It would be the final, scarring indignity - but that is where this is headed. That is the only conclusion you can draw when Sandusky's attorney, Joseph Amendola, tells Costas that he anticipates that "several" of the alleged victims will deny the allegations, and when Sandusky offers this:
"I say that I am innocent of those charges."
It was the latest creepy chapter of an entirely revolting story. There was Costas, cool and professional and restrained, sitting on a television set in New York for the new NBC program, "Rock Center With Brian Williams." And there was the disembodied voice of Sandusky, on the telephone, insisting he never had inappropriate sexual contact with any of his accusers, while acknowledging that he did shower with many of them - a difference without a distinction to anyone who has ever had a child.
Of the accusations, Sandusky said: "I could say that I have done some of those things. 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."
Costas asked Sandusky whether he was sexually attracted to young boys.
"Sexually attracted?" Sandusky said. "No. I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But, no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."
The allegation that has received the most attention, mostly because it was the allegation that resulted in the firing of legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier, was the alleged 2002 incident witnessed by Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant.
McQueary testified to the grand jury that he witnessed Sandusky raping a boy who appeared to be 10 in a shower in the Penn State football building. McQueary reported what he saw to Paterno, who informed athletic director Tim Curley. But according to the testimony of Curley and university vice president Gary Schultz, the allegation they heard about from McQueary was not of a rape, but something resembling "horseplay."
The grand jury, though, did not believe Curley and Schultz, who are charged with perjury. And the community at large did not believe that Paterno, Spanier, or anyone at Penn State acted appropriately when they failed to notify the police - which is why Paterno and Spanier were fired last week by the school's Board of Trustees.
Asked last night about the 2002 incident, Sandusky described a scene in which he and the boy were in the gang shower, and the boy turned on all of the showers and was sliding around on the wet floor, and maybe there was "snapping a towel or horseplay."
"I would say that that's false," Sandusky said.
But why would McQueary lie?
"You'd have to ask him that," Sandusky said.
There was other news yesterday involving McQueary. NBC reported that, in an email to former teammates, McQueary suggested that he did not allow the alleged rape to continue after he saw it. The grand jury report said, "The graduate assistant was shocked, but noticed that both [the victim] and Sandusky saw him. The graduate assistant left immediately, distraught."
According to the Twitter feed of NBC reporter Peter Alexander, McQueary wrote to his friends, "I did the right thing . . . you guys know me . . . the truth is not out there fully . . . I didn't just turn and run . . . I made sure it stopped . . . I had to make quick tough decisions."
That was yesterday's news - oh, along with the Big Ten's decision to remove Paterno's name from its new championship football trophy. Those who think this will go away soon are kidding themselves. The only other bit of news from the Sandusky interview was his assertion that Paterno has never spoken to him about his behavior.
"In retrospect, I shouldn't have showered with those kids," Sandusky said.
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