Former Detroit Lions general manager and current ESPN analyst Matt Millen defended Penn State head coach Joe Paterno amid allegations stemming from the Jerry Sandusky investigation. Then, in an emotional on-air moment, the analyst began to cry during the segment.
"What should be done is really simple, and it's not what you want to hear neccesarily, and it's easy to say can him [Paterno], but this is the United States of America," said Millen.
"What we need to do is divorce ourselves from the emotion of the moment - and it's a pretty polarizing topic - is to let it play itself out, and then we'll see where we're at.
"We think we know all the information, but the facts are we don't. Coach Paterno made a decision based on what he was given - we have no idea. I know that man, I know what he stands for for a long time. Of all people, the irony would be that I would be the one defending him after him and I got into many arguments - I get mad (starts to break down), it's pretty disturbing. I apologize for getting emotional. It makes you sick, to see that this could happen to this level, if in fact it has happened, there's a part of me that ... you just want to take care of it yourself .. which is the wrong thing to do.
"This is more than just a program, it's more than just a legacy, its' about people, and if you can't protect your kids ...."
Millen said he knew Sandusky as "a lighthearted guy" and never would have imagined that Sandusky was involved in child molestation. Millen figures that Paterno felt the same way, saying the public should wait for all the details before passing judgement.
"What we have to do is let it run it's course. The university has to set it's own timetable and they have to determine what that is," Millen said.
"Man's inhumanity towards man is just mindboggling. Where do we stop with this stuff?
"The best way to deal with it is to deal with it honestly. No excuses, no explanations, step up, take what your'e supposed to take and move on.
"Penn State program has always largely been above everything else. The shame of this, if it goes down the tracks it looks like it's going .. I still respected the fact that [Paterno] stood for something, he was able to stand his ground no matter what .. There are so many more good things that have come out of that program and from that man, but this is going to come up and bite him in the read end. I hope it doesn't."