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The Early Lead
Posted at 08:27 AM ET, 11/15/2011

Penn State scandal: Sandusky tells Costas he showered with boys but denies abuse

As Jerry Sandusky and his lawyer appeared on television to assert the former Penn State coach’s innocence of child sex-abuse charges, allegations by as many as 10 other suspected victims are being investigated, according to a New York Times report.

And Mike McQueary, the former graduate assistant who told a grand jury that he saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a child in the showers at Penn State in 2002 sent an explanation to his former teammates.

Sandusky spoke for the first time, by telephone, with Bob Costas on NBC’s “Rock Center.”

“I could say that I have done some of those things,” Sandusky said. “I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.”

He said that he had no sexual contact with any of the children, is innocent of charges brought against him and is not “sexually attracted to underage boys. ... I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. I ... but, no, I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.”

Sandusky will appear in a Pennsylvania court Dec. 7 after being charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse of eight victims and said he is not a pedophile, but “I shouldn't have showered with those kids.”

Sandusky was asked to address the allegation by McQueary: “I would say that’s false,” Sandusky said. Why, Costas asked, would McQueary make that up?

“You’d have to ask him that,” Sandusky said. “Okay, we were showering and horsing aaround and he actually turned all the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor and we were, as I recall, possibly snapping a towel or [doing] horseplay.”

McQueary, now on leave from his post as the Nittany Lions’ wide receivers coach, has not spoken since Sandusky was arrested Nov. 5 and has been the subject of widespread criticism for his actions, detailed in the grand jury report.

McQueary, according to NBC’s Peter Alexander, emailed former teammates: “I did the right thing...you guys know me...the truth is not out there fully...I didn't just turn and run...I made sure it stopped...I had to make quick tough decisions...”

Sandusky, 67, also denied that a janitor saw him performing oral sex on a child. Did that happen, Costas asked. “No,” Sandusky replied. How could he think he saw that and why fabricate it, Costas asked. “You’d have to ask him,” Sandusky replied. The janitor is now suffering from dementia.

Costas: Did Joe Paterno, fired as Penn State coach last week but not implicated in the grand jury report, “have any information about objectionable activities”?

Sandusky: “I can’t totally answer that question. My answer would be no.”

Costas: Did Joe Paterno ever speak to you directly about your behavior?

Sandusky: “No.”

Costas: Never?

Sandusky: “No.”

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Costas: He never asked you about what you might have done, if you needed help, counseling?

Sandusky: “No, no, no, no.”

Costas: He never expressed disapproval of any kind?

Sandusky: “No.”

Costas: How do you feel about what has happened to Penn State, to Joe Paterno and to the football program and your part in it?

Sandusky: “How would you think that I would feel about a university that I attended, about people that I’ve worked with, about people that I care so much about? How do you think I would feel about it? I feel horrible.”

Costas: Do you feel culpable?

Sandusky: “I’m not sure I know what you mean.”

Costas: Do you feel guilty ... as if it’s your fault?

Sandusky: “No, I don’t think it’s my fault. I obviously played a part in this.”

If none of this is true, Costas pointed out to Sandusky that he is “the unluckiest and most persecuted man.” Sandusky laughed a little and replied:

“I don’t know what you want me to say. I don’t think that these have been the best days of my life.”

In an interview with CNN, Joe Amendola, Sandusky’s attorney, called his client “just a big, overgrown kid.”

“He's a jock,” Amendola told Jason Carroll. “The bottom line is, jocks do that. They kid around, horse around ... I wouldn't do that. I'm sure you wouldn't do it. But Jerry did that.”

More

Early Lead: Paterno’s name removed from Big Ten trophy

On Faith:A Second Mile product on his loss of faith in leadership

Achenblog: A near-confession

Timeline: How Penn State scandal unfolded

By  |  08:27 AM ET, 11/15/2011

 
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