The Department of Education said on Wednesday it would launch an investigation into Penn State’s conduct in connection with a sexual abuse scandal involving a former assistant football coach, Reuters reports. Jerry Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing several boys over several years, including incidents that took place at the university in State College, Pennsylvania.

“If these allegations of sexual abuse are true then this is a horrible tragedy for those young boys,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. “If it turns out that some people at the school knew of the abuse and did nothing or covered it up, that makes it even worse.”

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