When Joe Paterno died and Jerry Sandusky went to jail, the most prominent characters from the Penn State Sex Scandal were suddenly removed from the equation.
Once that happened, even though there were still plenty of people to prosecute and tons of loose ends to tie up, everyone kind of tuned out. Aside from a single minor blip on the radar when the NCAA handed down sanctions to Penn State, this story essentially became ignored by the general public.
Well, with one painfully awkward interview, former Penn State president Graham Spanier may have just put it back in the headlines.
Spanier, you’ll recall, was one of many people who either ‘voluntarily’ stepped down or was fired in the aftermath of the Sandusky allegations coming to light. No charges were ever filed against him, but his reputation took a serious hit nonetheless.
Long after he was gone, Louis Freeh released a damning report in which he noted that Spanier had an advanced level of knowledge about prior complaints that had been made against Sandusky, but that he prioritized the wellbeing of Penn State and its image over that of the many, many victims that Sandusky had accumulated over the years.
In one particularly awful e-mail uncovered by the report, Spanier wrote (via ESPN): "The only downside for us is if the message isn't 'heard' and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it."
Now that he’s facing possible charges, Spanier is in damage control mode. Presumably to fight back against the picture that the aforementioned e-mail (among other things) left behind, he agreed to do an interview with ABC on all things Sandusky Scandal.
Here is a taste of it (via SportsGrid):
Told you: awkward.
In a recent coversation the New Yorker, Spanier said this: "Someday I hope to have my name completely cleared when it becomes evident that this was unfair and untrue.”
Yeah, that’s probably not going to happen.