Sandusky attributes much of the success he has had to the character of the players he works with: "They're mostly leaders, kind of outgoing. Buttle, for one [now a New York Jet], kind of owned the place from the day he arrived. I told Greg he didn't know how slow he was—and he didn't. That's why he played so well, and that's why his teammates played so well. They played up to his expectations of them, and among other things, they beat Pitt 7-6 in his senior year when Pitt had Tony Dorsett."
Growing up in Brownson House, Sandusky had observed the same thing about troubled children. "So much of what happens depends on the care and concern that people show for them," he says. "I saw so many kids come through there who never really had a family or anybody to care about them or give them any guidance at all. It always bothered me."
It hasn't bothered Sandusky that The Second Mile thus far has kept him from leaving Penn State. "Many people have talked to me about hiring him," says Paterno, "but Jerry's been reluctant to talk to them because of all the commitments he has in this area." A couple of head-coaching jobs at the college level have come and gone, as well as inquiries from Oakland and Tampa Bay about interviewing Sandusky to become a pro assistant. "A long time ago Jerry really wanted to be a head coach," says Dottie, "but now there are so many things going that he never mentions it anymore."
"I'm concerned about his future," says Paterno, who spent 16 years as an assistant to Rip Engle at Penn State. "I'm proud of everything that he and Dottie have done, and I certainly wouldn't like to lose him, but I'd hate to see him lose his chance to be a head coach."
"The timing hasn't been right for me or my family," says Sandusky. "It might be someday. We believe the saying, 'It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it.' Dottie and I were disappointed when we couldn't have children, but we took it as a positive thing and it gave us an opportunity to do more."
"It's the way he's always been," says Sandusky's mother, Evie. "I guess it's his nature that he's never quite happy unless he's helping somebody else."