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McClatchy Newspapers , Published August 01 2012

Sandusky ‘distraught’ over NCAA sanctions, attorney says

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky was “beside himself” when he heard from his attorney about the sanctions the NCAA imposed on Penn State and its football program.

“He’s extremely distraught about what’s happened at Penn State,” Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola, said Wednesday in an interview with the Centre Daily Times at the Centre County Courthouse. “He never, never dreamed that anything he was accused of doing would have this type of impact on Penn State — not only athletics, but the university as a whole.”

Sandusky is awaiting his sentencing in the Centre County Correctional Facility and doesn’t have much contact with the outside world, Amendola said. Amendola said he’s the one who’s relaying information to the former assistant football coach.

The NCAA’s sanctions include a multi-year bowl ban for the football team and a $60 million fine. Players also are allowed to transfer without waiting a year before they can play.

Amendola, known for putting Sandusky on national TV in an interview that came back to haunt him at trial and making many public remarks about his client’s case, has been largely quiet since the verdict came back late the night of June 22. Amendola said Sandusky’s family asked him to step back and let things settle down.

The former defensive coach still maintains that he is innocent, Amendola said.

Last week, Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, during an encounter on a Bellefonte street, told the Centre Daily Times that she still supports her husband and doesn’t believe the horrible things from the young men who testified against him.

When Sandusky found out last week that the previously unidentified Victim 2 had come forward, he was devastated, Amendola said.

Amendola said he disagrees with the Freeh report’s conclusions that four university leaders concealed abuse allegations against Sandusky in an effort to avoid bad publicity.

Sandusky is spending his time behind bars writing his account of the incidents that eight young men testified about at trial in June. This document can be included in a typical pre-sentence investigative report compiled by the county’s Probation and Parole Office.

Amendola expects Sandusky to make some sort of statement at his sentencing, whether it’s reading the account or presenting it.

“He wants everyone to know that. He had looked forward to testifying at his trial, and because of unforeseen circumstances, that didn’t happen,” Amendola said. “Jerry views his sentence as an opportunity for him to tell his side of this.”

During the trial, Sandusky’s son Matt Sandusky made abuse allegations against his father, which pre-empted Jerry Sandusky’s testimony. A recording of the interview was leaked to the media, revealing that Matt Sandusky was alleging touching and rubbing, but not sex.

The reality, Amendola said, is that Sandusky is certainly going to face many, many years in prison because of the severity of the counts. But all those things considered, Sandusky is in “good spirits,” Amendola said.

Amendola said the defense is working on appeal matters so they’re ready to file immediately after sentencing.

“He’s hopeful that he’ll get a new trial on appeal,” Amendola said. “He’s continuing to keep his spirits up as best he can.”