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Alma mater’s meltdown moves Matt Millen to on-air tears

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

For the past 24 hours, ESPN has been peppering football analyst Matt Millen, a former Penn State linebacker, about his thoughts regarding Penn State, Joe Paterno and former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky, and in an interview with Chris McKendry on Tuesday, Millen's emotions finally came to a hilt — on live television.

Sandusky is charged with 40 counts of sexual misconduct with eight young boys, and Millen, who played for Sandusky, didn't have the words to describe his disgust with the entire situation. At one point during Tuesday's interview, Millen stopped talking and became choked up.

"We all have our own opinions. I have some really strong opinions; I shared them with you this morning. And to be honest with you, and you can probably hear it, and I'll apologize to you, I get mad and it's, uh… It's pretty disturbing," Millen said, fighting back tears. "It makes you sick to see that this could happen to this level.

"If in fact that has happened then there's a part of me that, like I mentioned earlier, that viscerally, you just want to go take care of it yourself, which is what I've always done and which is the wrong thing to do. But this is more than just a program, this is more than a football legacy. This is about people. And if we can't protect our kids, we as a society, are pathetic. So, that's where I stand on it."

Twice Millen had to put his head down to compose himself as he talked about Sandusky and what may ultimately be the final days of coach Joe Paterno.{YSP:MORE}

"It's hard to separate yourself from the emotional, and I apologize for getting emotional, but let it run its course. It has to do that. Let the people whose job it is to put this thing together figure it out. Let them do their jobs. [...]

"I apologize for ranting, it just bothers me. Man's inhumanity towards man is just mind-boggling. Where do we stop with this stuff? It drives me nuts."

Millen didn't specifically comment on the fate of Paterno, who is rumored to be on his way out, but didn't agree with Penn State's decision to cancel Paterno's press conference Tuesday. Millen said that the best thing for everyone involved is to talk about the situation honestly and openly.

"There's a train coming down the tracks, whether you want to believe it or not, so you better get ready for it," Millen said. "And the best way to do it is to deal with it honestly. And I've said this, and I've tried to live this way, and I know I fail at it, but listen, no excuses, no explanations, step up, take what you're supposed to take and move on. And that's what you do. That's what you're supposed to do. Let's see what happens."

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Graham Watson is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow her @Yahoo_Graham.

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