Fired Penn State Official Speaks

Ex-president of Penn State University opens up about the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
3:00 | 08/22/12

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Transcript for Fired Penn State Official Speaks
And, now, we turn to an abc news exclusive. For the first time on television, we hear from one of the men accused of covering up the penn state sex abuse scandal. The former president of penn state, graham spanier. He sat down to answer questions about the crime sending coach jerry sandusky to prison. Abc's josh elliott went one-on-one with him today. Reporter: Do you feel like you failed those kids? I wish, in hindsight, that i would have known more about jerry sandusky and his terrible, terrible hidden past, so that i could have intervened, because it would have been my instinct to do so. Reporter: Spanier acknowledges that in february 2001, he was told a penn state staffer had seen jerry sandusky in the locker room with a boy, engaging in what spanier says was described as horse play. He claims he was never told the horse play was at all sexual in nail sure. When you hear horse play, what do you think? I guess I was thinking back to my own childhood, where horse play involved throwing water around, snapping towels. I didn't ask about it. But that's what I was conjuring up. Reporter: Spanier revealed he himents was abused as a child, leg him a heightened awareness to the signs of abuse. I've had, for example, four operations, as an adult, to correct injuries in my childhood that were inflicted by my father. From that personal experience, that I've never met anyone who has had a higher level of awareness about such issues than I have had. Reporter: And still, spanier admits that he never tried to track down that child with sandusky in that shower. Didn't you have a moral obligation to find out who that child was and find out what happened? I didn't conjure up anything more than what I would have thought of as simple horse play. So, no, I didn't think of anything more than that. It's not in my nature to go around thinking the worst of people. You know, I'm not a law enforcement agent, I'm not an ve investigator. I was a university president. Reporter: An independent investigation led by louis freeh accuses spanier of covering up the abuse. Something spanier and his lawyers reject. That report is absolutely wrong. The conclusions in that report that, in effect we conspired to conceal a known child predator, are just incorrect. Reporter: Now, over and over again, die yap, graham spanier refused to acknowledge any failure to react on his part. As for his indictment and the report himself. When contacted by abc news, louis freeh and his investigators say they stand by its accuracy. Diane? Okay, josh, thank you. I want everyone to know that they can see more of that interview tonight on "nightline" and tomorrow morning on "good morning america."

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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