Mike Leach calls the allegations against Penn State officials ‘the actions of a handful of criminals’

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. - Mike Leach has never been one to shy away from a question even if it's a question that has caused coaches to walk the fine line between sticking up for a colleague and admonishing those involved in the Jerry Sandusky cover-up.

Leach, who spent Tuesday hopping from interview to interview, was candid about his thoughts regarding Penn State and the NCAA's punishment.

"The most important thing is the victims and doing what we can for them," Leach told Yahoo! Sports. "Then I think like everybody, I'm incredibly outraged by what happened and that type of thing needs to be prevented."

Leach used the term "criminal behavior" and called those involved "criminals" several times, though he never specifically mentioned Joe Paterno.

"I think that it needs to be understood that the actions that took place at Penn State were the actions of a handful of criminals," Leach said. "And if there's criminal behavior, it needs to be eradicated and not covered up. And I understand the NCAA's sense and need to address it. I hope we're doing the right thing. I also hope that our system holds up their end and does as much as they can."

While Leach said he didn't mind the NCAA getting involved at Penn State, he wasn't ready to say whether the punishment fit the crime. He did, however, say he was eager to see justice served through the legal system.

"I haven't really thought it through carefully on that," Leach said. "It's hard to say. I guess the question is: Where does the legal system begin and end coupled with the NCAA? But this is a unique and extreme circumstance to it."

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