Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State defensive coordinator accused of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years, has finally spoken. His response came in the form of a phone interview with Bob Costas, broadcast Wednesday night on NBC’s Rock Center.
And in the interview, we got what we most certainly expected: a firm denial of all charges from the embattled coach. But he did admit that he “horsed around” with children, admitting that some of the allegations contained in the 23-page (and very graphic) grand jury testimony are “accurate.”
“I could say I’ve done some of those things – I’ve horsed around with kids I’ve showered [with] after workout,” he said. “I have hugged them and I have touched their legs, without intent of sexual contact.”
But Costas asked him directly, “Are you a pedophile?” Sandusky responded point blank, without hesitation. “No,” he stated.
Costas ran down the allegations against Sandusky, asking him about the individual cases when he was supposedly caught abusing young boys. On each count, Sandusky denied the charge. And when asked about the most graphic testimony, the night that then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary allegedly saw Sandusky in the locker room shower raping a 10-year-old boy, Sandusky offered his side of the story, explaining it was only “horseplay”: “We were showering and horsing around, and he actually turned all the showers on and was sliding across the floor and we were, as I recall, possibly, like, snapping a towel.”
Sandusky’s attorney, Joseph Amendola, spoke to Costas in the studio, also heralding the former coach’s innocence. He even believes some of the alleged stories may be incorrect. “We anticipate we’re going to have at least several of those kids come forward and say this never happened,” Amendola told Costas. Amendola will fight for his client, but even a not guilty verdict cannot reverse the damage already done. Storied head coach Joe Paterno was forced to step down, and Penn State has a shadow cast over it.
Sandusky, without a doubt, will continue to deny the charges, but admitted hindsight is 20/20. “In retrospect, I shouldn’t have showered with those kids… that’s what hits me the most.”