 'more humane and upfront way to handle this', wrote Schultz at the time.
More humane? Really? Are you fucking kidding me?
And they KNEW they were doing the wrong thing, as Spanier allegedly wrote back:
The only downside for us is if the message (to Sandusky) isn't 'heard' and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it
Curley originally wanted to turn it over to the authorities, but in another email, he has a change of heart...and apparently implicates Paterno:
After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps. I am having trouble with going to everyone, but the person involved.
Wow. For most of the Penn State fans out there, I'm sorry you have to go through this. I know this isn't you, and this isn't what your University stands for. But please, don't ever talk to me again about what a great guy Joe Paterno was, because from this angle, he not only knew about what Sandusky did, he agreed with senior Penn State leadership to try and help a child rapist then help the kids he raped. And he might have convinced Curley to go along with the plan.