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Sandusky Gets 30 Years in Prison, Remains in Denial

Former Hillsdale High, College of San Mateo and NFL coach Dick Vermeil got to know Sandusky through charity work. He hasn't spoken to him since the scandal broke.

Jerry Sandusky shamed Pennsylvania State Univeristy and its revered football program.

Now he's shaming himself, proclaiming himself the victim of a wild conspiracy theory.

Sandusky's recorded remarks, aired by Penn State radio on Monday night, included a statement that he is the victim of as "well-orchestrated effort" by his accusers, the media, Penn State, plaintiffs' attorneys and others according to a story written by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Judge John Cleland listened as Sandusky rambled for about 15 minutes in his own defense and then sentenced him to 30 to 60 years in prison at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., dismissing the argument that he was the victim of a concentrated effort from different agencies.

The 68-year-old Sandusky called himself an "underdog" as he spoke before learning of his sentence.

AP quoted Sandusky as saying, "In my heart I did not do these alleged disgusting acts."

Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of raping or fondling boys he had met through the youth charity he founded, The Second Mile.

Sandusky said he plans to appeal, arguing, among other things, that his defense was not given enough time to prepare for trial after his arrest last November.

Prosecutor Joe McGettigan supported the courage of victims who came forward and told AP that Sandusky's weaving, disjointed comments as "a masterpiece of banal self-delusion, completely untethered from reality and without any acceptance of responsibility. It was entirely self-focused as if he, again, were the victim."

At least four lawsuits are pending against Penn State and several more are expected to be filed.

Penn State received an unprecedented series of penalties following the guilty verdict of Sandusky in his child sex abuse case and the building evidence that Penn State officials hid the allegations from authorities for more than a decade.

Laboring under the severe NCAA penalties, cleaning up in the wake of what may be the biggest scandal in college sports history may take years.

Penn State is a member of the Big 10, which has a contract with the Pac-12, of which Stanford and California are members, to send teams to the Rose Bowl every year.

Former Hillsdale High, College of San Mateo and NFL coach Dick Vermeil wrote the forward in Sandusky's book. He called him "a man who has risen to the upper echelon of the coaching profession, both as a football coach and a humanitarian."

Vermeil got to know Sandusky through charity work. He did speaking engagements for him and golfed with him. He hasn't spoken to him since the scandal broke.

"It's a blindside," Vermeil said. "That's all I can say. If it's true, he's a sick man. He had an illness none of us knew about. That's all."

Penalties included a 60 million dollar fine to be paid into an endowment for programs designed to prevent child sexual abuse and for assisting victims of abuse. None of the money can be used for programs at Penn State.

The NCAA also released any current or incoming football players from their commitment to Penn State and all are free to transfer immediately and become eligible to play at another school.

In addition, there is a four-year ban on bowl games, a loss of 20 scholarships per year over the next four years and five years of probation. Legendary coach Joe Paterno also had all victories between 1998 (the year of the first reported incident involving Sandusky) and last year abandoned.

By vacating 112 Penn State victories over a 14-year period, the sanctions cost Paterno 111 wins. Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will now hold the top spot in the NCAA record book with 377. Paterno, who was fired days after Sandusky was charged, will be credited with 298 wins.

Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive coordinator, was found guilty in June of sexually abusing young boys, sometimes on campus. An investigation commissioned by the school and released July 12 found that Paterno, who died in January, and several other top officials at Penn State stayed quiet for years about accusations against Sandusky.

The penalties will handicap Penn State's ability to build a competitive football program for years to come. A school will normally offer scholarships to between 20-25 players in any given year.

The investigation headed by former FBI Director Louis Freeh said that Penn State officials kept what they knew from police and other authorities for years, enabling the abuse to go on. Those officials included university president Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley, both of whom have since resigned.

Curley and Penn State administrator Gary Schultz are awaiting trial on charges they failed to properly report suspicions about Sandusky and lied to the grand jury that investigated him.

Ben Andreozzi, an attorney for one the victims, told AP Tuesday that the university needs to do more.

"It's important they understand before we get into serious discussions about money, that there are other, noneconomic issues," Andreozzi said. "We need apologies. We need changes in policy. This isn't just about money."

Among the victims who shared his story in court Tuesday was a young man who said he was 11 when Sandusky groped him in a shower in 1998. He said Sandusky is in denial.

"I've been left with deep painful wounds that you caused and had been buried in the garden of my heart for many years," he told Sandusky. "Stop coming up with excuses."

Another man said he was 13 in 2001 when Sandusky lured him into a Penn State sauna and then a shower and forced him to touch the ex-coach.

"I am troubled with flashbacks of his naked body, something that will never be erased from my memory," he said.

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