John Amaechi Criticizes Joe Paterno, Response to Sandusky Scandal

Former Penn State and NBA basketball star John Amaechi reflected about Penn State and the Sandusky Scandal in a recent interview with Touchvision, the first time he’s talked about the subjects publicly since he was the 2013 Homecoming Grand Marshal.

Amaechi explained his personal history with Jerry Sandusky, who was the third person he met on campus, after his coach and academic advisor. Sandusky wanted to tell the freshman Amaechi about the responsibility he had as an athlete to do something with his power. Following this meeting, Amaechi became involved in Sandusky’s nationally renowned charity, The Second Mile.

Amaechi feels that Sandusky used the student-athletes at Penn State to draw in his victims.

“In a sense, there is some part of me that thinks that myself and some of the other athletes, elite athletes who I spoke to, continue to speak to… We were involved in this program that was the front to a business, but it’s not real. It’s just like a shell. We were the attractive lure of this entity, unknowingly part of the abuse of young people.”

Amaechi also had stern words for the students’ recklessness on the night of November 9, 2011.

“This whole chapter is pockmarked with bits of embarrassment. The day that the students rioted on behalf of Joe Paterno. It’s disgusting.

“But that man knew when a student on his football team of a hundred-or-so people skipped a morning class. He knew everything that was going on with his team, but not this apparently.

“I’ve had some problems with that.”

Amaechi’s stance on the Sandusky scandal has caused some irate alumni to harass him online. The spite became so terrible that Amaechi considered following then-President Rodney Erickson’s lead to decline participation in the Homecoming parade. He did not, however.

“I went back because of how I feel about Penn State, and how I feel beholden to it for what it did for me. I’m not ashamed of Penn State. I’m ashamed of some of the things that we did, or didn’t do.”

Amaechi is undoubtedly one of the most outspoken famous alumni of the university in the wake of the Sandusky Scandal, as seen by his comments. You can check out the full interview below:

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About the Author

Doug Dooling, Jr.

I am a staff writer for Onward State. I graduated as a Nittany Lion with Honors in 2013. Now, I am back in Happy Valley to earn a degree at the Penn State Law. Outside of politics and government, my interests include college football, soccer, Irish history, and astronomy.


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