In response to Matt Sandusky's appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Network, the Sandusky family released the following statement.
Dottie Sandusky admitted that Jerry told her exactly what happened in 1998 and, that when pressed by Matt Lauer, admitted that she would have considered it inappropriate if one of her children was hugged by an adult in the shower.
Lauer: One of the victims said he showered with him and hugged him. In the shower, while they were naked in the shower. Someone did that to one of your children and your children came home and told you that, wouldn't you think that's inappropriate? That's hugely inappropriate.
Sandusky: I would. Yes, but.I would..I...I..I don't necessarily know that that happened. And maybe it did. Maybe Jerry said (trails off).
Next, while I can't speak for the rest of the family, Dottie is clearly in denial because she knew exactly what happened in 1998. Her own words are below.
Lauer: Can you give me an example of something that he told you that he was truthful about that hurt? What were you referring to there?
Sandusky: Gee that's hard to decide. To say. Of the...I can't really think of anything. He told.. I guess..maybe it was the 98 incident. He told me about that. He told me exactly what happened when that happened.
However, I will agree that the statement "it is what we lived" reveals that at the time Sandusky's abuse was going on, the family was not likely aware of it. Like the majority of people who knew Jerry Sandusky, they didn't believe he would be capable of such behaviors. After the trial concluded, I suspect that some of the family realized that Jerry had committed crimes, although they may not fully believe all the victim's stories.
I agree with the final paragraph of the family statement.
There is no benefit to attacking Matt Sandusky because there is no way to disprove that he's a victim. While many of the things Matt has said don't add up or make sense, even if someone was to somehow prove Matt was not abused, Sandusky remains guilty of many counts of child sexual abuse. In addition, many Sandusky accusers/victims were never presented as witnesses at the trial.
Finally, I am in the same camp as many Penn Staters on the payment of victim settlements. Matt Sandusky is not unique in that regard, as the University should not have paid anyone before its culpability had been established. While it was explained that it was done for expediency and to avoid bad publicity, the fact is that bad publicity was going to continue as other lawsuits against PSU and the NCAA progress.
PSU has sued the Pennsylvania Manufacturer's Association Insurance Company because of its refusal to pay the settlements. The policy in effect in 1992 and later excluded coverage for sexual abuse and molestation. As a result, the $59.7 million in settlements was paid from University funds, according the PSU's 2013 financial statements.
At June 30, 2013, the University has accrued $59.7 million for 26 of 32 known claims, 24 of which have been settled subsequent to June 30, 2013. Such costs are included in institutional support within the consolidated statement of activities. Of the remaining six claims, two have been deemed to have no merit through the due diligence process. Without having knowledge of the number and nature of unknown claims and in view of the inherent difficulty of predicting the outcome of our remaining four known claims, each with their own unique circumstances that give rise to their alleged claims, and given the various stages of the proceedings, we are unable to predict the outcome of these matters or the ultimate legal and financial liability, and at this time cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss or range of loss. Accordingly, no amounts have been accrued in the 2013 financial statements for these claims although a loss is reasonably possible in future periods which could have a material adverse effect on our current and future financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
In closing, Matt Sandusky's interview should be viewed as a reminder bad decisions made by the PSU Board of Trustees in agreeing to pay settlements. By Matt's own admission, he was abused prior to anyone at PSU being informed about Sandusky's abuse. It is truly puzzling why the PSU BOT would have entertained paying any abuse settlements for incidents prior to 2001, given that the University was told Sandusky did not commit any crimes in 1998.