Blog Entry

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:13 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 5:45 pm
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Posted by Adam Jacobi

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On Wednesday morning, Joe Paterno announced that he would retire at the end of Penn State's football season. On Wednesday evening, the Penn State board of trustees decided that wasn't enough.

The trustees cleaned house at a Wednesday night meeting, announcing that both Paterno and PSU president Graham Spanier were done with the school effective immediately. That means Joe Paterno's legendary, 46-year career as head coach of Penn State is, as of today, officially over. Tom Bradley, who has spent the last 33 years coaching alongside Paterno as a defensive assistant, has been named the interim head coach for the rest of the 2011 season.

John P. Surma, the vice chairman of the board of trustees, announced at the ensuing press conference that the decision to remove Paterno was unanimous. "The university is much larger than its athletic teams," said Surma. The press conference was marked by numerous angry and accusatory questions, many of which Surma chose to ignore.

Paterno, 84, leaves Penn State as the winningest coach in major college football history, having just passed Grambling legend Eddie Robinson in his last game. He was notified of the board's decision by phone call, according to Surma, and after the press conference, he greeted a small group of students who had come to his house by telling them, "Right now I'm not the football coach."

Later, Paterno issued a longer statement from his home, saying the following:

"I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees decision, but I have to accept it. A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, it's property and all that we value. I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt." 

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Paterno's firing comes as his Nittany Lions are ranked 12th in the nation and leading the Big Ten Leaders Division with an 8-1 (5-0) record. It was the 19th time in his career that a Paterno-led Penn State team had started the season with at least eight wins in its first nine games.

The status of Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and of vice president/treasurer Gary Schultz is still to be determined. Both men face charges for perjury and failure to report child abuse in their roles in the Sandusky scandal. Surma would not say at the conference whether the two men would continue to have their legal fees paid by the university.

Paterno has come under harsh criticism - including from within the community known as Happy Valley - for not taking more action in 2002 after then-graduate assistant and current assistant coach Mike McQueary came to him and reported seeing Sandusky in the Penn State showers with a 10-year-old boy. Paterno notified Curley and Schultz.

Earlier Wednesday, Paterno had said in a statement that he was "absolutely devastated by the developments in this case." "I grieve for the children and their families," said Paterno, "and I pray for their comfort and relief."

Paterno informed his players on Wednesday of his intent to retire in an tear-filled team meeting. Afterward, many players told the media that they had never seen Paterno so emotional.

"In all the clips I've seen of him, I've never seen him break down and cry," quarterback Paul Jones said. "And he was crying the whole time today."

Cornerback Stephon Morris said some players also were nearly in tears themselves. "I still can't believe it. I've never seen Coach Paterno like that in my life," Morris said.

The Penn State football game with Nebraska is still scheduled for this Saturday in the Nittany Lions' home finale. But for the first time since 1950, Paterno will not be there as a member of the Nittany Lions coaching staff.




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Comments

Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:14 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Paterno's legacy is as a criminal and a scumbag of the worst kind.

We will just have to agree to disagree. Joe Pa wasn't touching little kids. He's a football coach, not a judge, not a policeman, not a social worker. You act like he was the only person that knew about this.
Paterno legacy isn't going to be that of a criminal.  His legacy is going to be that he put the football program and the university ahead of livelihood of the children involved in this scandal.  He was more worried about how it would affect the program and tarnish his legacy with a black eye such as this.

I agree JoPa is a football coach and not a judge, policeman or social worker.  What JoPa is though, is a husband, a father, a grandfather and a supposed role model to millions of people who follow or have followed PSU football or have played for him.  

The fact he is all of those things and STILL didn't feel the need to report this to proper authorities and put an end to this sick pedophile will forever tarnish JoPa's image.  You think if the kid who was getting anal raped was a child of someone JoPa knew, he would have let this get swept under the rug???   



Since: Sep 1, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:11 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

@bdbower843 - do you honestly think JoePa didn't know what was going on with his assistant coach in '98, please?  Jack Ham said it best this morning on Mike & Mike - "Everyday JoePa has put the best interests of the University first", which is what he did the day he chose not to call 911 upon hearing what his good friend Jerry Sandusky was doing to a child in his athletic department showers.

If you are the bystander and don't act, you are the same as the criminal.  JoePa's in-action in 2002, enabled Sandusky to continue to rape young boys for another 10 years.  Thanks JoePa, you're my hero!



Since: Oct 12, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:09 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

To all the immmature property damaging students of PSU. You're no better than a hoard of bandits that prey on innocent people and objects that other people own. It's time to grow up and turn yourself in to authorities. Make reparations to the party's you damaged. You go to college for higher learning, but it's evident you haven't comprehended a thing. Learn what right or wrong is, make yourself aware of what's good or evil, it will make your lives more fulfilling. To the students that understood the real intent of the Paterno decision, you are to be commended.



Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:07 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

MikeD .... So according to you McQueary and the grad asst. that WITNESSED this happening and did nothing are not more so to blame than Joe.  I can see where the knowledge that was present before all this happened is partly Joes fault, but you have parents, DA's, school officials and numerous others that are more to blame than Joe. Joe did report what was reported to him to the school who took over after that. Joe had some here say evidence the whole time, nothing that was hard evidence. You do not go around just accusing someone of something with no evidence. McQueary and the college asst SAW it happening and did nothing untill the next day and that was to report it to Joe, who in turn took this here say evidence to the school and the school failed to do anything about it. Once again all Joe had was heresay evidence. Ya know so many here have no clue the implications of taking heresay evidence to the police, I do. I was told by a friend that my niece was being molested by her step father, I was like how do you know this? He said his daughter told him that my niece told his daughter. Well I immediately went to the police and told them about it. Well, after all was said and done, and this includes me beating my brother in law to a pulp, I was told I was lucky to not have charges brought up on me for making a false report.  4 years later my brother in law committed suicide because my neice was going to tell the people at school he was molesting her and she had proof. See if you are not the person who witnessed the crime and report it because you heard it then you can be charged with making a false report if it all turns up in the investigation that there is no evidence suggesting it happened.
whole truth,

one -- i don't believe a word of the story you just told -- all you did was take the exact scenario at PSU, inserted yourself and made up the rest along the way to try and make what you are saying right.  that is pretty sad.

two -- paterno had a witness (McQueery) -- at the time McQueery was just a kid himself, he went to his dad and then to paterno, as i am guessing he had no idea what to do.  paterno, at the time, was already a father and a grandfather.  paterno was in charge of a major college football program.  if you think paterno didn't immediately contact sandusky after this incident -- you are kidding yourself.  paterno hired this guy and worked side by side with him for 32 years.  you know, as well as i, paterno knew all about the incident in 1998 and that is exactly why Sandusky retired.  the fact it happens AGAIN in 2002 and paterno doesn't immediately report this to the cops is a damn shame.  the fact the university decided to let him walk with a slap on the wrist is a damn shame.  the fact paterno allowed this guy to ever step foot on the campus again is a damn shame. 

i think what you are missing in all of this is -- it is not ONLY paterno who should burn because of this.  it is mcqueery (who it is only a matter of time before he is gone), it is spanier who approved the slap on the wrist, it is curly and schultz who lied to the grand jury and covered this up.  ALL OF THEM readily let a known heinous pedophile walk away scott free with no repercussions for his actions that were WITNESSED by grad asst.  all of them have their hands dirty with the children who were molested after that incident in 2002.

i CANNOT WAIT for the civil suits to start rolling in -- PSU is going to be paying MASSIVE settlements to each and every individual child whose life was ruined by the inept and pathetic adminstration at PSU.  notice i said settlements -- ZERO chance PSU goes to trial on any of these as the awards rewarded for each specific case would be in the 8-9 digit range.

i CANNOT WAIT for the sentencing to the PSU administrators who thought letting a pedophile walk away with a slap on the wrist to save the PSU brand and the face of the football program was more important than the livelihood of those children.

in the end -- i hope each and every member of the PSU administration from Paterno all the way down to the janitor, live a life where they are constantly ridiculed and reminded of the fact they are responsible for letting a pedophile continue to rape children.  i hope their lives are so miserable they get an inkling of what these children will have to go thru the rest of their lives.

 



Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:03 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Paterno's legacy is as a criminal and a scumbag of the worst kind.

We will just have to agree to disagree. Joe Pa wasn't touching little kids. He's a football coach, not a judge, not a policeman, not a social worker. You act like he was the only person that knew about this. 



Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:02 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

To all of you Paterno defenders, ask yourselves this:

If you were Paterno and you wanted to orchestrate a cover-up, what would you have done differently? The answer is NOTHING.

Telling your co-conspirators (the AD and the VP of Finance and Business) who, in turn, sit on the information, just means that you covered your own arse legally while participating in a cover-up. Wake up, homers.



Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 3:55 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Like most of tou i grew up admiring penn st and joe pa. However as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, i feel that he should have been fired no less than days ago and the vilification is justified.



Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 3:52 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

It is impossible to defend Coach Paterno's handling of these sexual abuse claims. In my mind though he is still one of the all time great coaches. Coach Paterno touched way too many lives in a positive way for this scandal to ruin his legacy in my mind. 
Think of how many lives have been destroyed because he put himself and the football ahead of the welfare of innocent and defenseless children.

Paterno's legacy is as a criminal and a scumbag of the worst kind.




Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 3:51 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

"you work for someone , there is a problem who do you go too, your boss, you have faith he will handle it, so if he doesn't is it your fault?"

We are talking about witnessing the rape of a child...not Dan from accounting stealing office supplies.  Nobody is blaming Paterno exclusively....we all know that Sandusky is the monster.  What we don't understand is how, when Sandusky had already been investigated in 1998, something could happen like this a few years later and so little come of it.   Too many people knew what kind of guy Sandusky was, and nobody did enough about it when presented with the opportunity. 



Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 3:49 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

It is impossible to defend Coach Paterno's handling of these sexual abuse claims. In my mind though he is still one of the all time great coaches. Coach Paterno touched way too many lives in a positive way for this scandal to ruin his legacy in my mind.  


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