RODNEY ERICKSON: No football. And the prospects of additional sanctions beyond that death penalty or accepting a consent decree that was given down by the NCAA. Given the two alternatives I felt that it was-- it was best to accept the consent decree. This allows us to continue to go on playing football. It allows us to go on helping to support the-- the other intercollegiate athletic teams that we have at the university.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, do you yourself feel that somehow these sanctions were unfair?
RODNEY ERICKSON: There are aspects of the sanctions, certainly, that-- that I think were-- were certainly very heavy. But we were given a-- a choice, and I continue to feel that that was the best choice that we could make under the circumstances. The choice that I-- I made really allows us to-- to move forward.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I'll just go the bottom line-- do you feel secure in your job here?
RODNEY ERICKSON: Oh, yes. I-- I believe I have the-- the strong support of the-- the vast majority of the board.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Now we have the victim of the molestation that the assistant coach saw in the locker room involving Sandusky. His lawyers have come forward and said that he intends to sue the university. I would guess that this is going to be the first of many lawsuits. How is the university going to handle that? I mean do you have insurance? Can you withstand an onslaught of lawsuits?
RODNEY ERICKSON: We have, like any university of our size, both directors and officers, as-- as well as general liability coverage, we believe that-- that we are adequately covered. In addition to that we cer-- we-- we hope to be able to-- to settle as many of these cases as quickly as possible. We-- we don't want to, if at all possible, drag victims through another round of-- of court cases and litigation. If we can come to an agreement with them, with their attorneys, we believe that would be the best possible outcome in this-- this whole very, very difficult, tragic situation.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Now it's my understanding that among the sanctions the NCAA imposed, it's a sixty-million-dollar fine that you will pay out over-- over a number of years. Where does that money come from?
RODNEY ERICKSON: We will pay that out in a combination of-- of funds. We will use the football program's financial reserves that-- that they have available to them. And in all likelihood the-- the university will have to extend the athletic department, a long-term loan that they can pay back as they get on their feet and as we adjust their budget going-- going forward in the football program.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you the basic question, as you look back on it now, did Penn State put too much emphasis on football?
RODNEY ERICKSON: Our intercollegiate ath-- athletics program has been a-- a tremendous success. To the extent that-- that some parts of intercollegiate athletics perhaps became too separate and became too much areas under-- unto themselves and not sufficiently wrapped into the rest of the university,. That's something that we-- we really are looking at right now and, of course, the-- the Freeh report made a number of recommendations with respect to that issue.
BOB SCHIEFFER: We'll have more of this interview with President Erickson in our next half hour. I'll be right back with some news about FACE THE NATION.
BOB SCHIEFFER: A little local news, if I may. FACE THE NATION is the second oldest program on television. It began in 1954, fifty-eight years ago. I've been here at the table for the last twenty-one, and last April, we began a new chapter. We expanded from half hour to an hour. It was an experiment, frankly, and this week, the CBS Network notified our affiliate stations that the experiment was successful. From here on FACE THE NATION will be a one-hour broadcast. I just wanted to take a moment to thank our affiliate stations who found a way this year to include the one-hour broadcast on their schedules on very short notice, and most of all, I want to thank those of you who watch our broadcast. Your numbers--I'm happy to say--continue to grow, and we appreciate it. And by the way, we don't intend to change much. No bells, whistles. We'll just turn on the lights, sit the key newsmakers down, ask them the questions we think you would ask and if they don't answer, we'll try to point that out.
Back in a minute.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Some of our stations are leaving us now. For most of you, we'll be right back with more of that interview with President Erickson and hear what he has to say about Joe Paterno.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. We're going to start page two with more of our interview with Penn State President Erickson.
Joe Paterno was a legend. He was an icon. Did he stay too long?