Former Penn State linebacker Greg Buttle believes that his late coach, Joe Paterno, would have "taken care of it" had he truly known about the crimes being committed by his former defensive lieutenant, Jerry Sandusky.
An All-American selection in 1975 who went on to a long NFL career with the New York Jets, Buttle joined the Paterno family during an appearance on Katie Couric's talk show that aired on Monday. Buttle ardently defended Paterno, going as far as to say that he was made a scapegoat by a "cabal of trustees" in the aftermath of the Sandusky sex abuse scandal.
"I was really upset when all of this happened. And the guilty party here is Sandusky, it's not Joe Paterno. And Joe Paterno didn't conspire to do anything. The conspiracy to me was perpetrated by the cabal of trustees and others that felt they needed a convenient way out to relieve Penn State of what had happened," Buttle said. "And I just wanted to say that Joe, the Joe I know, the Joe that my fellow players knew, the Joe that we former players knew, if he ever knew that Jerry Sandusky was a pedophile, there would have been an issue with it. He would have taken care of it. And that's why I'm here."
The day before the Paterno family's "Katie" appearance aired, it released a report critiquing and challenging the findings released last July by former FBI director Louis Freeh. The Freeh report, commissioned by Penn State, concluded that Joe Paterno played a significant role in the cover-up of child sex abuse allegations against Sandusky. In June 2012, Sandusky was found guilty of 45 criminal counts related to the sexual assault of 10 boys over a 15-year period.
While the Paterno family's rebuttal contends that Freeh's conclusions resulted in a "rush to injustice" and did a "disservice" to the late coach, the former FBI director stood by his report.
"I stand by our conclusion that four of the most powerful people at Penn State failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade," Freeh said in a statement released on Sunday.