Sandusky: Yes, I've horsed around, hugged, showered with, and touched the legs of kids -- but no sex

That’s a relief. I admit, after hearing he’d horsed around, hugged, showered with, and touched the legs of young kids, I totally assumed he was a pedophile.

Say, isn’t it weird that a guy who was investigated for child sexual abuse in 1998 was still willing to risk people getting the wrong impression about him four years later, when he got caught by McQueary showering with — and allegedly raping — a 10-year-old? It’s one thing to not understand that showering with children is bad, but to continue to not understand it even after the police and the local D.A. have informed you that showering with a child is bad smacks almost of compulsion, I’d say.

Luckily, he’ll be clearing all of this up tonight.

Former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky admitted to showering and horsing around with young boys but said he is not a pedophile in an exclusive interview with Bob Costas for NBC News’ Rock Center airing tonight at 10 pm/9 CT.

“I say that I am innocent of those charges,” said Sandusky in a phone interview with Costas.

When asked by Costas, “Are you a pedophile,” Sandusky responded “No.”…

“I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact,” said Sandusky.

When pressed by Costas about what Sandusky was willing to concede that he’d done was wrong, Sandusky said, “I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.”

No word yet on what those “rhythmic, slapping sounds” were that McQueary heard when he swung by the locker room that night in 2002, but then NBC can’t reveal all the important exculpatory stuff before the interview airs. That’s at 10 p.m. tonight ET — the same hour as Gloria Cain’s interview with Greta on Fox News and Gabby Giffords’s interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC. Dilemmas, dilemmas.

Meanwhile, another interesting scoop from NBC: Supposedly, McQueary sent someone an e-mail last week insisting that he “made sure it stopped” when he allegedly caught Sandusky with the boy in the showers. I hope that’s true — we’re bound to hear more about it soon — but if it is, how come the grand jury indictment doesn’t say so? Scroll down to the top of page 7; all it says is that he “left immediately, distraught.” Is he lying now or did the indictment somehow omit some important details about what McQueary did?

Update: Megan McArdle wonders: What’s the ratio of people who are totally sure they would have intervened if they were in McQueary’s shoes to people who actually would have intervened if they were in McQueary’s shoes?

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