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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

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

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

brian..... I agree he could have done more, my point the whole time has been that McQueary is more to blame than Joe, he allowed a sexual assualt to take place without doing a damned thing about it, he WITNESSED it happeneing and did not call the police. I have stated this numerous times.  As for his termination that is entirely up to the school, coaches are terminated everyday for various reasons. 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.  It is a proven fact that countries that have laws against homosexual activity have less in the way of same sex rapes. Granted these are very few countries, mostly middle east and african but at same time the punishment there for being gay and practicing homosexuality in most cases is death. That handles thier same sex molestation issue pretty well. whether you agree with me on the issue means little, but see you decided to make it personal by use of name calling and derogatory statements directed towards me for what I posted. that is a personal attack on someone, you can disagree with people without attacking them. Now when you learn that perhaps your warnings here on CBS just might go down. See you have a history of attacks on people on here, I do not. That is because I have a use of the english language that makes personal attacks unnecessary. That and I have enough integrity to not personally attack people.

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:09 pm

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Ok, in that case, Curley and Schultz did not report this to the people that they should have.  Paterno whent to the people that he should have to deal with the situation.  He trusted his superiors (who were versed in how to handle these situations) do what they thought was appropriate.

I'm not syaing he shouldn't have done more.  In hindsight, he should have gone to the police.  I don't believe that Paterno no even close to the full situation of what happened in that shower.  I don't believe that Paterno should have taken the fall because others did not do their job. 

Since: Nov 10, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:09 pm

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Mike McQueary saw a 10 year old boy being victimized in the worst way possible and did nothing.  He walked out and left the boy.  He ran home to his daddy.  He was an athlete that stood 6ft + and weights 200lbs + and he did nothing.  Penn State is allowing him to coach this Saturday.  FIRED HIM NOW!!! Show your disgust and join this Facebook page. . . .

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:04 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 7, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:03 pm

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

You haters can say all that you want, but Coach Paterno did the right thing following chain of command.  There is a reason the phrase "chain of command" exists.  Joe Paterno had a job to think about.  You guys can point your fingers and call names all you want, but Paterno didn't know if the accusations were true and when you don't know the facts, you don't go screaming rape.  I don't care if children are involved or not.  You report it to the people who are in charge of investigating it which was his superiors.  What if he had run to the cops about it and he ended up being wrong??  Do you understand what the rammifications of something like that would be?  I don't know about any of you, but i'm not going to risk losing my job over a child or anyone else; over hearsay which is what it was.  The witness should have went to the cops with facts.  Paterno would have gone with a story. 

I'm sorry but the livelyhood of me and my family come before anyone else.  You start ignoring chain of command and that livelyhood is put into jeopardy.  You bring up the livelyhood of the kids all you want, but their livelyhood is no more important than mine.  I'm not going to risk mine just so they can live a better one.  Especially if I end up being wrong.  I have a life to live also.  What the president, AD, and Sandusky did was wrong, but Joe Paterno did the right thing.  You can all point fingers and say "what if it was your child" all you want, but WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR JOB and YOUR LIVELYHOOD on the line?  Would you still break chain of command??  You go ahead and do that.  Scream rape because of a story you heard, break chain of command and IF (that's a big "if" and it goes both ways) you're wrong, good luck convincing your superiors to let you keep your job and why it was ok to break chain of command, and good luck finding another job to support yourself and family that doesn't consist of flipping burgers.

Since: Jun 14, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:03 pm

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State


Joe P knew more than what you understand...

According to the grand jury indictment look at what he reported. Joe P should have acted on his own and reported it to the police. Worse yet; children later were harmed because of his inaction and adversion of his duty to a good society.

Victim 2: In March 2002, graduate assistant Mike McQueary walked into a locker room one Friday night and heard rhythmic slapping sounds. He looked into the shower and saw a boy of about 10, with his hands up against the wall. A naked Sandusky was having intercourse with him. The assistant left. The next day, he reported the incident to Paterno. On Sunday, Paterno told Penn State athletic director Tim Curley that McQueary had seen Sandusky "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy." Curley and Gary Schultz, Penn State's senior vice president of finance and business, talked to McQueary about 10 days later. About two weeks later, Curley told McQueary that Sandusky's keys to the locker room had been taken away. The grand jury said police and child welfare agencies were never notified, and the officials made no attempt to identify the boy.

Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:02 pm

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

I did not claim I would do nothing. I said that I would not go to the police. I would do just as Paterno did and report it to my superiors. If I am the top of the chain of command then it is my responsibility to report this matter to the police. That's what the chain of command is for. I take the crime VERY serious, and I think its SICK, but everyone is acting as if Joe Paterno committed the crime and he didnt. I will go so far as to say I think the crime is serious enough that if I were McQueary and I saw that happening it would have never gotten to Paterno because I would have handled it myself right there. But nobody talks about him because Paterno is easier to pile on. 

To your other comment: If someone told me my friend was going to bomb a building I would likely blow that off as well. It might be wrong, but I'm willing to admit that it would be very hard for me to accept that I am such a poor judge of character that I would associate myself with someone that would bomb a building. My point is or was that we aren't perfect. You think there weren't warning signs for 9/11, Timothy McVeigh, Columbine,  and the list goes on forever that people saw or heard things and remained silent??? I'm not justifying that I'm just saying for everyone to sit here and act like they are the moral code is BS. In that moment is entirely different than looking at it from hindsight. 

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:56 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:55 pm

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

I am not an Penn State fan. I'm not even really a college football fan. I watch college ball because I enjoy football, but I'll watch a MAC game as quickly as a Big 10 game. But I feel that Paterno was wronged in this case. From my understanding (and it may not be a perfect understanding, but it's my understanding) the graduate assistant saw Sandusky doing some pretty horrible things in that shower in 2002. However, when he reported it to Paterno, it was relayed that he saw things that may have been "inappropriate" and that may need to be looked into. Paterno went to his supervisor and was part of a meeting with the head of the campus police department. He was told that the matter was being investigated and would be handled.

Joe Paterno is not a detective. He is not responsible for investigating crimes on campus. He had worked with this Sandusky creep for years, and, unfortunately, probably thought that this was a misunderstanding and probably would never believe that Sandusky, whom he had coached with for years, would do something as heinous as rape children. You want to believe the best of the people that you work with and have relationships with. I'm sure Paterno never thought that Sandusky was capable of what he did. Was Paterno naive? Most likely, But Paterno, as I understand the case, did what he considered to be the right thing. In hindsight, he obviously wished he had done more.

The facts of this case, as I understand them, is that Paterno was told nothing like the graphic detail of what is in the grand jury report. I absolutely believe that, if someone had been told that in 2002, things would be much different now. But "horsing around in the shower" or even "potentially inappropriate behavior" is significantly different than rape. I find it terrible that a man who, as far as I can tell, has always exemplified the word "Integrity" was brought down by this scandal where he did nothing wrong (although I do agree, in hindsight he could have done more), especially before the facts on what Paterno's involvement was and where the communication breakdown happened are determined. We always want to bring down the "big name," whether or not they are responsible. This situation was not in Paterno's jurisdiction, and he should not be held responsible for the failings of others. I'm glad to see that many other individuals are being fired for this situation. It's sad that Paterno, as the "face" of Penn State, was also fired.

Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:55 pm

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Not sure if this joke was passed around yet so here it goes.If an older women goes after younger men she is called a cougar. If a dirty old man goes after young boys he is called a nittany lion

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