Terry Smith remembers former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky as “the most-liked coach” during his time playing for the Nittany Lions, so Smith was stunned by the sexual-abuse charges now facing Sandusky.
“My buddies that I played with and those I know from Penn State, we’re all dumbfounded,” said Smith, now Gateway High School’s football coach. “It hurts my heart every time I think about it. I can’t fathom the possibility of this happening. It hurts because we’re proud Penn State people. For something so low and so bad to happen there, it hurts.”
Smith played for Penn State from 1988-91 and is among the program’s receiving leaders. His stepson Justin King also played for Penn State.
“I don’t know what the true facts are, but if indeed people covered that up, shame on all of them.”
On Joe Paterno leaving: “I’m sad to see Joe retire because of this, and not to go out the way he wanted to go out. It’s a sad day for Penn State football.”
On the program’s future: “There needs to be some changes. Where? That’s not my decision, but they need to rectify this situation so it never happens again. Anyone who covered it up has to go, and they should by prosecuted to the fullest of the law. But the investigation has to sort that all out. We can’t pass judgment on who’s wrong right now – beyond Sandusky – because we don’t know all the facts.”
Advice for recruits: “Wait and see how everything pans out. It’s still a great university. It’s still a great education.”
– Chris Harlan (firstname.lastname@example.org)