Santorum dodges question on Paterno

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said he doesn’t know enough about the Penn State controversy to say whether football coach Joe Paterno should resign.

All I can say is heads have rolled and probably more heads should roll, Santorum said, according to the New Hampshire Union LeaderI dont know the facts and circumstances enough to say it should be Joe.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Paterno could resign within weeks or even days because of a scandal surrounding alleged sexual abuse of young boys carried out by a former Penn State assistant football coach over more than a decade.

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Jerry Sandusky, formerly a defensive coordinator under Paterno, was arrested Saturday on felony child sex abuse charges involving eight boys. Penn State officials, including Paterno, allegedly knew of allegations against Sandusky for years, but the former coach was still allowed access to football locker rooms where he allegedly abused young boys he met through a charity program.  

Later on Tuesday during an interview with ABC News and Yahoo, Santorum said he was "devastated" by the news as it unfolds.

"I mean I just can't tell you how troubling this is," Santorum said.

Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator and a Penn State graduate who also attended its law school, cautioned that he hadnt read the indictment of Sandusky.

Im sick to my stomach enough that Im not sure I can read the indictment, Santorum said.

But he was circumspect when it came to questions about whether Paterno, a legendary coach at Penn State, was to blame.

Is it Joes job to investigate it? Maybe it was. I dont know. But Im sure hes as sick and stunned about it as everyone else, Santorum said.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) echoed Santorum's sentiment toward Paterno.

"Well you know that Paterno has been a great leader for Penn State, and so I can't tell you what happened and I'm not going to jump to any conclusions about coach Paterno,"  Toomey said Tuesday to The Hill.

On Sandusky, Santorum said the news came as somewhat of a shock.

“Youre thinking, I’m sure hes just horsing around because, you know, football, locker room, all this messing around occurred,” Santorum said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) sent a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan calling for a federal investigation of the Sandusky case. Read the letter here

Meehans letter comes a day after Duncan told The Associated Press that, if the allegations were true, he was “extraordinarily angry” and it was “mind boggling” that the abuse was allowed to go on.

—This story was updated at 2:17 p.m. 

Anna Harvey contributed reporting.