February 11, 2013 at 1:49 PM
A day after the Paterno family released its critique of former FBI director Louis Freeh's investigation into Penn State's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case, the members of the family have begun their media rounds — first up was Jay Paterno, Joe’s son and former Penn State quarterbacks coach.
Jay appeared on several ESPN programs today in an effort to defend and clarify the findings of the report released on behalf of the family Sunday morning.
On this morning's ESPN First Take, he sat down with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith for about 15 minutes to answer several direct questions.
When asked about his father potentially not fulfilling his duties as a Penn State official considering what the Freeh report contends he knew, Jay attempted to make it very clear Joe knew less than the Freeh report claimed.
Jay said his father specifically told him he was not aware of the 1998 police investigation of Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted last year on 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.
"One of the things Joe said in his last statement was, 'With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more,' ” Jay said on the program. “And what he means by that is, 'If I certainly knew one-tenth of what was in that presentment, I would have done more.' Yes, [with] what we know now, all of us would have done more."
He was then asked about the specifics of the 2001 shower incident when former Penn State assistant Mike McQueary claimed to have witnessed Sandusky participating in sexual conduct with a young male.
Even though his father admitted to knowing “there was something going on,” Jay defended his father’s decision to not come forward, since Joe had never interfered with the law before.
"Mike McQueary comes and says to him, 'Jerry was in there and there was a young boy. They were showering,' ” Jay said. “So Joe, by his own admission, said, 'Look, I don't know how to handle this. I'm not an expert in this field. I'm not trained. University policy dictates that I give this to the authorities.' "
As for Sandusky’s involvement with the team following his retirement, Jay said the former coach would occasionally continue to work out in the team’s facilities early in mornings by himself.
However, Joe’s son adamantly defended the claim that Sandusky was never once on the practice field — let alone with children — after 2001.
"Absolutely,” Jay said. “My dad and Jerry didn't particularly like each other, and if Jerry had walked on to the practice field [after retiring], trust me, we would have known.”
Jay also was asked about the future of this situation at Penn State, following his family’s report and the upcoming lawsuits.
"My gut feeling is that the NCAA sanctions are unfair. They're unfair to Penn State University,” Jay said. “As I mentioned, the perception was out there that Jerry was at practice and all of theses things, so the vast majority of things that Jerry Sandusky was convicted of and charged with occurred after he retired from Penn State and did not occur on our campus."
He went on to question why the University has not done more to "correct" some of the inaccurate findings of previous reports.
“Now, why Penn State administration doesn't want to correct that or at least educate people of that, I don't know. You'll have to ask them. But, that's the truth of the matter."
Jay's mother, Sue Paterno, will appear on the "Katie" show with Katie Couric today at 3 p.m. on ABC.
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