The Latest: Penn State ex-president defends 2011 statement

The Latest on a former assistant football coach's defamation and whistleblower lawsuit against Penn State (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

Penn State's former president says he wasn't thinking about assistant football coach Mike McQueary when he issued a statement supporting two administrators who'd been charged with crimes.

Graham Spanier (SPAN'-yur) testified Thursday he wasn't implying McQueary had lied during the child molestation investigation of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky when he expressed confidence the charges against his two lieutenants were groundless.

McQueary is suing Penn State over his treatment after Sandusky and former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tom Curley were charged in 2011. He says Spanier made him look like a liar.

Spanier says he didn't even realize McQueary was involved in the Sandusky investigation.

Spanier, Curley and Schultz await trial on charges of failure to properly report suspected abuse and endangering the welfare of children.

Sandusky was convicted but says he's innocent.


12:15 p.m.

Penn State's former president says he issued a statement calling criminal charges against two of his lieutenants groundless because he'd known and worked closely for them for 16 years.

Graham Spanier testified Thursday in the defamation and whistleblower lawsuit against the university by former assistant football coach Mike McQueary.

Spanier compared former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley to Boy Scouts, saying they had a history of being completely straightforward with him.

He issued the statement through the university the day in November 2011 that they were charged with perjury and failure to report suspected abuse for their handling of McQueary's complaint that ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had abused a boy in a team shower.

The lawsuit claims the statement defamed McQueary by making him look like a liar.


12:10 a.m.

A former Penn State athletic director is denying a claim by a main witness against Jerry Sandusky that he was terminated as an assistant football coach because of his role in Sandusky's child molestation case.

Jurors in Mike McQueary's defamation and whistleblower lawsuit were read testimony Wednesday by Dave Joyner.

McQueary's lawsuit claims he was mistreated by the university over his role as a witness against Sandusky. He's seeking more than $4 million in lost wages and other claims.

The school says he was put on paid leave after Sandusky's arrest over safety concerns, not in retaliation for his role in the case.

Sandusky maintains his innocence and is appealing.

Testimony resumes on Thursday, the fourth day of trial. McQueary is expected to take the stand in the coming days.