Nightly News | November 15, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: One of the questions Jerry Sandusky did not address in that interview and could not answer, since he does not believe he did anything wrong, why so many people stayed silent for so long about what they knew? Our national investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff is in State College , PA , tonight and has more on what's at stake in this case, and has more on the reaction to the interview.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF reporting: Jerry Sandusky 's interview with NBC 's Bob Costas may have complicated his legal defense.
Mr. RICHARD SERBIN (Sex Abuse Attorney): As an attorney, my first reaction was I was surprised that the defense counsel allowed him to be interviewed. Anything he has testified to publicly would be admissible.
Unidentified Man #1: I think it's making it worse, honestly. Just because he's trying to, you know, weasel his way out of it. I think he should, you know, apologize, more than anything, for ruining the lives of kids.
Unidentified Man #2: I'm kind of confused. I don't really know what to think at this point until more evidence comes out.
ISIKOFF: Exactly who knew what here at Penn State and what they did about it is a major focus of the investigations here, but a top Penn State sports faculty member said today that big money from the school's football program may have blinded school officials to their ethical responsibility. Penn State , which has ordered its own investigation, has its reputation and big money on the line. Last year the university had a $100 million athletic budget. Last year the football program earned $53 million. Each home game could bring in up to $5 million, according to university officials. It's the third most lucrative college football program in the nation.
Unidentified Man #3: The ethic of winning at all cost sometimes overrides decency. Big-time sport has lost its moral compass.
ISIKOFF: Ironically, Paterno and Penn State had a reputation for being meticulous about NCAA rules. Paterno even blocked an all- America player from playing in a bowl game because he wasn't meeting academic standards. Now the question here many are asking is whether fear of tarnishing the football program may have caused school officials to drop the ball. Michael Isikoff , NBC News, State College , Pennsylvania.