In the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal last November, longtime Penn State coach Joe Paterno lamented that he wished he had done more to prevent the sexual abuse of 10 young boys.
On Wednesday night’s episode of “ABC Nightly News” former PSU president Graham Spanier offered a similar plea.
“I wish in hindsight I would have known more about Jerry Sandusky and his terrible, terrible hidden past so I could have intervened,” Spanier said.
Ignorance has been Spanier’s platform for months. Of the three university officials placed directly under the Freeh report‘s microscope, Spanier is the only one who does not face criminal charges. Athletic director Tim Curley and former VP Gary Schultz, are currently facing counts of perjury.
If Spanier did know about Sandusky’s pedophile lifestyle as the Freeh report suggests, he could be punished to the fullest extent of the law for not properly reporting it to authorities. It’s not like Spanier isn’t familiar with the signs, as he too was the victim of abuse at a young age. In fact, Spanier told ABC that he’s never known “anyone who had a higher level of awareness about abuse” than him.
Yet when the subject of “horseplay” between Sandusky and Victim 2 was brought up in 2001 by Curley and Schultz, Spanier said his interpretation went elsewhere.
“I didn’t conjure up… anything more than throwing water or snapping towels,” Spanier explained. “It’s not in my nature to go around thinking the worst in people.”
In all, the interview was short and far from ground breaking. If you’re interested in more comments from Spanier, an interview with the New Yorker was published earlier today. Frankly, it’s far more inclusive and worth a read. More segments from Spaniers interview will be shown later tonight on “Nightline” and “Good Morning, America.”
Spanier’s lawyers also went on the offensive today by attacking the Freeh report findings and the indication that the former PSU president was involved in a cover-up of the crimes committed by Sandusky.