Jerry Sandusky says he is not a pedophile, but admitted that he "horsed around" with kids and that he "shouldn't have showered with those kids."
The behavior of the latter creates the former. He does not sound insane or delusional, but simply like a man who does not get it.
The disgraced former Penn State defensive coordinator came out of hiding to do a phone interview with Bob Costas on Monday evening on the new NBC TV show Rock Center. Why Sandusky's lawyer let him talk is baffling.
This whole collapse of adult behavior just reinforces the tragic truth that even in our first-world society there are far too many vulnerable kids. Sandusky's behavior acts as a tragic reminder that we all must be extra diligent in knowing not only whom our kids hang out with, but the adults who guide them while we are not looking.
Sandusky paints himself as a man who is caught up in one massive series of unfortunate miscommunications; that this whole nightmare is nothing more than what is now a growing list of people who incorrectly interpreted his behavior.
Nothing in this approximately 10-minute interview is apt to change the public's perception that Sandusky's behavior is anything other than amoral, criminal and sick under any code in any society.
This is a man who lives in a world of grays on a subject that is strictly black and white. As a relatively new parent, I am certain of those colors.
Sandusky told Costas that he "hugged [young boys] and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact."
That's it. The end. Get him the hell away from kids. There is no "Oops" in this area.
Costas was outstanding in his respectful, yet direct, line of questioning to a man who is now universally seen as a monster.
If a parent were to learn that a man touched their young son's or daughter's legs and sexual intent could be construed in any way they would be expected to alert the authorities. At the very least. Most of us would not be surprised if said parent turned into a modern day Taxi Driver after learning about something like this.
"Am I sexually attracted to underage boys?" Sandusky repeated Costas' question, almost rhetorically.
Sandusky waited to respond before answering, "Sexually attracted? No. I enjoy young people. I loved to be around them. But, no I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."
The appropriate response from a normal person to such an offensive question is not only immediate, but most likely would be accompanied by a punch in the face.
Sandusky denied the claims from Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary made in a grand jury testimony that he saw Sandusky rape a kid in the Penn State football locker rooms years ago.
Sandusky's recollection was that the kid had turned all of the showers on, and that they were "sliding across the floor, and as I recall possibly slapping a towel -- horse play."
Sandusky also denied the claims made by a Penn State janitor that he saw him sexually assault another boy.
According to Sandusky, he is "innocent of these charges." To which Costas spoke pretty much for every viewer when he said, "It seems you are the unluckiest and most persecuted man that any of us has ever heard about."
This interview aired on the same day The New York Times reported that an additional 10 suspected victims of Sandusky have stepped forward. Sandusky also said that Penn State coach Joe Paterno never approached him about any of his alleged behaviors.
"I don't know what I can say or what I could say that would make anybody feel any different now," Sandusky said. "I would just say that if somehow people could hang on until my attorney has a chance to fight for my innocence. That's about all I could ask right now. Obviously it's a huge challenge."
For the sake of argument, let us assume that the very worst act Sandusky committed is that he showered with young boys, and that he touched their legs without sexual intent.
As a parent, I would want to know this so I could make my own judgment and take appropriate action.
This is black and white. This is not horse play. There is no oops. There is no misunderstanding.
Get out of my kid's shower. And don't you lay a finger on my kid, you repugnant creep.
Follow Mac Engel on Twitter @MacEngelProf
and The Big Mac Blog.