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College football roundup: Nike co-founder supports Paterno

The SportsXchange

Nike co-founder Phil Knight had a change of heart after reviewing the Paterno family response to the investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh into the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.

Sandusky was convicted last year on 45 counts of sexual abuse.

The family on Sunday released a 238-page response through its legal team to last summer's Freeh report, defending former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

Knight issued a statement on Monday after reading the Paternos response. It was read on ESPN by his wife, Penny.

"With the release of the report by the King and Spalding law firm, including analysis by former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and former FBI profiler James Clemente, it is clear that the findings of the Freeh Report were unjustified and unsubstantiated," Knight's statement said. "When this tragic story first unfolded Joe cautioned all of us to slow down and carefully gather the facts before jumping to conclusions. We owed it to the victims, he said, to get to the truth. It was counsel we all should have followed."

Knight said in July that Paterno "made missteps that led to heartbreaking consequences."

---The University of Utah announced that it hired Dennis Erickson as co-offensive coordinator.

Erickson, 65, will share a role with existing offensive coordinator Brian Johnson. Johnson, 26, completed his first year on the job this past season. Erickson was dismissed as Arizona State's head coach after the 2011 season.

---College football attendance was slightly down in 2012 from the year before, but still the third highest total ever, according to the NCAA.

ESPN.com reported the NCAA's figures on Monday. In 2012, 48.9 million tickets to FBS and FCS games were sold, down from the all-time record of 49.6 million people attending games in 2011.
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