Raghib ‘Rocket’ Ismail, a former Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver, and college standout at Notre Dame, joined Holden and Danny on 106.7 The Fan to talk some NFL and get his thoughts out on the Jerry Sandusky Trial that has plagued Penn State, making a stunning revelation about himself in the process.
When asked to give his thoughts on the Penn State scandal, Rocket told the story of how he and his brother were both recruited by Jerry Sandusky, who has since been convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, and how much of a stunning impression the former coach made on he and his family. Ismail said when the story broke about Sandusky being accused of being a child predator, it went directly against the impression the coach had made on him during the recruiting process.
“I was totally shocked. When I was being recruited by Sandusky, Jerry Sandusky was the man who was actually in charge of our recruitment. I thought he was a saint.”
Ismail spoke of how he was treated with overt kindness by the coach and his family; that the coach always seemed to go the extra mile for him, even adding that Sandusky’s wife made cookies for him.
However, while discussing the issue of child sexual abuse, Raghib Ismail made the stunning revelation that he too was abused as a child.
“Well for me, I have experience in being sexually abused when I was a young boy. And any time you have anybody in a position of authority, that has any type of knowledge of that happening, and then not taking the right steps to rectify the situation, and to protect those who they’ve been given authority over, I never look at whatever the judgment is as something that was too lenient or unfair. Because you’re talking about people who trusted you and were defenseless.”
Upon request, Ismail went into detail on why the Penn State scandal was a football issue, despite much back-and-forth on whether the NCAA overstepped its bounds by penalizing the program.
“A part in married to the football team, as far as the coaches were concerned, one of the things that would add to the trust level is the fact that, hey man, you’re connected to a football team, an institution of higher learning…that when you say I’m representing Penn State University, man that puts you on another notch as far as trust, keeping someone in high regard. So it’s another thing that would make you put your defenses down because you just don’t think that any type of ill-will or ill-intention would be coming from somebody who represented that institution.”