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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Herman Cain Falling; Attorney for Jerry Sandusky Speaks Out

Aired November 14, 2011 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It is 10:00 p.m. here on the East Coast.

Tonight, breaking news in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal: We confront Jerry Sandusky's attorney about the dozens of charges against his client. We're going to hear his apparent defense for the first time. And it's a shocker. We also go looking for answers to what head coach Joe Paterno knew and when he knew it.

As for the lawyer, you will hear the outlines of a defense strategy that includes downplaying the most serious eyewitness testimony, what this man, assistant coach Mike McQueary, says he saw back in 2002 when he was a graduate assistant.

He was in the locker room at the Lasch Football Building on campus when he says he saw Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy.

So, how does Sandusky's lawyer answer such a blunt and seemingly unshakable eyewitness account? How does he explain the alleged behavior?

Our Jason Carroll asked him directly. His answers, well, they may shock you. Jason joins us in a moment, so will an attorney for one of the victims.

A lot happening tonight, including the removal of former head coach Joe Paterno's name from the Big Ten Championship trophy. The CEO of Sandusky's Second Mile charity was replaced today. Also revelations that the judge who freed Sandusky on bail without requiring him to put up a penny in bail despite 40 sex abuse charges against him was herself a Second Mile member.

And Penn State's acting president posting a set of promises on the university Web site today including this, quote, "We will revisit all standards, policies and programs to ensure they meet not only the law but Penn State's standard."

He also promised transparency and said -- quote -- "Never again should anyone at Penn State feel scared to do the right thing."

But "Keeping Them Honest," that was already the image Penn State was putting out to the world back what then coach Sandusky was admittedly showering with children on campus and allegedly raping one of them.

The story broke nine days ago but there are still a lot of unanswered questions tonight. Still things that don't quite add up. Things like how back in 1998 when the first allegations against Sandusky sparked four agencies both on and off campus to investigate, how was it possible that Sandusky's bosses can say they knew nothing about it?

Head coach Joe Paterno, Sandusky's mentor, close friend, who was grooming him as a potential successor, he claims the first he heard of the 1998 incident was in 2004 -- excuse me, 2002, four years later.

It is even remotely credible that serious allegations are made against his right-hand man, that campus police are involved, that local police are involved, that the district attorney knows, child welfare knows, and not a single one of them utters a peep to Joe Paterno? Is it believable that no one gives him a heads-up about a mortal threat to his very program, to his status as king of state college?

To briefly recap the 1998 allegation involves a boy the grand jury presentment calls victim 6, 11 years old at the time. According to the report, coach Sandusky took the boy to a campus shower, lathered him up with soap and bear-hugged the boy. The boy's mother went to the university police when she noticed his hair was wet after returning a visit with Sandusky.

This man, university detective Ronald Schreffler, told the grand jury that he and a State College City detective got permission to eavesdrop on two conversations between coach Sandusky and the mom in which Sandusky told her -- quote -- "I was wrong and I wish I were dead."

So you've now got two police forces involved and an admission of wrongdoing, an admission of showering. Also involved the county DA who declined to bring charges. And state Child Welfare who declined further action. The child welfare investigator Jerry Lauro told the grand jury that Sandusky admitted what he did was wrong.

Again, this is 1998. Coach Sandusky was Joe Paterno's right-hand man. He's been accused of a serious crime, he reportedly admits wrongdoing, yet nothing further happens. And his boss, Joe Paterno, says he was never notified?

We wanted to know was there a university procedure that should have been followed at the time specifying who should be told and when in these circumstances? If so, was that protocol ignored? Were facts kept from Paterno or is there a reason to think he's being less than truthful about not knowing?

We sent an investigative producer on campus in search of answers. Detective Schreffler who presumably know Paterno or any other school official had been notified refuses to talk until Sandusky has a preliminary hearing. Jerry Lauro, the Child Welfare investigator, he won't go on camera.

When we asked Penn State Director of Public Information Lisa Powers about it last week, she said, and I quote, "I don't have an answer to this question." When we followed up today, she told us -- quote -- "It's my understanding that there is no formal protocol in place, but these issues are handled on a case by case basis with consideration given to the alleged crime."

So that's how help in figuring what Joe Paterno or other staff members knew. But the only clue to Paterno's knowledge or lack of it comes from a recent report in "The New York Times," the paper citing prosecutors. They say that university counsel, a guy named Wendell Courtney, knew of a 1998 alleged incident, this according to the "Times," prosecutors say -- quote -- "He," meaning Courtney, "said he believed that Penn State's athletic director Tim Curley knew of the allegation and the investigation but was unsure whether other people in senior positions at the university knew of the episode."

Now Curley was Joe Paterno's boss. He's now facing charges of lying to the grand jury about what he'd been told about Jerry Sandusky.

Joining us now is Jason Carroll who spoke at length today with Sandusky's defense attorney Joe Amendola.

Jason, as we know Sandusky is facing 40 counts, ugly allegations here. What's he saying in his defense?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, as you know, Anderson, I spoke to Sandusky's attorney for about an hour today. Sandusky tells his attorney, that, yes, he admits to showering with young boys and, yes, he regrets it, but he also says he did not sexually assault anyone.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARROLL (on camera): Do you believe in his innocence?

JOE AMENDOLA, ATTORNEY FOR JERRY SANDUSKY: I do. I do. Jerry Sandusky is a big overgrown kid. He's a jock. For anybody who's ever played sports, you get showers after you work out.

I mean, when people hear he got showers with kids, oh, my goodness, you know? Like he got showers with kids. That makes him guilty, right? I mean, obviously, anybody that gets a shower with a kid who's an adult has to -- has to be guilty of something.

But the bottom line is jocks do that. I mean, they kid around, they horse around. And in fact, what Jerry says in regard to the one allegation involving what the assistant coach or the grad student said he saw, he said, we were horsing around. He said we weren't engaged in sexual activity.

CARROLL: Well, I want to wait before we go to that because that's different. But even just in talking about the showering, I think a lot of people have trouble with the idea of a man showering with -- showering with a young boy. What are your thoughts on that?

AMENDOLA: I mean, I wouldn't do it. I'm sure you wouldn't do it. CARROLL: I would not. AMENDOLA: I would feel uncomfortable doing it, but Jerry did that. But that's a far different thing than saying he got showers with kids than saying that he committed these other acts which the prosecution has alleged he did.

I mean, what's going to come out in this case is that Jerry did get showers with kids. What I think happened, what I'm being told happened is that Jerry was in the shower with this kid, the kid was messing around, having a good time. You had McQueary come in and see that, he felt uncomfortable, which is exactly what Curley and Schultz are saying that it was reported to them by McQueary that he saw Sandusky in a shower with a kid and he felt uncomfortable.

CARROLL: Can we go back to the 1999 -- 1998 incident, if we can go back to that incident in 1998, and that is when, allegedly, according to the grand jury, you know, report, Jerry Sandusky admitted to showering with that young boy in that incident and apologized for it and said, that I wish I were dead.

And I think when you look at that, the presumption is there that something happened more than just showering.

AMENDOLA: We have always disputed -- when I say we, Jerry, because I wasn't involved in that case with him. But Jerry has always disputed he made that comment that he wished he were dead. OK. That's number one.

Number two, the apology was for simply getting a shower with the boy. Do you know that young boy who is now a young man never, ever said that Jerry did anything sexual with him. The apology was to the boy's mother for getting a shower with him. Not because he did anything sexual.

And in fact, not only did he have children and youth services involved in that investigation in Pennsylvania, children and youth services in every county investigates allegations of child abuse. Not only did the Centre County Children Youth Services folks investigate that case. The Penn State police investigated that case. It was investigated by one of their most respected and distinguished investigators who has since retired, Ron Schreffler.

And not only did he investigate it, but they turned it over to the district attorney who went missing. But the district attorney at the time, Mr. Gricar, was a totally nonpolitical person. He didn't go to Penn State. He was a prosecutor from Cleveland. He was a career prosecutor who couldn't care less who you were and certainly couldn't care whether or not you were associated with Penn State or Penn State football.

He investigated that case and decided it was not a prosecutable case. So they're taking that in the context, well, he did these other things. And you know, it's the old saying if you throw enough mud on the wall that some of it's going to stick. And from my view, what the attorney general's office has done here is they have thrown everything they could throw up against the wall, and they're saying, look, all these accusations, some of them have to be true. When you take it apart, they don't even have victims in several of their cases. We're looking for those victims. And we may have some surprises for people.

CARROLL: Let's talk about that presentment. There are many ugly, serious allegations in that 23-page presentment by the grand jury. Let's go over some of that step by step, what you can talk about. Where do you see inconsistencies and what -- in these allegations?

AMENDOLA: Well, when you look at it, when you take it apart complaint by complaint, person by person, because there are allegedly eight supposed victims, and you look at what the allegations are, we have answers for each one of those. Now, in two or three, even perhaps four of those, I mean, the allegation is that Jerry put his hand on a boy's knee at some point, in a car, got a shower with him and gave him a bear hug. All of which I might add don't involve criminal activity even if -- even if believed.

And two of the cases, two of the more serious allegations, they don't even have victims. They don't even have people who are saying that this is what happened. They have other people who are saying they saw something, but they don't have actual people who said this is what Jerry did to me.

We're working with finding those people, and when the time comes and if we're able to do that, we think this whole case will change dramatically.

CARROLL: Why do you think these people would be making these allegations?

AMENDOLA: Well, you know, you don't like to -- other than the fact that they might be true, which obviously is a possibility. I mean, none of us were there. But you know, you have the money issue. You have the -- and now what's happening is really sad because if there are more people coming out because they have heard about Penn State being sued and obviously the university having big bucks, we may never know who's real, who's not, or we may never know what allegations were basically fabricated because people are looking for some money.

We may never have the answers to those questions. But in terms of why people would do this? It's their -- it's their time in the limelight. It's their time to have people pay attention to them. Who knows? Why do people make allegations that aren't true? You run into it, I run into it. We see it all the time in court proceedings where people have alleged something happen that didn't happen.

CARROLL: Tell me about what Jerry is saying to you about everything going on. I know that --

AMENDOLA: He's destroyed. People are throwing bricks through his windows at home. I have calls coming in from the police from the township where he lives saying how do we protect him and his wife. I suggested that they basically get away for a while, but his response was where do I go? I have been all over the -- all over the news.

People no matter where I go are going to recognize me. So where does he go? But he's distraught. He is -- he is absolutely devastated by what's happened to Joe Paterno.

Think about a person's career, the history that Joe Paterno's had not only at Penn State but as a national figure. And it's all gone down the tubes in less than a week. I mean, his legacy now will be this scandal. And the tragedy here is either way you go, if Jerry did these horrible things, it's tragic that he's victimized these kids. But if he didn't do them, it's tragic because he's ruined forever the reputation of a -- just an outstanding person not only in Penn State history but nationally in Joe Paterno that's -- who's been brought down by this.

And he's beside himself. And I worry for his well-being. I worry for his health. You know, he's 67. He's not a young man. I'm very concerned about his well-being.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Jason, fascinating to hear the early rumblings of what the defense strategy may be. I think it's going to raise a lot of eyebrows. People when they hear his attorney saying well, that's what jocks do, I think there are a lot of jocks out there who'd, you know, never showered with a child nor done it late at night when no one else is around.

I guess, did the attorney have an argument for why the then- graduate assistant, now one of the assistant coaches, McQueary, would speak out against Sandusky? Because he testified to the grand jury saying that he witnessed, I mean, a rape by Sandusky of this boy who appeared to be about 10 or 11?

CARROLL: Right. And that would be Mike McQueary. And you know, when I asked -- when I asked him about that, Anderson, he basically told me that, look, that's the $64,000 question. He says he's looking for the opportunity to interview McQueary. He's hoping to do that very soon. But he says ultimately what he's hoping to do is find victim number 2. That is how the victim, that 10-year-old or 11-year- old boy is identified in the grand jury report, he's hoping to find that person as well, talk to him about what happened that particular night. But right now, he's calling that the $64,000 question -- Anderson.

COOPER: Jason, I appreciate the reporting as always. Thanks.

I want to bring in our legal panel, senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, former prosecutor Sunny Hostin, legal contributor for "In Session" on truTV, and defense attorney Mark Geragos.

Jeff, when you hear the attorney for this man saying that's what jocks do, is he doing his client any favors?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think that interview is very helpful, especially now. If the day comes when there is a trial and you have to explain each incident away, it is better to say they took a shower together than to admit that there's sex took place in the shower. But when you are admitting showering with a 10-year-old, you got a big problem already. And I think that just indicates the depth of the problem he has in this case.

COOPER: Do you agree with that, Sunny?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. I mean, it's just remarkable to me what we just heard. And I try a lot of these child sex cases, and the bottom line is this is classic. This is a classic fact pattern.

And I think, Jeff, you'll agree with me that these predators oftentimes groom children. And so it starts with the touching, it starts with the hand on the knee, and it typically progresses. And I have tried cases where pedophiles have showered with children. It is just so classic to me. I think if you speak to anyone that's tried these types of cases and anyone that's an expert in this area, they will tell you that it's just such a classic fact pattern for him to admit that he showered with these children and horsed around and confessed to touching them.

I, in my mind, that's already misdemeanor child sex abuse. So I disagree when the attorney says nothing criminal happened here. That in and of itself is criminal. So it's -- this is -- I'm flabbergasted.

COOPER: Mark, I know the job of the defense attorney to defend his or her client, come up with explanations. What do you make of this attorney's excuse for Sandusky showering with young boys that this is just what jocks do and this is what people do after they work out?

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, remember some of the things that he said what we've seen in the last nine days. I mean, I like as much as anybody else, enjoy a good old-fashioned media lynching. And that's exactly what we've had here. I mean, is there anybody that gives a presumption of innocence at this point? No.

I think that you've seen a kind of a piling on of a degree that's almost unprecedented. And I think he's absolutely correct when he talks about look at what's happened to Paterno in the span of nine days. So I don't know what you would expect him to do at this point other than to try to stop some of the hemorrhaging that's been going on around his client.

And you know, a lot of this is so reminiscent, to me personally, of what happened when Michael Jackson was first -- the charges were first brought against him. And do you remember, Anderson, all of the talk about sleeping with young boys and everything else, and people saying that in and of itself, to quote your other guest here, that's exactly what they do when they groom people and everything else.

I -- this is deja vu, as Yogi Berra would say, all over again. And he ended up being acquitted. So before we go and we say this is -- you know, it's a done deal, so to speak, and we condemn them and everything else, I think maybe we step back and take a deep breath for a second. There is a pretty good point that is made there.

You had a number of different agencies that investigated this in real time years ago that didn't file anything. I'm not saying that this guy is not guilty, but at the same time he is entitled to a presumption of innocence.

We still live in America. And it's a little disturbing to me kind of the assumption of guilt here because everything that Penn State has done, both to the president and everybody on down, has presumed guilt in this case. And I just don't know that that's the American way.

COOPER: Jeff?

TOOBIN: Mark makes a good point about the presumption of innocence, and it's worth remembering back in the '80s, we had a spate of accusations of satanic abuse in day care centers. All of which turned --

HOSTIN: Jeff, this is very different.

TOOBIN: I know. But --

(CROSSTALK)

HOSTIN: This is very different.

TOOBIN: It's very different.

HOSTIN: We're talking about eight victims, we're talking about eyewitness accounts.

TOOBIN: Absolutely.

HOSTIN: We're talking about children.

(CROSSTALK)

GERAGOS: It's very different.

TOOBIN: That's right. What -- wait a second. The point --

GERAGOS: In McMartin -- in McMartin there were 65 people that were complaining.

TOOBIN: The point I'm making is that --

GERAGOS: Sixty-five people.

TOOBIN: The point I'm making is that when you have an accusation, if you simply say, let's think about the presumption of innocence, that's a legitimate thing for a defense attorney to say. When you start admitting that he's taking showers with boy, you make more trouble than you solve.

If he had simply gone and said, this is a media lynching, it's outrageous, I wouldn't blame him a bit. But when he starts explaining the conduct in a way that sounds awfully incriminating to me, I think that's a mistake for a defense attorney to make. HOSTIN: That's right.

GERAGOS: Well, I don't -- you know, and I don't know that I would necessarily disagree at all with what Jeff is saying. I think the answer to the question when Jason asked, what did he tell you is to say I can't talk about it, that's attorney/client and just move on from there.

I mean, I -- if I'm going to critique -- and I hate to do that to other lawyers -- if I'm going to critique, that's probably a very good point.

COOPER: Because it is hard for anybody to accept the notion of some, you know, elderly older man showering with a 10-year-old child, soaping him up and then -- you know, horse playing naked in the shower.

HOSTIN: And several of them. And admitting to doing it. That in and of itself, as Jeff just described, is of concern I think to so many people. But now we're also calling into question an adult interpretation of what happened, right?

So if you want to assume that perhaps that behavior is OK -- and it isn't OK. I firmly believe it isn't OK. I think there was criminal activity right then and there.

GERAGOS: Well, could I --

HOSTIN: You're talking about McQueary who also said he witnessed a child being raped. And I think when we're talking about presumption of innocence, let's also keep in mind that we have adults and children, adults that have testified in front of the grand jury under penalty of perjury and have again recounted what they have seen.

COOPER: Jeff, Sunny, Mark Geragos, thank you.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook, also Google+. You can add us to your circle. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will be tweeting tonight, a lot of you already talking on Twitter right now about this. Love to hear from you.

A lot more on the story next -- we're going to hear from a lawyer for an alleged victim of Jerry Sandusky and listen to Sandusky himself on what he once said about why his children's charity was so important to him.

Cory Giger and "USA Today's" Christine Brennan join us as well with the late-breaking details.

And later, "Raw Politics." Remember Rick Perry's brain freeze? Well, we sort of have Herman Cain version of it. That's what some people are calling his answer to a foreign policy question on Libya today. You can decide for yourself. Also, the unexpected rise of Newt Gingrich in the polls.

Let's check in also with Isha -- Isha. ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, months after the tsunami, months after Japan's nuclear nightmare began, how much damage has been done? A new study out tonight has some every sobering answers. That and much more when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Our breaking news tonight in the Penn State sex abuse scandal, the lawyer for accused serial pedophile Jerry Sandusky laying out a defense that includes describing the alleged raped of a 10-year- old boy as horsing around in the shower.

Sandusky is charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse. The grand jury report identifies eight alleged victims. This is new video of him surrounded by kids at his Second Mile charity. Given the allegations against him, it seems like these are -- well, you look at them in a whole different way.

Fair or not, his statements like this one from 2007, five years after the alleged shower rape, they now ring hollow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JERRY SANDUSKY, FOUNDER, THE SECOND MILE: It's been an opportunity -- it's an opportunity for me, you know, to have been touched by so many great people who have volunteered their time and energy and opportunity to see some special young people overcome some challenges in their life and go on to lead a life of excellence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, it's hard to comprehend just how twisted that statement would be if the charges against him are true -- if.

Earlier, I spoke with Ben Andreozzi, an attorney representing an alleged victim of Sandusky, also with Mai Fernandez, the executive director of the National Centers for the Victims of Crime.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So, Ben, we just heard from Jerry Sandusky's lawyer, who maintains his client is innocent, and essentially says that Sandusky was a jock and was just kidding around in the shower and that this is what jocks do. They shower together.

What -- would your client call what Sandusky did kidding around?

BEN ANDREOZZI, LAWYER FOR ALLEGED SANDUSKY VICTIM: Absolutely not. I have got to be honest, it's very disappointing to hear that sort of reaction. I had hoped that we would get a different reaction from his attorney, but I guess he's got a job to do. So from my client's perspective, to answer your question, no, he would not agree with that statement.

COOPER: My, when you -- when you hear this attorney saying, well, this is what guys -- what jocks do, what do you -- what do you think?

MAI FERNANDEZ, NATIONAL CENTER FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME: I think it's kind of outrageous that somebody would say something like that. I think it's a slap in the face to athletes around the country. And I think that what has been alleged in this is not joking around.

COOPER: Ben, how is your -- how is your client doing? I mean, I can't imagine not only what he's been through, but also just seeing the aftermath of it.

ANDREOZZI: It's been extremely difficult for him. I mean he's coming to grips with the sexual abuse itself which is emotional, you know, enough. But in combination with that, he's also seeing the complications of coming forward and the impact that coming forward is having on the Penn State community.

You know, Jerry Sandusky essentially intertwined some of these children, who are actually victims in this case, into the Penn State football community, and in recent weeks we've seen the -- what's happened with the Penn State football program, and that has been extremely difficult for my client to watch.

COOPER: My, what do you make of -- not just obviously what he did but the actions or lack of actions of a whole host of people on the Penn State staff?

FERNANDEZ: Well, I think that's exactly what this case highlights, Anderson. I think that when institutions don't create a culture where staff and visitors and people working in the institution feel encouraged to come forward when there is any kind of allegation or any suspicion of abuse, that's a real lack of leadership.

It's really important for institutions and leaders inside those institutions to create a culture that says, if you see anything that's going on with a child, if you suspect anything that's going on with a child, come forward and tell us.

COOPER: Ben, at this point, do you think we know all there is to know about how many alleged victims there may be out there?

ANDREOZZI: Absolutely not. I think in a case like this, what you're seeing is there were a few select victims who had the courage to come forward, and it's my sincere hope that others see that people have mustered up this courage to come forward and it encourages them themselves to say it's OK to step forward and do what's right, which is going to be, I believe, to put Mr. Sandusky behind bars for the rest of his life.

COOPER: Well, Ben and Mai, I appreciate you being on. You're extraordinarily busy. Please give our best to your client and his family. Thank you.

ANDREOZZI: Thank you.

FERNANDEZ: Thank you. COOPER: Let's turn now to Cory Giger of "The Altoona Mirror" and ESPN Radio 1450 -- he's on the phone -- and "USA Today" sports columnist Christine Brennan as well.

Cory, when you heard Sandusky's attorney saying that Sandusky is a jock, jocks like to horse around in the shower, what goes through your mind?

CORY GIGER, SPORTS REPORTER, "ALTOONA MIRROR": OK. Well, guys on a team of the same age might take showers together and might slap towels or what have you. I mean if you're in a locker room, guys on a team, you'll see that. But a man in his mid-50s should never be alone in a shower with a young boy who is 10 or however old this young boy might have been.

You have to have standards and protocols in place. Unless that kid is your son, there's no way any man of that age should be alone in a shower with a boy that young.

COOPER: Christine, when you heard Sandusky's lawyer saying this what do you think?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, "USA TODAY": Complete shock, Anderson. The same thing that Cory just said, that this is a 10-year- old boy. This is not the 20-year-old quarterback.

Of course, it sounds like kids were around the Penn State football program all the time in the company of Jerry Sandusky, if the allegations are true and the grand jury report is true.

So, this -- this was -- you know, this is something that apparently Jerry Sandusky was doing quite often. And it's just appalling and alarming.

And as Joe Paterno is in charge. You know, he is Penn State football. And I think he's ultimately responsible for everything that goes on, on his watch, and as the venerable coach of that team.

So the fact that this is all going on and then that's the excuse? It's appalling. It's really shocking, and it seems to slap right back at those victims. And they get to go through this all over again, unfortunately.

COOPER: Cory, it is hard to believe that in 1998, after these allegations by the mom was made and they're investigated by multiple different agencies, that -- that Joe Paterno isn't informed of what is a potentially major threat to his program.

GIGER: Yes. It's hard to believe that Joe -- I said on your program the other day, there's no reason to believe that Joe did not know what was going on with the 1998 allegations. They're so similar in 2002 with another shower involved and another young boy involved. So the similarity of the two is really eerie.

And you would think that they would all have learned from the 1998 incident regardless of if there were charges or not. So the fact that it allegedly happened again four years later -- I'll take Christine's word -- that's just appalling and a complete lack of oversight.

COOPER: Christine, you think this isn't just the worst scandal in the history of college sports. You think it's going to turn out to be the worst scandal in the history of U.S. sports?

BRENNAN: I do, Anderson. And I know that's -- that's quite a thing to say at this point, but because of the magnitude, because it's Penn State. It's Joe Paterno. It's this institution...

COOPER: Do you think all the coaches are going to go?

BRENNAN: I do. I think there has to be a complete housecleaning at Penn State. Anyone who was involved in this. You have to wonder about the board of trustees, about other officials in Pennsylvania government. I think it's that bad. But yes, I think there has to be a complete housecleaning within the football program.

COOPER: So you think anybody who was on the staff at the time may end up going?

BRENNAN: I do. I mean, we don't know exactly what we're going to find out completely. So, of course, the legal process will take its course. But I think Penn State has to deal with this before then. The culture, this incredible, stunning, awful, revolting culture that apparently has been going on there for years, clean house. Start from scratch.

COOPER: Cory Giger, Christine Brennan, that's all we have time for tonight. Thank you very much. We'll have you on again. Appreciate it.

Tonight, more fallout from the Penn State sex abuse scandal. The first advertiser pulls its ads from Penn State games. Details on that coming up.

Also the violence hasn't stopped in Syria. For the first time an Arab leader calls for President Assad to step down. That and the Herman Cain brain freeze.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Isha is back following some other important stories in a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, for the first time an Arab leader is calling for Syria's president to resign. Jordan's King Abdullah today urged Bashar al-Assad to step down as the government's eight-month crackdown continues. The United Nations says more than 3,500 Syrians have been killed.

A new study finds that radioactive fallout from the disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant is likely to leave farming severely impaired in the province where the plant is located. Farming in other provinces in eastern and northern Japan is also expected to suffer, according to the researchers.

As expected, the Supreme Court has agreed to rule on the constitutionality of the health care reform law that Congress passed last year. The law's individual mandate is a key issue for the justices. A ruling is expected in June.

And Anderson, look at this. At SeaWorld, Orlando, a pilot whale rescued in May after she beached herself has been fitted with a custom brace to straighten a deformed spine. She has a condition known as scoliosis which keeps her from swimming normally. The first time a device of this sort has ever been used on a whale that size.

COOPER: That's amazing.

"Raw Politics" next. Herman Cain, kind of an amazing moment caught on tape. You'll see it for yourself. You can judge for yourself.

At the same time, a new poll shows Newt Gingrich in a virtual tie with front-runner Mitt Romney. We'll look at what's driving his momentum and how worried should Romney be? We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: In "Raw Politics" tonight, an awkward moment for presidential candidate Herman Cain. It was caught on tape. The video has gone viral. Cain was meeting today with the editorial board of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, "Journal-Sentinel." He was asked his position on President Obama's Libya policy. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gadhafi. Just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing before I say yes, I agree, or no, I didn't agree.

I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reasons. No, that's a different one. I got to go back and see. I've got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me did I agree or not disagree with Obama?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Cain eventually said that President Obama had not done enough to determine who the opposition was in Libya.

Not the first time Cain has struggled on matters of foreign policy. The gaffe came as his popularity fell 11 points in a new CNN national poll. Cain has dropped to third place behind former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, and former House speaker, Newt Gingrich. Romney's two-point lead is within the poll sampling leader. Cain is now just two points ahead of Texas Governor Rick Perry. So how did Newt Gingrich basically tie up the race just seven weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses?

Joining me now, CNN political contributors Ari Fleischer and Paul Begala.

Paul, I've got to start with you on this moment by Herman Cain. The whole answer goes on for about five minutes. And it's -- I mean, it is painful to watch. What do you make of it?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: It may not be a full-on brain freeze, but it was at least a slushy, wasn't it? In fact, give Mr. Cain some free advice. This may be advice, actually, Fleischer came up with.

When George W. Bush was the governor of Texas, was debating Al Gore, Gore knew a lot more about foreign policy than the governor of Texas did. But you know what Bush did in the debate? I went back and looked at the transcript. Ari, you'll love this. It was a brilliant performance.

On so many issues Bush really surprised Gore by saying, "I agree with President Clinton on this." Yugoslavia, he called it a triumph. He said Clinton was right about Rwanda. He said Clinton was right about Israel. He said East Timor, which I don't know that he knew anything about, didn't matter.

Once -- if he -- Herman Cain had just said that: "Look, I think Obama kind of got it right in Libya. God bless him. Now we can talk about my 9-9-9 plan," something he knows about, it would have been much better.

COOPER: Ari, you agree with that?

ARI FLEISCHER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, what I agree is it's very hard to run for the presidency and basically make it your first time you hold elective office. I've said this about Herman Cain for a while. He's an exciting outside, but he really needed to have more strong credentials by having run and won something previously. And I think it would have brought him a whole different approach to how he gets ready for substantive issues. That's -- that's really the problem here, Anderson.

COOPER: Take a look at what this new CNN-ORC poll found. Forget about just the support Cain. Almost half the country doesn't think he should even be in the race at all. Even among Republicans, almost a third say it's time for him to go. I mean, is this the tip of the iceberg? Do you think this is a downward trend now?

FLEISCHER: Well, I don't -- downward trend, yes. Herman Cain has been on a downward trend since the allegations broke against him. And he doesn't have a strong enough wall underneath him to propel him forward in case anything like this broke in the public eye.

And I don't think he needs to drop out. I think people in politics have to resist the temptation, that just because you had a bad day or a bad week, you need to quit. These races are marathons. And the strong ones are able to keep going through it.

And in this race where so many people were on the top, and fallen behind, and people who are dead are now coming back, nothing says people can't turn things around. That's the test of a campaign.

COOPER: Yes, Paul, people have written off Newt Gingrich months ago. He's now not just up. His support has almost tripled. Is he just the latest "Anybody But Romney" candidate? Or could this be the start of a real shot at the nomination?

BEGALA: At least I think it is this "ABR" phenomenon, is what we're calling it now. Anybody but Romney.

They had their flirtation with Donald Trump, and then it was Congresswoman Bachmann. Then it was Governor Perry, and then it was Mr. Cain. And now apparently, it's Newt. Something there is that doesn't love Mitt Romney. And it's three-fourths of the Republican Party. I don't know why. Maybe Ari can us. But consistently, you get three-fourths of that party that knows Mitt Romney, just doesn't want to be for him.

And so now they're looking for a fresh face. And when you think of a fresh face, you think of a guy 68 years old and first ran for Congress when Nixon was president.

FLEISCHER: It's also called math. And when there are eight candidates in a race and one person has a 25, 28 percent plurality and the rest very closely divided, it's also the way numbers work out.

It is interesting, too, Anderson, in that poll that Mitt Romney has a three-point lead over Barack Obama. And so I do think at the end of the day as this campaign goes along, the fact that somebody can beat Barack Obama becomes tremendously important, makes that person even more attractive.

But there's still two months to go in this Republican race. And I don't discount that this is going to continue to be topsy-turvy. Only about 30 percent of the people in the CNN poll said that they strongly support their candidate. There's still a lot of room for change in this Republican race. It's that volatile.

COOPER: It's really interesting. Ari, Paul Begala, thank you so much.

A quick program note: the Republican presidential candidates will face off again at the CNN Republican national security debate on November 22 at 8 p.m. Eastern. That's just a week from tomorrow live from Washington.

Coming up, more arrests today in the kidnapping of Major League baseball player Wilson Ramos in Venezuela. We'll have the latest on the investigation, and hear what Ramos had to say after he was rescued.

The latest on the search for a 2-year-old boy missing from outside Seattle. What police are saying about the hundreds of tips they're getting in the case when we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight, dramatic and happy endings in the saga of a Major League baseball player kidnapped at gunpoint in Venezuela.

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was reunited with his family after he was rescued by Venezuelan security forces Friday in a mountainous area about 60 miles away from where gunmen kidnapped him from his mom's house two days earlier. Five new suspects were arrested today. That brings the total number of people detained to 11, according to Venezuela's justice ministry.

After the rescue, Ramos had this to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILSON RAMOS, WASHINGTON NATIONALS CATCHER: I want to say thanks, Nats fans, for everything, for your support. I'm very happy with my mom. I'm safe now. And that was -- that was a hard time for me, but I'm very, very happy with my mom right now. And you know, I want to say thank you for everything, and I see you in spring training.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: CNN International anchor Luis -- Luis Carlos Velez joins us now with the latest on the investigation.

The Chavez regime had released a few details about the arrest. But it seems to be suggesting that a Colombian man with ties to paramilitary was behind the plot. Have we been able to verify that?

LUIS CARLOS VELEZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, Anderson, we have not been able to do that. Keep in mind that this is a country with no free media and no independent power to investigate what really happened. Obviously, Venezuelans are very happy, you know, that Wilson Ramos is home, he's safe. But there are also many people who question what really happened here. They say this was just too good, too perfect to be a true rescue operation, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, I mean, that's interesting. Venezuela has produced a lot of great professional baseball players over the years, including several all-stars. Kidnappings have been on the rise in Venezuela. They've got to be concerned about their safety any time they go back.

VELEZ: Absolutely. No question, kidnapping is becoming a common practice in Venezuela. There were no numbers available for 2011. But last year, the number the government said that there were 686 kidnappings in the country.

The practice is so widespread that there's even a movie about what is locally known as "Sequestro Express," Anderson, kidnapping express, where average people, middle income people are kidnapped for a short period of time by criminals that demand money. They will kidnap you and call your family and demand a modest ransom, not one that's so extravagant that a family would have difficulty paying. I've been to Venezuela many times. I've seen it. I have friends and family who have been victims of it. Venezuela is a very difficult country.

COOPER: Yes. We've been reporting those kidnappings in Mexico, as well all -- the people all across the economic spectrum. Luis, thanks so much for the reporting.

Up next, a different crimes story, the case of the stolen bike and the owner who fought back. That is "The RidicuList," coming up. First, Isha is back with a "360 News & Business Bulletin."

SESAY: Anderson, police in Bellevue, Washington, say they've received 900 tips in their search for missing 2-year-old Sky Metalwala. They've expanded their search at the apartment where he lived with his mother and the wooded area where she told police she last saw her son nine days ago, after she left him alone in a car.

At least one advertiser is cutting ties with Penn State football. Cars.com pulled its ad from Saturday's game against Nebraska, and it will do the same for this weekend with Ohio State.

And the entire NBA season could be in jeopardy. Players have rejected the owners' latest offer and have started the process of disbanding the union.

Anderson back with "The RidicuList" next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList," and tonight we're adding the guy who stole this lady's bike. He messed with the wrong rider, because it turns out she's the most clever thing on two wheels. She managed to track down her stolen bike by herself and steal it right back.

Her name is Catherine Lucas. She lives in Colorado. Her bike was stolen from outside a bar in Boulder. According to Denver news station KMGH, after she filed a police report, Lucas went on Craigslist and, lo and behold, she found a posting for a bike for sale, her bike. So she called the guy, went to his apartment, asked if she could go for a test ride. This is what happened next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CATHERINE LUCAS, STOLE BIKE BACK FROM THIEF: So I started riding, and I knew it was my bike. So I just kept riding it, rode it to my car, and then threw it in my car and drove away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So after Lucas completed her one-woman sting operation, she gave the police the guy's address, and they arrested him.

Now, the police told her that, for future reference, she probably shouldn't take the law into her own handlebars, so to speak. But we kind of love her moxie. As anyone who has seen "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" knows, it is a sad truth that sometimes the police just don't take bicycle theft quite as seriously as the victim does.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What exactly leads you to believe the Soviets were involved?

PAUL "PEE WEE HERMAN" REUBENS, ACTOR: Well, I know that...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look, let me be honest with you. Hundreds of bikes are stolen every month. Very few of them are ever recovered. We just don't have the resources.

REUBENS: You're saying you can't do anything? My bike means everything to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Poor Peewee. He's not alone, not by a long shot. National bike thefts, statistics are hard to come by. And many people don't even bother reporting it when their bikes get swiped. I've had mine stolen. I never reported it.

But no one is immune. Lance Armstrong had a bike stolen a few years ago. And who in the world could possibly have better bike security than Lance Armstrong? I don't think we're talking about a chain and padlock here.

Just a couple weeks ago, former NBA center Sean Bradley had his bike stolen, too. He's 7'6", so the bike was custom made. It's about 50 percent larger than a normal bike. So someone couldn't just ride it away.

Those guys both got their bikes back, but we're not all that lucky. As I said, I too, have been a victim of grand theft bicycle. I told the story to a rapt audience on "Live with Regis & Kelly" last year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Not just stolen, but I talked to a doorman on the block where it was stolen. I canvassed the neighborhood. And he was like, "Oh, yes, I saw it being stolen." It probably was stolen at night. And it was parked on -- it was chained very aggressively to a parking poll with a sign saying, saying, "Don't park here." Those things are like eight, ten feet tall.

KELLY RIPA, CO-HOST, ABC'S "LIVE WITH REGIS & KELLY": You can't just fly it off.

COOPER: A guy came with a box, put the box down, got on the box, picked it up, and lifted it up all the way over the thing.

REGIS PHILBIN, CO-HOST, ABC'S "LIVE WITH REGIS & KELLY": Is that the second bike? COOPER: That's the second bike I've had stolen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It's true.

So Catherine, I say more power to you for getting your bike back. It was a gutsy move. A victory for riders everywhere. Just maybe the next thief will think twice before swiping a bike and ending up on "The RidicuList."

That's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.