Zordich: Thoughts Are with Victims

Eagles special teams coach Mike Zordich talks to reporters. (Photo by Les Bowen)

BETHLEHEM -- Mike Zordich is among the all-time Penn State football greats, coached by Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno. His son, also named Michael, is a current Penn State senior fullback, reeling under the unprecedented sanctions handed down by the NCAA in the wake of the Sandusky child sexual assault scandal.

Tuesday was the long-scheduled day for Eagles defensive position coaches to talk to reporters. This wasn't much fun for Zordich, 48, a consensus All-America for the Nittany Lions in 1985 who now coaches Eagles safeties.

When the Zordiches talk, it's Mike telling Michael "he has to have the ability to stay strong" Mike Zordich said. "That's all we can talk about. I don't want to get any more involved [in discussing the subject] than that. It hasn't been easy, brother."

Zordich wanted to emphasize that he worries more about the victims than his own feelings; in fact, he didn't want to discuss in depth his or his son's struggles with what has happened to the football program that helped shape their lives.

"All I can think about is the victims and what they've had to endure, for so many years," Zordich said. "Any circumstance -- certainly what happened yesterday is understandable. It's tough. It's a sad situation.

"As a parent of three kids, those victims, the things that happened to those kids, those children, that is tough for me to think about ... The circumstances, the consequences that came out yesterday, are they difficult? Yes. But we have to accept them and we have to understand why those things were put on Penn State. It's a sad story, and really, that's all I want to say about that."