In TimesTalks Conversation on, Bob Costas Calls Football 'Unacceptably Brutal' and Says 'Horrific' Events at Penn State Tarnish Reputation of Joe Paterno

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In new video of December 7 TimesTalks conversation – available exclusively on – NBC Sportscaster Bob Costas speaks candidly and frankly with sportswriter Bob Lipsyte about the current state of sports in America. Costas calls football "unacceptably brutal" and says that any good done by Joe Paterno at Penn State cannot outweigh the negative impact of the child abuse scandal on Paterno's legacy.

NBC Sportscaster Bob Costas at TimesTalks in New York on Dec. 7, 2011

The game is unacceptably brutal. Can I say it more plainly than that? The game is unacceptably brutal.

In partnership with the New York Times, launches another compelling conversation into the TimesTalks video series. This latest conversation is a wide ranging exchange on sports in America between NBC sportscaster Bob Costas and sportswriter and journalist Bob Lipsyte. Their conversation was taped before a live audience on Wednesday evening, December 7, in New York City.

Video of the complete conversation is now available as a premium event exclusively on at and via the ”Conference Channel” iPad app.
Costas pulled no punches and left no doubt about where he stands on two hotly debated sports issues: violence in football and the legacy of Penn State legend Joe Paterno.

When asked by Mr. Lipsyte about the current controversy surrounding the serious problem of concussions in football and what must be done, Costas was clear: “The game is unacceptably brutal. Can I say it more plainly than that? The game is unacceptably brutal.”
View video clip at:

And in a discussion on the legacy of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, in light of the recent child abuse scandal there, Costas considered the many benefits Joe Paterno brought to Penn State both on and off the field. He ultimately concluded, “this [scandal] is so horrific that even with all the accomplishments – and all the good that Joe Paterno did, undoubtedly in an imperfect way – it tips the balance. It’s going to be very hard to extract from this story all the good things that Joe Paterno did….”
View video clip at:

Other TimesTalks events available for viewing on include conversations with Film Stars Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Viola Davis, Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Mark Ruffalo, Kevin Spacey, Quentin Tarantino and Denzel Washington; Comedy Stars Lewis Black, Russell Brand, Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan, and Ben Stiller; and Celebrated Chefs, including Alton Brown, Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, Jose Garces, Ina Garten, Jacques Pepin and others.

For more information please contact Rob Flynn at rob(at)fora(dot)tv or 202-677-5008.

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