Penn State's McQueary on indefinite leave

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno (R) talks with assistant coach Mike McQueary during the fourth...

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno (R) talks with assistant coach Mike McQueary during the fourth quarter of the Capital One Bowl NCAA football game against Louisiana State University in Orlando, Florida, in this January 1, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Scott Audette/Files

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, Last Updated: 6:22 PM ET

STATE COLLEGE, PA - Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary has been placed on indefinite administrative leave, the latest figure in the ongoing sex-abuse scandal to lose at least immediate control of his job.

McQueary, the wide receivers coach, was already told not to attend Saturday's game against Nebraska out of fear for his own safety and based on threats made against him.

He was told Friday afternoon by acting athletic director Mark Sherburne that he was being placed on leave. The decision was made by Sherburne and new Penn State president Rodney Erickson.

"It became clear coach McQueary could not function in this role under these circumstances," Erickson said in a news conference.

McQueary has come under increasing scrutiny in the abuse scandal that has cost legendary head coach Joe Paterno and others their jobs.

The receivers coach was a graduate assistant in 2002 when, according to grand jury testimony, he said he witnessed Jerry Sandusky raping a young boy in the showers. McQueary reported the incident to Paterno, but took no further steps.

Paterno and school president Graham Spanier are among the school leaders who have been ousted, while Sandusky, the former longtime defensive coordinator, was arrested and charged with 40 counts of various sexual crimes.

Erickson said the university was taking every precaution -- including extra security -- to ensure Saturday's game against Nebraska would be safe for everyone.

He said the school would be paying "significant attention" to the conduct of the crowd several days after minor rioting broke out on campus following Paterno's firing.

Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, who oversaw the school's police department, were charged with perjury in the case and both stepped down from their positions.

Curley remains on administrative leave, which Erickson said is "an ongoing topic of discussion" that the university will re-visit next week.


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