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NBC "Meet the Press" - Transcript


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Governor Corbett, welcome to MEET THE PRESS.

GOV. TOM CORBETT (R-PA): Thank you, David.

MR. GREGORY: I know you're limited, because you were attorney general, in speaking about the criminal investigation, but I have to ask you more broadly, are there more victims that we don't know about?

GOV. CORBETT: I don't know the answer to that, David. When you conduct investigations like this--and in my career, I have conducted investigations like this--the more that you can get public about what has happened, the more that you can demonstrate that law enforcement and authorities are going to assist the victims of these types of crimes, it is not uncommon to see more victims come forward. Hopefully, there aren't any more victims. Hopefully, we know who they all are. But if there are more victims, we encourage them, the state police, the attorney general's office, and I encourage them to come forward, let us know, and we're going to work to do everything we possibly can to help you. This is about the victims.

MR. GREGORY: You have to understand people, those of us who are parents, including myself, I have a nine-year-old boy at home, and you hear about instances of a graduate assistant coach, McQueary, who sees a nine or 10-year-old boy being sodomized by Sandusky in a shower, according to his testimony, does nothing to physically stop it, calls his father, but does not call the police. His father does nothing to stop it. Runs it up the chain, nobody calls the police. And you have to ask yourself why isn't McQueary or his father actually charged with a crime?

GOV. CORBETT: Well, the, the attorney general made a decision--and I'm going to make this from observations, not from conversations with the attorney general--that he is a witness to this case, that he met the minimum obligation of reporting it up and--but did not, in my opinion, meet a moral obligation that all of us would have. I answered a question the other day of what would you do? And I think everybody believes that they would go in and break that up. Unfortunately, that isn't what happened, and that's clear from the presentment. But we need to move forward.

MR. GREGORY: McQueary's on administrative leave--he's on administrative leave by the board of trustees.


MR. GREGORY: Should he still have a job?

GOV. CORBETT: Well, that's a determination that the board of trustees, but more importantly, the new administration with Rod Erickson as the president, will make a decision on. But they have to keep in mind that this is also somebody who is a witness to this crime and is a very important witness to this crime.

MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you as governor about the law in your state. Now, when McQueary goes to Joe Paterno and says, "I saw something of a sexual nature." By law, and people may not know this, in Pennsylvania, unlike a lot of other states, in 40 other states, all Paterno has to do by law is report it to the head of his department. And then the institution, the head of the institution is responsible for calling the police or calling child services. So Paterno does what he should've done by law. Did he do enough? And should that law be changed?

GOV. CORBETT: Well, obviously the attorney general, one, made a decision that he did enough and said he's not a subject in the investigation. Should the law be changed? Absolutely. I know that members of both parties, Republican and Democrat, have already introduced measures to make that change. We have to make sure the, the change in the law is one that is effective. It's easy enough to take a look to see what other states have done. But we--I'm sure that within the next few weeks, you will probably see the bills become public. I wouldn't be surprised to see if a bill was passed within--between now and the end of this year.

MR. GREGORY: There's a very key point here that has to do with this charity that Sandusky set up called The Second Mile, which, according to the grand jury report, is where he targeted kids for sexual abuse. Now, in 2002, when one of the victims was allegedly sexually attacked and McQueary witnessed, all the administration at Penn State did, according to the report, was tell Sandusky, "Don't bring kids onto campus." Nobody tells the police, nobody tells child protective services. They do tell The Second Mile. And the lawyer at The Second Mile used to be the lawyer at Penn State, who was himself aware that the police had investigated a prior incident with Sandusky back in 1998. You, no doubt, have some serious questions about that charity and who's on the board of the charity and those who knew what was going on.

GOV. CORBETT: Well, first, the determination has to be made as to what was going on, as the attorney general has indicated. This is an ongoing investigation, and I'm sure that that is part of it, as to what information and when was communicated to the executive director of The Second Mile, to the lawyer of The Second Mile, and from there what was passed on to the members of, of the board of that organization. And there are many members who are from the community of State College who are on that organization. The Second Mile has done a lot of great work with students. Unfortunately, though, Mr. Sandusky has done a lot of bad work with these students.

MR. GREGORY: I just have to ask you as a trustee, as the governor of the state, as the former attorney general of the state, how did this happen? I mean, was this, was this a culture of indifference? A culture of cover-up? Did it extend throughout the university? Go beyond the university to the police, to the D.A.? Where?

GOV. CORBETT: Well, two things, David. Number one, as you know, I was just elected last year, I'm new to the board of trustees. In fact, Thursday and Friday were my first meetings with the board of trustees. I've had representatives there. One of the reasons that I went there, in addition to having planned to be there already, is to understand, to get a better handle on what's going on, to see exactly what's going on. But, secondly, the board has appointed Ken Frazier to conduct an investigation--his vice chair is Ron Tomalis, my secretary of education--to investigate exactly what happened. And I think some of the questions that you just asked, including is this just a culture of people not questioning what is going on, not passing information along as they should, I think that is going to be the subject of that investigation. And I always wait for the results of investigation before I issue any opinions.

MR. GREGORY: Do you think that the culture of football at Penn State ultimately corrupted the rest of the institution and, and forced it to fail a basic moral test?

GOV. CORBETT: Well, I'm not going to call it the culture of football at Penn State. It's--the question should be is, what is the openness at Penn State? And, frankly, maybe at all major universities and even small universities, small colleges. I had somebody indicating to me that they told me a story earlier about a small community and their programs and people not talking about things that they should talk about. I think one of the lessons that we need to learn from this is that, when people see something like this or hear about something like this, you need to investigate right away, you need to report. We have lost the focus of what's in the best interests of the child when you see something like this.

MR. GREGORY: What about the future of the football program? As you remember, USC, when it had financial improprieties with running back Reggie Bush had to decline bowl invitations for two years. Should that happen at Penn State? Should the football program be suspended for a period of time?

GOV. CORBETT: Well, I keep, I keep in mind that this had nothing to do with the men on that team right now, and I don't think that they should have to suffer because of the actions of maybe a few, including Mr. Sandusky. But I think it is a question that, not only should the investigation by Ken Frazier take a look at, but that the board of trustees should take a look at.

MR. GREGORY: Should they go to a bowl game if invited?

GOV. CORBETT: I think that's a question that has to be determined by the board of trustees, and I'd have to give that thought.

MR. GREGORY: What about funding for Penn State and ultimately the financial health of the state? Moody's has said they're going to take a look at its bond rating because of the allegations at Penn State. The financial liability of this institution through lawsuits, through loss of support from donors could be monumental, do you not believe?

GOV. CORBETT: Well, it could be, but I don't engage in speculation like that. I think, if you look at the financial statement that was actually presented to the board on Friday, they're in a very strong position, and people should take a look at that. They do get some funding from the state of Pennsylvania. I think it's maybe 7.5 percent of their total operating budget. But I think from a financial standpoint, Penn State's in a very good position right now.

MR. GREGORY: From a criminal point of view, is there more to come?

GOV. CORBETT: From a point of view of having conducted investigations like this in the past, you never know what's to come. But the more that you press, and especially now that charges are filed against individuals, should some of them decide to cooperate if they tell us information that we don't have that maybe many in the media and in the public are speculating on, is there a potential for that? Sure. There's always a potential for that.

MR. GREGORY: All right, we'll leave it there. Governor Corbett, thank you very much for your time.

GOV. CORBETT: Thank you for having me, David.


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