Baseball Hall of Fame columnist Bill Conlin retired from the Philadelphia Daily News after three women and one man accused the 77-year-old writer of molesting them when they were children in the 1970s. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Nancy Phillips, who broke the news, specifically used the word "retired", not "resigned" or "fired" in her coverage of the news. In a lengthy story, she reports: "In vivid accounts, the four say Conlin groped and fondled them, and touched their genitals, in assaults in the 1970s, when they were from ages 7 to 12." Phillips's comprehensive report describes in painful detail how the victims attempted to come forward last year and even taped testimonies describing the attacks, but because of a statute of limitations law from 1996, no charges could be pressed. In several instances parents of the victims decided to keep their children away from Conlin rather than go to police. But the victims cited coverage of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal as motivation to come forward. Phillips writes, "They were speaking out now because the alleged sexual assaults and cover-up at Pennsylvania State University brought back painful memories, and reminded them of the secrecy that shrouded their own assaults." She also notes that Conlin has been following the Penn State case as well in his columns. On Nov. 11, Conlin wrote in his column, "Everybody says he will do the right thing, get involved, put his own ass on the line before or after the fact. But the moment itself has a cruel way of suspending our fearless intentions."
Update (6:20 p.m.): Poynter obtained an internal staff memo that Philadelphia Media Network chief executive Greg Osberg sent to entire company around 5 p.m. on Tuesday. "I am sickened by these allegations," Osberg wrote. "It is important to me that you know that we have accepted his retirement today."