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." 

More on Penn State scandal
Columns
Dennis Dodd Gregg Doyel
Untouchable no more: Paterno out at Penn State Read More >>
Dennis Dodd Dennis Dodd
As JoePa exits, Penn State football needs complete makeover Read More >>
Related links

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.




Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview








Comments

Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:26 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

What gets to me is McLeary (in his late-20's in 2002) did not act and he's the person who saw the assault happen in 2002. Instead of breaking-up what was going on, he ran like a yellow-bellied coward and called his daddy, and hours later reported it to Joe Paterno. And Penn State trustees who fired Joe Paterno are letting McLeary coach Saturday against Nebraska? IMO, allowing McLeary coach any more games with Penn State is wrong!

IMO, after Joe Paterno fulfilled his legal obligations and notified the Penn State athletic director, Joe Paterno likely inquired with Sandusky (who likely lied & denied the assault) and reminded him he was not to step foot in athletic facilities; that if he did again, he'd have him arrested.

Remember... this is McLeaery's word versus Sandusky's word... he-said, he-said. And the boy being abused was not located...  so if Joe Paterno or the athletic director went to authorities, what "proof" did they have?  None. That could open the university to a huge lawsuit.
Yes!



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?  How may times have people close to a horrible criminal said "There's no way he would do something like that."  You hear that all the time.  Paterno took the (limited) information he had to the people who were supposed to be in charge of these things.  As another poster said, this likely ended up with McQueary saying one thing and Sandusky saying another, and the people would were responsible for determining fact from fiction didn't do so.  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.

Paterno could have gone to the police, and it's a failure of his that he didn't.  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.  I'm not saying Paterno has no blame.  There's more than enough blame to go around.  But I can in some ways understand why he did what he did, or didn't do what he didn't do.  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

Exactly!

Reasonable posts by rational people. 



Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:24 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Joe Paterno fulfilled his legal obligations and notified the Penn State athletic director
Stealing a pack of gum is illegal. What's worse, stealing a pack of gum or covering up for a known child predator and rapist? The AD is a co-conspirator in the cover-up and has been arrested as a result.

Joe Paterno likely inquired with Sandusky (who likely lied & denied the assault) and reminded him he was not to step foot in athletic facilities; that if he did again, he'd have him arrested.
WRONG. Sandusky was working out in the weight room just last week, sporting Penn State gear. He was in and out of the facilities on a regular basis since 2002.

Remember... this is McLeaery's word versus Sandusky's word... he-said, he-said. And the boy being abused was not located...  so if Joe Paterno or the athletic director went to authorities, what "proof" did they have?  None. That could open the university to a huge lawsuit.
WRONG. McQueary's accont never left PSU. The boy hasn't been located because they didn't look for him and it has been almost 10 years now. If Paterno did the humane thing and went to police, they could have located the child, seen evidence of an anal rape, taken DNA, and put Sandusky in jail where he belongs and no other children would have been sexually assaulted in the following 10 years.

The graduate assistant is never questioned by university police and no other entity conducts an investigation until the graduate assistant testifies in Grand Jury in December 2010.

But keep believing whatever you want to believe and keep defending the scumbag sociopath Paterno.




Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:24 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

 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.
So his graduate assistant that he has known for at least 10 years, a guy that was his starting qb a few years earlier, lied to him about the rape of a child?

Did you read the grand jury report?  Paterno himself stated that McQueary was clearly upset when he relayed what he saw.  Paterno had to have known about a prior investigation in 1998 involving Sandusky and inappropriate contact with children...Sandusky was "retired" the next year, at 55 years old.







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

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Paterno was a co-conspirator in a cover-up involving a child predator and rapist. That is not the definition of a scapegoat, you freaking moron.

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.



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:05 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

Sad that noone in our society can take responsibility for their own actions.  It is always someone elses fault whenever anything bad happens.  Today, Joe Pa gets to be the scapegoat.

That was my first thought as well....then I read the grand jury report.  As I learned more, I could no longer escape the truth that JoePa failed miserably in this situation.  He did something, just not nearly enough.



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:58 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

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?  How may times have people close to a horrible criminal said "There's no way he would do something like that."  You hear that all the time.  Paterno took the (limited) information he had to the people who were supposed to be in charge of these things.  As another poster said, this likely ended up with McQueary saying one thing and Sandusky saying another, and the people would were responsible for determining fact from fiction didn't do so.  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.

Paterno could have gone to the police, and it's a failure of his that he didn't.  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.  I'm not saying Paterno has no blame.  There's more than enough blame to go around.  But I can in some ways understand why he did what he did, or didn't do what he didn't do.  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. 



Since: Feb 20, 2010
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:44 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

I am sick and tired of the assumptions people are making about this unfortunate and horriying situation. For everyone who says read the Grand Jury Statements and are saying things that aren't in the statements: Read the statements yourself. Not just what you want to hear, but try to completely understand the testimonies made. Some of you haven't.

Paterno said that he should have done more after the fact, knowing what he knows now, and according to his testimony, which was confirmed by others' testimonies, JoePa didn't understand the gravity of what had happened. 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. 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.

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. We all have opinions, and those opinions are valid, but we shouldn't be attacking people based on those (as of right now) inaccurate assumptions. That is unfair to them. I have my own opinions about what happened, but I keep them to myself, because there's no real evidence to support it.

And I'm not defending JoePa. Paterno should have been fired for this. It was on his watch. He assisted in creating an environment, along with the coaches, President, AD, and even the Board of Directors, that allowed this to happen. But I also feel that it should have been handled differently by Penn State. As every minute passes, this is becoming more of a circus, and things are only going to get worse for the university in the near future.    



Since: Nov 18, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:40 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

What gets to me is McLeary (in his late-20's in 2002) did not act and he's the person who saw the assault happen in 2002. Instead of breaking-up what was going on, he ran like a yellow-bellied coward and called his daddy, and hours later reported it to Joe Paterno. And Penn State trustees who fired Joe Paterno are letting McLeary coach Saturday against Nebraska? IMO, allowing McLeary coach any more games with Penn State is wrong!

IMO, after Joe Paterno fulfilled his legal obligations and notified the Penn State athletic director, Joe Paterno likely inquired with Sandusky (who likely lied & denied the assault) and reminded him he was not to step foot in athletic facilities; that if he did again, he'd have him arrested.

Remember... this is McLeaery's word versus Sandusky's word... he-said, he-said. And the boy being abused was not located...  so if Joe Paterno or the athletic director went to authorities, what "proof" did they have?  None. That could open the university to a huge lawsuit.

But I must add this - the proscecutor leading legal action in 2004/2005 against Sandusky disappeared in 2005 and was declared deceased just this past summer. His body was never found but his laptop was found in a river and his vehicle was found in a near-by parking lot. That IMO does not sound like suicide but foul-play.



Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:39 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

...it's time to stop defending this man...PSU as we have known it is history..in a few months, you'll wish you were an Ohio State fan.



Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:34 pm
 

BREAKING: Joe Paterno out at Penn State

..karma can be a bitch...I'm old enough to remember PSU joing the Big 10 and suggesting that they should build Joe Pa a home in Pasadena, since he'd be spending most late December-Early Januarys there...Thanx Joe, for taking the emphasis off the real criminals..Ohio State!!!


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com