An ESPN Analyst Who Idolized Jerry Sandusky Says He Would’ve Fled The Penn State Shower Like Mike McQueary Did
Jon Ritchie was very close to Jerry Sandusky. As a high school football player coming out of central Pennsylvania's Cumberland Valley, Ritchie was heavily recruited by Sandusky's Penn State team. Although Ritchie would eventually go to Michigan, the two remained close over the years.
Ritchie would speak at Sandusky's Second Mile functions, and would often bring his kids around the Sandusky family. Up until last Friday, he thought Jerry Sandusky was everything a man should be.
Ritchie, who is now an analyst for ESPN, has obviously had his world rocked this week. During a segment on First Take this morning, he tried to wrap his head around everything that's happened at Happy Valley. It was riveting, because you can literally see him trying to work his way through the psychological wreckage. Even Skip Bayless couldn't ruin it.
Two moments in particular stood out:
1) Ritchie admits that, had he been the one who walked in on Sandusky raping a young boy, he would've reacted much the same way that then-graduate assistant Mike Mcqueary did in 2002. Which is to say, he would've fled.
He said his mind would've been so thoroughly blown by the sight of Sandusky, a man he idolized as a beacon of all that was right and selfless in the world, sodomizing a little boy, that he would've stumbled out of there in a state of shock, in much the same way we're assuming McQueary did. He did say, though, that McQueary's inaction in the ensuing weeks was where he (and the rest of school's officials) were at fault.
2) Ritchie recalled the times that he would speak at Sandusky's Second Mile functions. He would talk about Sandusky in glowing terms, and describe a virtuous and selfless man that was making a bunch of kids' lives better. Sandusky, Ritchie noted, would always become visibly uncomfortable in these moments.
Ritchie thought it was because Sandusky was humble. In retrospect, Ritchie noted, it may have been because Sandusky knew that everything that was being said about him was in that moment was a lie.
The full segment, via ESPN, is here:
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