Former Penn State assistant football coach Booker Brooks, who testified as a witness for the defense in the Jerry Sandusky trial, said he believes that Sandusky is guilty and it makes him "sad" to have coached with him.
“Well, I always said I was going to wait until the verdict was in [to form an opinion], and I have to accept it,” Brooks said. “I didn’t want to... I wanted this whole thing to go away and not be true. We don’t get those kind of wishes.”
Brooks, as well as former assistant coach Dick Anderson, testified Monday in the Sandusky case that it isn’t unusual for coaches to share showers with players. During his testimony, Brooks also said Sandusky had an “exemplary” reputation.
“I think he’s guilty,” Brooks said. “I just wanted him to be proved guilty.”
Brooks was a wide receivers coach at Penn State from 1968 to 1983, and he coached with Sandusky for fourteen years.
“It’s a tragic thing," Brooks said when asked how it feels to have coached with someone who people are calling a monster. Brooks said it makes him "perturbed and disappointed" to hear speculation regarding a cover up culture at Penn State.
Though he has resigned to Sandusky’s guilt, Brooks doesn’t regret having testified for the defense.
“I was asked to talk about the Jerry I knew, which I did," Brooks said. "I didn’t embellish anything, I didn’t lie about anything.”
Brooks went on to say he and Sandusky got to know each other very well as young, rookie coaches when they would take long drives together to watch upcoming opponents.
Now, Sandusky is in jail.
"Sad," Brooks said to describe Sandusky in one word. "Not that he is sad, but the whole thing that he perpetuated here that has caused this wreckage... is extremely sad."
On Joe Paterno:
Brooks, who has launched a campaign to get former head coach Joe Paterno’s name back on the Big Ten championship trophy, said he still feels that the late head coach Paterno did not cover up any abuse.
He said he still believes “without question” that Paterno’s name should be on the Big Ten trophy.
Paterno's name was removed in mid-November in the wake of criticism that Paterno knew about an incident involving Sandusky and the person referred to as “Victim 2” in the showers of the Lasch Football Building and did not notify police.
“I know that Joe would not cover this up,” Brooks said. “I just know that. You can’t ask me how I know, I just know. It’s just a feeling.”
Brooks coached with Paterno for fifteen years. He said he still has not talked to Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney about the issue.
He also mentioned that he discussed the replacement of Paterno’s name with about 50 or 60 former coaches or players at an event a few days prior to Paterno’s funeral, and Brooks’ stance was greatly agreed upon.