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Because of His Name, WBAL Sports Director Gerry Sandusky Treads Carefully With Penn State Story

For WBAL sports director Gerry Sandusky, the current news cycle is a challenge for an unusual reason — his name.

Sandusky, who does the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts on Baltimore’s NBC-affiliate, shares a name — although not a spelling — with Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach at Penn State who is accused of 40 counts of sexual abuse over a 15-year span.

“It’s a very delicate thing because first and foremost, this is a horrific story,” Gerry Sandusky told the Baltimore Sun. “If he is guilty of doing what he is alleged of having done, there are real victims that my heart goes out to.”

The WBAL anchor said he has seen an uptick in his emails, some of them from disgusted people directed at the Penn State coach, and has gained 600-800 new followers on Twitter, where the majority of his recent updates are about his name. WBAL has included a “no relation” disclosure each time they’ve reported on the Penn State incident.

“When you hear your name said on the news attached to a horrific crime, even though it’s not a relative of yours, it’s jarring,” Sandusky said. “For years I’ve always had to introduce myself as Gerry with a ‘G.’ My mom decided to spell my name with a ‘G.’ Thank God she did.”

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