Jerry Sandusky’s strange interview with Bob Costas last night was yet another dumbfounding post-scandal decision by someone involved in the Penn State debacle.Here’s how the interview went for Sandusky:
- He spoke in a throaty near-whisper that — regardless of his actual guilt or innocence — made him sound like a creep.
- He stumbled over himself when Bob Costas asked him, “Are you sexually attracted to young boys?”
- He freely admitted to showering, hugging, and touching young boys’ legs.
All the while, Sandusky’s lawyer Joe Amendola sat next to Costas and watched his client dig his own grave. And when Amendola himself spoke, his words only invited viewers to ask the question: WHY WOULD YOU EVER AGREE TO THIS INTERVIEW?
As a result, he probably hurt his chances of winning over a jury, according to Sports Illustrated’s sports law writer.
But Sandusky isn’t the only person involved in this scandal to botch the aftermath.
- Mike McQueary, the graduate assistant who says he witnessed Sandusky raping a boy in 2002, sent out an e-mail to his friends that was eventually leaked to NBC. In the e-mail, McQueary claims that he “did the right thing” and “made sure it stopped.” But after the leak, people are now saying that McQueary is changing his story.
- University president Graham Spanier came out on the day of the scandal and proclaimed his “unconditional support” for two PSU officials charged with covering up the scandal. Then he didn’t speak publicly for four days, and was promptly fired by the trustees after a late-night meeting.
- Joe Paterno had his own personal PR meltdown. First, he released a statement denying that he knew the “specific actions” that McQueary testified he told him about in 2002. Then he planned to speak about the scandal at a press conference. After PSU canceled that press conference, he and his sons tried to plan a rogue press conference for later in the day.
He ended up speaking to students on his front lawn, making for a surreal and bizarre scene.
The next day, he independently announced he would retire at the end of the season, and that the trustees didn’t have to spend a second worrying about his job status. Instead, the trustees fired him that night, inspiring an ugly riot.
Bottom line: Where are the lawyers telling them to shut up already? Where are the PR people working to get this crisis out of the news?
This is one of the most tragic and disturbing sports scandals we’ve ever seen, and it’s only being made worse by a series of botched public statements and unnecessary leaks by the scandal makers.
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