Boston, MA – The Red Sox issued a public statement Monday afternoon in response to the ESPN Radio interview given by adviser Bill James over the weekend in defense of Joe Paterno and the child sex abuse scandal that has engulfed Penn State.
"Red Sox owner John Henry and Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington spoke to Bill James regarding him making public his personal opinions on Joe Paterno," the statement read. "In that call, Mr. James was informed that his comments in no way reflect the opinions or positions of the Red Sox. Because Mr. James is perceived as representative of Red Sox, he was asked to refrain from further public comments on this matter."
Over the weekend, 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."
James disagreed with the premise that Paterno should have done more to bring Jerry Sandusky to justice and make sure he was held accountable. 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 ESPN Radio host Doug Gottlieb. "Paterno didn't see anything. Paterno was not the reporting authority. Sandusky 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 in part responsible since he was the most powerful man at Penn State, something James argued.
"Absolutely false," James said. "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."