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 6:01 pm
 

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

Paterno and Sandusky worked together for years.  Imagine if a long-time coworker of yours whom you were close to was accused of this sort of behavior.  Would you want to believe it, or would you want to believe it was a misunderstanding or that something else was going on here? ... Determining guilt or innocence was not Paterno's responsibility, and I find it very likely that he did not or could not believe that a long-time coworker of his could be guilty of such horrible crimes.
Then why did Paterno orchestrate Sandusky's "retirement" after the incident in 1998 when Sandusky was a highly regarded defensive coordinator at the height of his coaching career and the heir apparent to Paterno? Paterno knew the following:

1998: Victim 6 is taken into the locker rooms and showers when he is 11 years old. When Victim 6 is dropped off at home, his hair is wet from showering with Sandusky. His mother reports the incident to the university police, who investigate.

Detective Ronald Schreffler testifies that he and State College Police Department Detective Ralph Ralston, with the consent of the mother of Victim 6, eavesdrop on two conversations the mother of Victim 6 has with Sandusky. Sandusky says he has showered with other boys and Victim 6's mother tries to make Sandusky promise never to shower with a boy again but he will not. At the end of the second conversation, after Sandusky is told he cannot see Victim 6 anymore, Schreffler testifies Sandusky says, "I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won't get it from you. I wish I were dead."

Jerry Lauro, an investigator with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, testifies he and Schreffler interviewed Sandusky, and that Sandusky admits showering naked with Victim 6, admits to hugging Victim 6 while in the shower and admits that it was wrong.





Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:57 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Just one more comment on what Paterno knew or what he believed he knew.


I was explaining the circumstances of the story to my wife. I told her about the grad assistant being a witness to Sandusky (a coach) sodomizing a boy in the locker room showers. She didn't bat an eye. When I explained it to her what had happened, and this is an educated woman, she thought that I meant a coach and a college age player were having sex in the shower. Not appropriate in her mind but in this day and age not entirely out of the realm of possibility if it was consentual. Obviously I hadn't made my point. Could have the same thing happened with Paterno? Did he not understand?

 
When I clarified that it was an adult male with a ten year old boy.... naturally she was horrified!



Since: Mar 28, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:57 pm
 

Joe Paterno fired by Penn State board of trustees

Hopefully someone charges in with an automatic weapon and kills every member of the cowardly, treacherous "board."

Not a penn state fan, but lots of respect for JoePa, not many coaches have lasted this long with one team, not even Vince Lombardi.




Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:52 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Paterno said that he should have done more after the fact, knowing what he knows now
That's what anyone would say after they've been caught in a cover-up.

according to his testimony, which was confirmed by others' testimonies, JoePa didn't understand the gravity of what had happened.
According to the testimony of his co-conspirators who have been arrested for the cover-up.

He was told something was going on; he wasn't told that this something was rape of a minor or anything else to that extent.
Prove it without using the testimony of those who have already been arrested. McQueary said he told Paterno what he saw which was the anal rape of a child.

As of right now, the courts have confirmed this as truthful testimony and said he wasn't at fault legally, and that he did everything he was required to legally. Deemed by the state, he is not a criminal.
Technically, yes, as of right now. In the real world, Paterno is a criminal scumbag of the worst kind.

As to the assumptions being made, there is no evidence at all to support that JoePa knew exactly what Sandusky was doing. Actually, there is not a shred of evidence that supports this assumption at all.
Paterno knew enough from the incident in 1998 which led to Sandusky's "retirement" and the incident in 2002 for him to know that Sandusky, at the bare minimum, was committing sexual crimes against children.




Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:49 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

For a man who is not under indictment is in no trouble what so ever and the media talking heads are convicting him Through the press. If some one accused Sandusky of wrong doing 10 years ago JOE PA might or might not have been told he told his bosses that's why they were arrested on 75,000 bond. Do not judge a man until you KNOW all the Facts. The State is trying to save face by cleaning out the guilty ones and Joe Pa is caught in the middle.



Since: Nov 10, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:43 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

If anyone standing on the sidelines doesn't realize that Paterno knew about this in 99, they have their head in the Happy Valley sod. Sandusky got caught in 98, and Paterno was worried about his goal about being the all times win leader. They made an arrangement for Sandusky to "retire" and go quietly into the sunset. Problem is, Sandusky continued to be the slime of the earth, and Hoe Pa continued to cover it up. As time goes on, it will come out that Hoe Pa gave new meaning to "taking one for the team". Happy Valley should be made a landfill, as it was all about Hoe Pa and making money for the University.




Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:39 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

I believe Paterno could have done more than he did but I also think that this sad, sorted, twisted state of affairs gave the regents the opening they have been looking for, for years, to get rid of Paterno.
The university is looking at tens of millions in legal bills and settlements.  Getting rid of Paterno is irrelevant now, in light of what is about to happen.



Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:34 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

After reading all there is to read about this story there still remains the question of what Paterno knew or didn't know.
If you don't think Paterno knew, then why did Paterno orchestrate Sandusky's "retirement" in 1999 when Sandusky was a highly regarded defensive coordinator in the prime of his coaching career and the heir apparent to Paterno? Paterno then learns of the incident in 2002 and Paterno testified under oath that McQueary had said that Sandusky was engaged in fondling or "doing something of a sexual nature" to a boy. Don't kid yourself, Paterno knew.



Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:29 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Yes.  It's a grand conspiracy, and the CIA blew up the twin towers and framed islamic extremists. 

I'll see your "moron" and raise you a social media a$$ monkey.
Ok, smart guy, if you were Paterno and wanted to engage in a cover-up, what would you have done differently?

Two people have already been arrested because they participated in a cover-up for a child rapist. These are the same people that Paterno told. Paterno then doesn't follow up, keeps quiet for 10 years, and allows Sandusky to roam freely around the facilities. You are honestly trying to tell me that there wasn't a cover-up that involved Paterno directly? Don't make any more of a fool of yourself than you already have.



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:27 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

After reading all there is to read about this story there still remains the question of what Paterno knew or didn't know. It is inconceivable to me that Paterno did not ask more questions when the grad assistant reported the Sandusky incident to Paterno. Maybe Paterno was so out of touch, so Old World, that he couldn't even conceptialize that something so horrific as to what was described in the grand jury report could even happen in his personal utopia of Happy Valley? I don't know.

 I believe Paterno could have done more than he did but I also think that this sad, sorted, twisted state of affairs gave the regents the opening they have been looking for, for years, to get rid of Paterno.

 


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