What would Tony Pittman say to Jerry Sandusky if he got a chance to speak to him?
“I wouldn’t…I wouldn’t say anything,” responded the former Penn State cornerback .
Did the verdict bring closure?
“I would say no,” Pittman said.
Indeed, though Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of 48 charges of child sex abuse on Friday, some former players didn’t see a great deal of good as a result of the verdict.
Pittman played at Penn State under Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator, until he graduated in 1995.
“There’s really no winners in this thing,” Pittman said of the Sandusky case. “All touched by it lose something here. It’s terrible.”
Sandusky is facing jail time for the rest of his life as a result of his conviction, though he has not been sentenced yet.
Former assistant coach Booker Brooks, who testified for the defense in the trial, even said he believes Sandusky is guilty. Brooks coached with Sandusky for fourteen years at Penn State, and he said he testified for the defense because he was “asked to talk about the Jerry I knew, which I did.” In his testimony, he noted that Sandusky had an “exemplary” reputation.
“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.”
Another former player, Ron Coder, who played tight end, offensive line and defensive line in his years at Penn State, said the situation has made him very sad.
“Obviously since the whole thing came down I was in shock, because the Jerry I know, or knew, would never have done anything like this,” Coder said.
Coder said he played golf with Sandusky in a Second Mile golf tournament, explaining that he always seemed like the “same Jerry” in those events.
During the trial, the person referred to as “Victim 4” testified he was given a Sports Illustrated magazine that was signed by former linebacker and NFL player LaVar Arrington by Sandusky. The person referred to as “Victim 4” also said he was allowed to wear Arrington’s jersey and had his picture taken with him.
Arrington couldn’t be contacted for his reaction to the guilty verdict, but he wrote about it for the Washington Post.
“Full transparency for me: Of course I was blown away and saddened by the charges brought against a man whom I once respected and who was my coach,” Arrington wrote. “But make no mistake about it. My loyalties and dedication are with the youth. That outweighs all.”
Two other former players, Rich Mauti, father of current player Mike, and Kenny Jackson, as well as Phillies broadcaster and Penn State alum Chris Wheeler, all declined to comment on the situation.
For Pittman, the guilty verdict was simply that.
“Well, I’d say the last couple days didn’t really change much in terms of what’s been changing here over the last year or so,” Pittman said. “The only thing this did is, I guess, erase any doubt that anyone had any that this was unfounded or not. It didn’t really change anything.”