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

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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: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 8:05 pm
 

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

Hey Cosby, you obviously are a slacker/loser. How much time do you have on your hands to reply to every post? Paterno did hundreds, if not thousands of good deeds; what have you ever done in life you pathetic loser? You sit there and judge. Who are you? You're probably the kind of person that we should be wary of. You're probably stealing money from the government. Get a life.
You know what I haven't done? I haven't covered up for and enabled a known child sex offender to rape innocent and defenseless children.

And no, I'm not taking any money from the government and I pay my taxes.

Too bad you couldn't actually argue any of my points (or facts) but instead try to defend the honor of a sociopath while making personal attacks against me. Perhaps it is you who needs to get a life.



Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 8:03 pm
 

Board and Detractors are CLASSLESS

Not one board member or one poster on this blog who is detracting Paterno has 1% of the class that this man had in his lifetime.  These are the types of people who blame the mother or father of a criminal for the crime of a criminal.  Blame the person who did the crime.  Ultimately, the university is at fault for not taking more aggressive action as early as  1998.  Looking for someone to blame?  Blame yourself.



Since: Jul 12, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:53 pm
 

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

If anyone has a problem with Joe Pa's firing needs to read the indictment.  No less than 4 times was this coach caught in the act of molesting or raping little boys.  Joe and all of Penn State knew what was going on.  They allowed this horrible disgrace of a human being to have an office, a parking spot AND access to university facilities.

Anyone and everyone who allowed this is to happen REPEATEDLY is an accessory and should be held accountable.  Turning a blind a eye is no different than DIRECTLY helping the piece of excrement that executed the crime.  Joe Pa is a complete disgrace and a fraud.  No "father" or real man would EVER allow this to go on.

Joe knew and did NOTHING. There is overwhelming evidence to support this.  This is disgusting and those who enable or allowed this to continue should be held accountable.

I don't care that he did the MINIMUM and reported it.  He still ALLOWED this rapist access to his facilities.  He could have easily banned this kiddie-raper from athletic facilities and DID NOT.
 



Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:52 pm
 

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

Hey Cosby, you obviously are a slacker/loser. How much time do you have on your hands to reply to every post? Paterno did hundreds, if not thousands of good deeds; what have you ever done in life you pathetic loser? You sit there and judge. Who are you? You're probably the kind of person that we should be wary of. You're probably stealing money from the government. Get a life.



Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:39 pm
 

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

You grossly underestimate the power of Paterno. Job titles are irrelevant - Paterno was the most powerful man in this whole situation. If Paterno wanted something done, it would get done. All of this is beside the point, though. Paterno KNEW Sandusky was a child predator and sex offender back in 1998. When this SAME SCENARIO came up again in 2002, Paterno should have gone to the police like any sensible and reasonable person would do but instead he met with his co-conspirators and they chose to cover it up. Sorry if that's a kick in the balls for you, but that's how it is.



Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:25 pm
 

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

Screw that I don't see this man has being anything but a person who thought that his superiors would act on this and properly investigate this matter. Yes he should have taken a step further there is no doubt about that but one can also ask did he have the power to take this a step further since Sandusky retired back in 1999 so did Joe Pa have the ability to not grant him access. We can also ask why the Penn St police were so grossly negligent in their investigation. This wasn't just a dropped ball by Joe Pa this was a total freak show from the AD on up and Joe Pa brought it to the people he thought would handle it and act on it and they didn't. Truth is Sandusky no longer worked for Joe Paterno has a coach and if Sandusky was granted access to these areas by the AD or someone higher I doubt Joe Pa had any say in the matter and thats why he went to the AD and President of Penn St.



Since: Jan 28, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 6:56 pm
 

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

SEE YA, DOUCHEBAG!!!





Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 6:50 pm
 

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

Joe Paterno comes from a generation that still believed in lines of authority and respect for our superiors.
You mean like how they tried to force him to retire years ago and he flatly told them, his "superiors", "No." It is all about personal glory for Paterno. That is why you have an 84-year-old coach who, by all accounts, doesn't do much actual coaching anymore, but is instead chasing coaching records for his own personal glory.

If Joe had been trying to cover it up he would not have reported it.
No, he would have told his co-conspirators so they could figure out how best to handle it, which is what he did.
He erred by not expressing outrage when seeing Sandusky on campus after he reported the incident.  He should have followed up with his boss and the police if he did not receive a satisfactory explanation.  I think his age and the prevailing culture during his life worked against him.
GIVE IT UP ALREADY! He wasn't outraged because he was too busy chasing personal glory and football wins to be concerned with the welfare of innocent and defenseless children. Please don't use his age and "prevailing culture" as justifications for covering up for and enabling a known child sex offender and rapist to violate more children.

He did not shy away from his responsibility.
The HELL HE DIDN'T.

He reported this incident in the way he had learned to deal with issues beyond his scope.
Beyond his scope? You mean like a normal person with a shred of humanity and concern for others?

I don't believe he should be persecuted for being unable to handle this situation correctly.
You would be singing a different tune if that were your child who got anally raped. Or one of the others since then THAT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED if Paterno handled this situation like a normal, sensible person and not a sociopath.

He should be remembered for all of his contributions and not with disgrace.
Tell that to the victims and their families. Paterno is a disgraceful sociopath who covered up for and enabled a known child predator and rapist. That renders everything else irrelevant.



Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 6:22 pm
 

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

Joe Paterno comes from a generation that still believed in lines of authority and respect for our superiors.  That same generation did not understand the addictive model of sexual predators.  We are now more knowledgeable.  Joe Paterno handled the situation correctly by reporting the incident to his boss, an administrator with the job of handling these situations and the resources to do so.  If Joe had been trying to cover it up he would not have reported it.  He has a long history of promoting honor and has influenced generations of young men very positively.
He erred by not expressing outrage when seeing Sandusky on campus after he reported the incident.  He should have followed up with his boss and the police if he did not receive a satisfactory explanation.  I think his age and the prevailing culture during his life worked against him.
Maybe because I am an accountant I like to look at trends.  The predominant theme of Joe Paterno's life has been to instill a sense of honor and responsibility into the lives of young men.  He did not shy away from his responsibility.  He reported this incident in the way he had learned to deal with issues beyond his scope.  I don't believe he should be persecuted for being unable to handle this situation correctly.  I believe the board should have given him the opportunity to resign immediately in the best interests of the university and the victims.  As long as any of the parties remained at Penn State the news was going to detract attention from the victims and the current students.  He should be remembered for all of his contributions and not with disgrace.



Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 6:07 pm
 

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

Paterno could have gone to the police, and it's a failure of his that he didn't.
You mean Paterno SHOULD have gone to the police. Quit trying to defend a child rapist enabler.

It's also a failure of many others, first and foremost McQueary, who witnessed these events.  While Paterno is the biggest name at Penn State, his failure was not nearly the biggest in this instance.  McQueary, the AD, and the campus police all have significantly more culpibility than Paterno.
They were ALL involved in the cover-up and Paterno is by far the most powerful and influential person of the group.
I would never want to believe that a coworker or friend of mine would do something like this, and, without witnessing it first hand I might not believe it at all.  While I believe he made a mistake, and a huge mistake at that, I don't in any way it believe it was intentional or that he meant to hide child molestation from the authorities.
That's just it - you don't WANT to believe it so you don't.



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