The healing at Penn State in the wake of the firing of legendary football coach Joe Paterno and the university president is on hold. As 10 more alleged victims came forward with allegations that Jerry Sandusky molested them, the former defensive coordinator and accused pedophile went on the offensive and maintained he was innocent of the charges.
In a phone interview with NBC's Bob Costas last night, Sandusky admitted that he "shouldn't have showered with those kids" and branded as "false" a claim by former assistant coach Mike McQueary that he witnessed him have anal sex with a 10-year-old boy in the team's locker room showers in 2002.
"I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact," Sandusky said. "I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."
He also said Paterno never spoke to him directly about his behavior.
Sandusky, 67, has been charged with 21 felony counts for allegedly abusing eight male minors over a period of 15 years, and while he has to be presumed innocent the litany of allegations as detailed in a grand jury presentment and at least one eyewitness account show Sandusky seems to be a very sick and remorse-free man perhaps unaware of his own addiction.
Meanwhile, the longtime CEO of The Second Mile, a children's charity founded by Sandusky announced his resignation yesterday, and the Big Ten Conference said it removed Paterno's name from its conference championship trophy.
Jack Raykovitz, who headed the charity for 28 years, is the latest official to leave a post tied to Sandusky since child sex-abuse charges were filed against the former defensive coordinator Nov. 5.
"Although the allegations against Jerry Sandusky and the alleged incidents occurred outside Second Mile programs and events, this does not change the fact that the alleged sexual abuse involved Second Mile program children, nor does it lessen the terrible impact of sexual abuse on its victims," according to a press release from the organization.
The Pennsylvania attorney general has said that Sandusky used the charity to prey on young boys and that he met each of the eight boys mentioned in the grand jury report through the foundation.
In stripping Paterno's name from the trophy for their inaugural championship game, Big Ten officials changed the name to Stagg Championship Trophy in honor of the late Chicago coach Amos Alonzo Stagg. It will be presented next month when the Big Ten holds its first championship game under its new two-division format.
"The trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. "We believe that it's important to keep the focus on the players and the teams that will be competing in the inaugural championship game."
As the police investigation continues, New York-based charity Fresh Air Fund said it is searching its records after a report that Sandusky briefly hosted children from the program in his home.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that scandal "reopens a wound" for Catholics, who have endured child sex scandals involving priests for the past decade.
In addition to the firings of Paterno and Spanier, the scandal forced Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the vice president for finance and business, to step down last week. Both men have been charged with perjury and failure to report to the authorities what they knew about the allegations involving Sandusky, Penn State’s defensive coordinator from 1977 to 1999.