Jerry Sandusky Interview: Bob Costas Grills Disgraced Penn State Coach on Sex Abuse Allegations
Monday night, former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky broke his silence on the stunning sexual abuse scandal that has roiled the university.
Facing 40 counts of sexual abuse against eight boys over a 15-year span, the former coach granted an exclusive interview with Bob Costas on NBC’s Rock Center.
Despite admitting he showered with boys, Sandusky maintained his innocence and rejected the term “pedophile,” amid some intense questioning by Costas:
The scandal led to the firing of Joe Paterno and Penn State’s president. But it’s Sandusky at the center of the allegations, and in a word, they are disturbing.
Sandusky had to pause and think before answering Costas’ question, “Are you sexually attracted to young boys,” in his first interview since the scandal broke.
Costas, who was interviewing Sandusky’s lawyer, Joseph Amendola, before the coach himself got on the phone, proved he’s one of the finest journalists around.
Handling the situation with professionalism, but also with brutal honestly, he succinctly asked the accused very tough questions that are on everyone’s mind.
Follow the jump for a transcript of one exchange, in which Bob Costas questions Jerry Sandusky’s innocence, citing a conversation with an alleged victim’s parent:
Costas: During one of those conversations, you said, “I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness,” speaking now with the mother, “I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.” A guy falsely accused, or a guy whose actions have been misinterpreted, doesn’t respond that way. Does he?
Sandusky: I don’t know. I didn’t say, to my recollection, that “I wish I were dead.” I was hopeful that we could reconcile things.
Costas: Shortly after that, in 2000, a janitor said that he saw you performing oral sex on a young boy in the showers in the Penn State locker facility. Did that happen?
Costas: How could somebody think they saw something as extreme and shocking as that when it hadn’t occurred? And what would possibly be their motivation to fabricate it?
Sandusky: You’d have to ask them.
Costas: It seems that, if all of these accusations are false, you are the unluckiest and most persecuted man that any of us has ever heard about.
Sandusky: [Laughs] I don’t know what you want me to say. I don’t think that these have been the best days of my life.