Statement from Lou Holtz

Former coach and current ESPN analyst Lou Holtz has been referenced as a board member of Second Mile, a nonprofit organization that former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky founded. The following is his statement in regards to his participation:

It is obvious I do not know the facts concerning the disaster at Penn State. But, I am frustrated and mad. I always had great respect for Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky. I thought Jerry Sandusky's teams were the best coached defensive teams we faced at NC State and also at Notre Dame.

I do not recall ever being in Mr.Sandusky's presence off the field until 2009 and that was for one evening. I was asked to speak for the Second Mile in 2007. I declined but did consent to do so in 2009. It was a fundraiser and when I looked at their purpose and mission I thought it was a great cause. I was told that Joe Paterno, and other prominent people, had spoken and supported the cause. Cal Ripken Jr. had spoken in 2008.

I arrived in Harrisburg the afternoon of the event, attended several functions of their best supporters and spoke that evening. I not only refused a fee, but made a few thousand dollars donation as I was impressed with their organization, cause and the corporations and private citizens that supported it.

I normally make a contribution when I speak at a fundraiser because I can't ask people to donate if I am not willing to do so as well.

The contact I had with Jerry Sandusky was basically limited to taking pictures with he and the sponsors. I did say very positive comments about Coach Sandusky during my speech as he was a great coach and his cause I thought was important.

At no other time had I ever heard a negative comment or rumor about Jerry Sandusky and the fact he still had an office at Penn State led me to believe that there were no problems. I try to do research in a charitable cause before I consent to speak because I want to make sure it is an honest cause and the proceeds would go to help others.

Only yesterday did I realize I was on their advisory board. I have had no contact or correspondence with Second Mile or Jerry Sandusky since 2009 with the exception of thank you notes for one of their most successful events.

If the allegations are true, I, like the many good people who support Second Mile, am upset over being misled. However, the pain and sadness I feel for the abused children fills me with rage and anyone who enabled this to happen should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

We, as a society, cannot allow this to happen again. Hope this answers any questions you may have.


Lou Holtz