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Spanier speaks during network exclusive - abc27 WHTM

Spanier speaks during network exclusive

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PHILADELPHIA (WHTM) -

Graham Spanier publicly discussed the Jerry Sandusky scandal for the first time in a sit down interview with Good Morning America co-host Josh Elliot. 

During that interview, Spanier said he wished he knew more about the allegations against the former coach.

"I wish, in hindsight, I would have known more about Jerry Sandusky and his terrible, terrible past so I could have intervened because it would have been my instinct to do so," Spanier said.

Spanier said he did not know about allegations of sex or rape. He said he only knew of horseplay.

He also shared more about his own past. The former Penn State University president said he was abused as a child, and as an adult he had to have several surgeries to correct his injuries.

He also did not acknowledge any failure to react.

According to ABC News, Spanier repeatedly denounced the findings of the Freeh report.

"That report is absolutely wrong," Spanier said. "The conclusions in that report, that in effect we conspired to conceal a known child predator, are just incorrect," Spanier said.

Spanier's attorneys earlier in the day called the Freeh Report a "myth" filled with "false facts."

Louis Freeh's 267-page report last month concluded that Spanier and others concealed allegations Sandusky sexually abused a boy in the football building showers in 2001, but the former president's lawyers said their client knew only of "horseplay," not sexual misconduct or criminal rape.

"Had anything given to him even spoke of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, or criminal misconduct, it would have been reported," attorney Jack Riley said.

Several of the 17 e-mails in Freeh's report indicated that Spanier was both a recipient and a sender. One e-mail indicated that Spanier agreed not to report the shower incident.

"He was copied on two e-mails, they weren't even directly addressed to him," attorney Tim Lewis said. "Right now, that is all I'm going to say."

When reporters pressed attorneys on the e-mail issue, Spanier's lawyers ended the meeting.

A man claiming to be a victim from the 1970's interrupted the press conference at one point.

"I believe you guys," the man said.

The man's credibility has not been determined.

However, Board of Trustee member Anthony Lubrano said he also believed Spanier's lawyers. Lubrano said only Penn State President Rodney Erickson accepted Freeh's findings as fact. He said the board has not discussed Freeh's determinations.

"We've never sat down and said, 'okay what do you think? Does this seem reasonable, are these conclusions reasonable? We haven't done that," Lubrano said.

Spanier is still on Penn State's payroll and has not been charged with any crime. His attorneys said they do not believe their client is currently under investigation.

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