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
 

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Photos, Tweets from riot

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: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:22 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

My opinion is that, as I understand the case, the person who really ought to be fired is McQueary.  He saw this and did not immediately either stop this or go to the police.  He saw a rape of a child, and, instead of reporting it to the police, he reported a watered-down version of the events to Paterno the next day.  And even "fondling" is a watered down version.  I think it's reasonable for Paterno to think that "Well, if this person telling me what he saw didn't believe it was serious enough to contact the police, it probably isn't serious enough to contact the police."  Paterno did not see this, he heard some sort of report from McQueary.  I think that McQueary should be much higher on the list of "who needs to be fired" than Paterno.



Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:22 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

  Joe Paterno is going to be lucky to keep his house, nevermind his job. This sicko Sandusky brought these kids to games. What's going to happen when the first photo hits the wire that shows Paterno standing there with Sandusky and one of these kids AFTER Joe knew about the shower incident? Parents are going to be in court saying that Sandusky lured their kids into harms way by promising that they'd get to meet Joe Pa. And there's the picture of the three of them, grinning at the camera, and all the while Joe KNEW what Sandusky was. Who's going to be out in the street chanting Paterno's name on that day? Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, involved in this mess is going down. And rightfully so. Just wait until these students tell someone they went to Penn State only to have them snicker derisively. Then let's see them out in the street chanting for Joe.



Since: Dec 7, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:21 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

My point on homosexuality is that if we as a nation did not say its ok to be gay then we would have less of these problems

With all due respect, are you retarded?  Do you realize what you just said??  You just said that because we as a nation say that it's ok to be gay, Sandusky thought that meant it is ok to rape little kids.  Raping little kids has nothing to do with being gay and everything to do with the sick and twisted way some adults look at children.  Not to mention that Sandusky had a wife.  Now, you can claim that he came under a disorder the way you put it, but that doesn't mean that just because you have a "gay disorder" you are now attracted to little kids.  I don't see other gay men and women out chasing kids around the playground just because their gay.  Sandusky was the product of a sick and twisted disease that most of us will never understand, but that disease is not being gay.  If you are going to blame pedophila on being gay, how do you explain when grown men rape little girls or when grown woment rape little boys??



Since: Jun 3, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:20 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

I'll have to disagree on that one jitexas.... ALL are equally to blame. Joe and Sandusky were like best  friends over the years. When you are that close, you know a little something. And the fact remains that Joe has, well had, more pull the the DA, Attorney General, or even the Governor of PA and could have had his friend removed from all Penn State facilities after the second incident in 2002. With that much power that Joe had, it was his responsibility to do more than just tell someone that had already been told. And as your friend, how can you remain friends with someone after the second icident. I think the whole scandal got out of hand around or after 2002 that all parties said they had to keep their mouths shut or possibly go to jail, which makes ALL individuals sick!!!! Innocent children had to pay for this cover-up... Clean house, let the judicial system put the hammer down, and move on Penn State. Lastly..... when you give any one man, or woman, as much power as everyone conceded to him, then you will always get some sort of corruption. Don't put too much faith in any man or worship a man like many worshipped Joe Paterno....



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:20 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

My opinion is that, as I understand the case, the person who really ought to be fired is McQueary.  He saw this and did not immediately either stop this or go to the police.  He saw a rape of a child, and, instead of reporting it to the police, he reported a watered-down version of the events to Paterno the next day.  And even "fondling" is a watered down version.  I think it's reasonable for Paterno to think that "Well, if this person telling me what he saw didn't believe it was serious enough to contact the police, it probably isn't serious enough to contact the police."  Paterno did not see this, he heard some sort of report from McQueary.  I think that McQueary should be much higher on the list of "who needs to be fired" than Paterno.



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:17 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

"Mike McQueary came to him and reported seeing Sandusky in the Penn State showers with a 10-year-old boy."

If only that were all it was.  I understand that it can't be reported everywhere what McQueary really says he saw and heard (read the grand jury report)....but too many of these stories simply don't present an accurate picture of how we got to this point.  If more people really knew the details, it becomes very difficult to give anyone that knew anything the benefit of the doubt.  A specific incident was seen and reported.  That nothing happened in the weeks, months, and years following is unfathomable and represents a profound failure on the part of everyone who knew.


brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:17 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:15 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Well written Mojo,

The big problem here though is that people differ on their opinions about what he knew or what was said to him.  In addition, some people think that just the idea of something "inappropriate" happening with a child in the locker room should have caused Paterno's moral compass to immediately contact the police.  It's easy to say we all would have done this in hindsight, now that all the facts of what happened are brought to light. 






Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:15 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Brian if someone waited untill the next day and reported to you that someone attacked one of your children and the saw it happen and instead of imediately calling the police waited until the next day to report this, who would you blame for your child being molested?


brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:11 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



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