HARRISBURG, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky is distraught over the NCAA penalties issued to Penn State’s football program for the school’s handling of his child sexual abuse scandal and maintains his innocence as he awaits sentencing, his defense lawyer said Wednesday.
Attorney Joe Amendola told The Associated Press in a phone interview that Sandusky told him that even if people believe he is guilty of the crimes for which he was convicted in June, it would be “ridiculous” to think Penn State administrators engaged in a cover-up.
The NCAA imposed a multiyear bowl ban on Penn State, invalidated 112 wins, fined the school $60 million and took away future scholarships. The university leadership said the alternative could have been a complete ban on playing games and has acquiesced to the penalties.
The NCAA also named George Mitchell independent Athletics Integrity Monitor at Penn State on Wednesday. The former senator issued the Mitchell report, which exposed extensive use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. He will be charged with monitoring Penn State’s compliance with the sanctions.
Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including attacks on boys inside athletics facilities at Penn State, where he played college football and became a successful defensive coach under Joe Paterno.
“He said, ‘To do what they’re doing to Penn State is so unjust,'” Amendola said. “He loves the program and he loves the university.”