Sox advisor Bill James defends Paterno

July, 16, 2012
7/16/12
9:23
AM ET
Over the weekend, Red Sox senior advisor Bill James had an at-times heated conversation with ESPN Radio's Doug Gottlieb over the degree of culpability that Joe Paterno bears in the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

James said he read the Freeh report -- the 267-page document that concluded that Paterno, Penn State President Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade" -- but disagreed with the premise that Paterno should have done more in making sure Sandusky was brought to justice.

Specifically, James argued that Penn State assistant Mike McQueary should have gone directly to police instead of his superiors after witnessing Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the shower.

"It's very hard, in fact it's impossible, to explain why Paterno should have been the person to go to the police," James told Gotlieb. "Paterno didn't see anything. Paterno was not the reporting authority. Sandusy did not work for Paterno. Paterno had no supervisory authority over Sandusky. It's extremely difficult to explain why it was Paterno's responsibility to go to the police. He knew less about it than anyone else there."

Gottlieb countered that Paterno was culpable because he was the most powerful man at Penn State, a premise James took issue with.

"Absolutely false. You're saying everything revolves around him. It's total nonsense," James said. "(Paterno) had very few allies. He was isolated and he was not nearly as powerful as people imagine him to have been."

You can listen to the full, 15-minute interview HERE.

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