Penn State abuse scandal hits home

Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive coordinator Jamie Barresi. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive coordinator Jamie Barresi. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:28 PM ET

Jamie Barresi was literally ill when he read the allegations against former Penn State defensive co-ordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Sandusky, the driving force behind Linebacker U, is charged with molesting eight boys over a 15-year period. Barresi, now the Bombers offensive co-ordinator, got sick because he worked with Sandusky at Penn State in 1984 and 85, and then again between 1988 and 1992.

Its alleged Sandusky used The Second Mile, a charity he created for at-risk youth, to prey on his victims.

Barresi can hardly believe that Joe Paterno, NCAA footballs winningest coach, is also out for his role in the scandal after 61 years associated with the program.

When I left, there were three guys that I would always talk about with great admiration, Barresi said Thursday. One was Joe, another was coach (Jim) Caldwell, whos now the head coach of the (Indianapolis) Colts, and Jerry. And it was Jerry for legitimate reasons.

He did so much for these kids and always talked about these kids, like what they needed. You know, Heres this kid. His mother has this problem. All these things. It seemed totally genuine to us. Thousands of kids.

Asked if it scares him now to think about how many kids Sandusky was around, Barresi didnt hesitate: Oh yeah.

Barresi usually travels to Penn State at the conclusion of the CFL season. Last year he attended their practices, sat in on meetings and then went with the team to its bowl game in Tampa. Once a Nittany Lion, always a Nittany Lion.

Now hes not sure what hes going to do.

I was very close to all of those people, Barresi said. Now thats all going to be uprooted. They dont know whats going to happen now.

All those players who played for him, I know theyre all just walking like I am, a zombie, just totally stunned. They were all really close to him.


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