Blog Entry

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Posted on: January 14, 2012 4:48 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 5:50 pm

Posted by Chip Patterson

Joe Paterno has begun to tell his side of the story. Sally Jenkins, of The Washington Post, did an exclusive interview with Paterno - his first official comments regarding the fallout at Penn State since his firing on Nov. 9. The story will be published in Sunday's edition of the paper, and was made available online on Saturday.

In the story Paterno gives his account of the events surrounding the alleged rape of a young boy by Jerry Sandusky in the Penn State facilities in 2002. The details of what Mike McQueary told the Penn State head coach, and the steps that were or weren't taken by Penn State officials.

From the piece in Sunday's Washington Post:

Paterno contends that ignorance was the context with which he heard McQueary’s disturbing story in 2002. McQueary, sitting at Paterno’s kitchen table, told him that he had been at the football building late the evening before when he heard noises coming from the shower. “He was very upset and I said why, and he was very reluctant to get into it,” Paterno said. “He told me what he saw, and I said, what? He said it, well, looked like inappropriate, or fondling, I’m not quite sure exactly how he put it. I said you did what you had to do. It’s my job now to figure out what we want to do. So I sat around. It was a Saturday. Waited till Sunday because I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. And then I called my superiors and I said, ‘Hey, we got a problem, I think. Would you guys look into it?’ Cause I didn’t know, you know. We never had, until that point, 58 years I think, I had never had to deal with something like that. And I didn’t feel adequate.”

At that point, Paterno set up a meeting for McQueary and Curley, the athletic director, and Schultz, who oversaw university police. McQueary has testified that he gave both men a far more graphic description of what he witnessed, which he believed to be Sandusky sodomizing a boy of about 10, who had his hands against the shower wall. At the preliminary hearing for Curley and Schultz on Dec. 16, McQueary said he had been reluctant to go into similar “great detail about sexual acts” with Paterno, out of respect for the coach, who was 78 at the time.

Schultz and Curley have maintained that McQueary failed to impart the seriousness of what he saw to them as well. They never told police about the allegation, instead informing Sandusky he could no longer bring children to university facilities. Prosecutors say Sandusky continued to abuse boys for six more years.

Paterno has said, “In hindsight, I wish I had done more.”

Most of the story lines up with Paterno's grand jury testimony, but there was some interesting insight into Jerry Sandusky's exit. Paterno explains in the interview that he was growing frustrated with Sandusky's involvement with Second Mile, the charity he used to help identify potential victims.

“He came to see me and we talked a little about his career,” Paterno said in the story. “I said, you know, Jerry, you want to be head coach, you can’t do as much as you’re doing with the other operation. I said this job takes so much detail, and for you to think you can go off and get involved in fundraising and a lot of things like that. . . . I said you can’t do both, that’s basically what I told him.”

The interview with Sally Jenkins was conducted on Jan. 12-13, you can read the full story here.

Follow Jim Rodenbush's Nittany Lions RapidReports for more on developments from State College, Pa.

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Since: Mar 5, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2012 8:51 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal


Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 15, 2012 8:14 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Everyone mentioned at PSU appears to have failed miserably in this tragedy.  I didn't understand the severity...He didn't explain it fully...Didn't impart the gravity of the situation...GMAFB.  What a bunch of losers.  They blew it.  No pun intended.

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 8:14 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

His statements reveal a sort of pathetic, limited man -- and that has nothing to do with his age. His whole mind set seems to be one where he is to report things without any real thought. In other words, his, rote compliance-minded view told him to report the incident like it was some sort of minor recruiting violation about which he had to inform the NCAA. When you think like that the reality of what took place doesn't exist; it's just checking a box and moving on to what you know, coaching football. There was no sense of the damage that had been caused to innocent victims.

It doesn't excuse him, and in fact, is an indictment on all those lame people who believe Paterno taught them, as they have so often  said, "how to be a man." Somehow he was transformed from a guy who coaches football to an all-knowing, all-seeing deity in a place starved for relevance and importance. People convinced themselves that he was more than he was so they could then claim to be more than they were because of his "impact" on their lives. Misguided idolatry in its most basic form. This is evidenced by the fact that more than a few people whose lives Paterno allegedly "impacted" failed to do anything to understand the horror of what had been taking place for what is likely over twenty years. The A.D. played for him and did nothing, remember. The coach played for him and did very little, other than call his dad (who, by the way, is of no stellar character either). If it was one guy who ran astray then you could say that it didn't reflect on Paterno, but this situation involves several people who failed miserably in the most basic sense of decency. That says a lot about the supposed character of Paterno, who was supposed to have shown them all the important things in life. In fact, he taught them nothing.

Maybe more will come from the interview but the "I didn't know what to do" line shows that Paterno isn't what everyone made him and his character out to be. He's a football coach and that, by itself should entitle him to no grand pedestal when it comes to living a good life.

Since: Aug 5, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 8:14 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal


Joepa doesn't deserve a free pass, but it is hard to say how any of us would react to  hearing a wishy washy story of abuse about a close personal friend.  Mcreary is the scumbag who saw a boy being raped in the showers and snuck out the back door to go home and think over how this would affect his career.

Since: Sep 2, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 8:12 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

It must be really difficult to figure out what to do when one of your coaches (someone you trust) comes to you and reports witnessing inappropriate behavior in a SHOWER with a YOUNG BOY at the FOOTBALL FACILITY by one of your LONG TIME COACHES.  This is one of those crimes like murder where there is a lot of gray area when deciding to go to the police.  Paterno would have probably shown the same level of urgency if McQueary had told Paterno that Sandusky was stealing quarters out of the fountain.  

What if someone started diddling Paterno at the old folks home and someone witnessed it?  Do you think he would want all parties involved to put an end to it or would he want everyone to step aside and let it continue to happen to others?

Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2012 7:57 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

We never had, until that point, 58 years I think, I had never had to deal with something like that. And I didn’t feel adequate.”

A leader of men for 58 years and he doesn't feel adequate???????  

To call the cops, the newspapers?????????

Paterno deserves to be dying in prison right now.....My 7 year old could of made a better assesment of the situation then this geezer.

PSU deserves the deat penalty for having this mental midget in charge for far too long.        

Since: Nov 18, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2012 7:26 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

 I can't bring myself to feel sorry for him
galf- and they're ain't no way he can talk himself out of this ditch. His son should take a chill pill, too

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: January 15, 2012 7:18 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

My interest in this article died the minute I saw Sally Jenkins name attached to it.  THE WASHINGTON POST likes to fashion Jenkins as a sports journalist, but most, if not all of her stuff would better be placed in the THE POST's style section, because it is long on fluff and personality type information and very short on actual knowledge of the game as it is played on the field.  Most of her columns also seem to be written from a standpoint that she reached her opinion, then went out to find some material to support it.  She can actually claim credit for being one of the reasons that I hardly ever read THE WASHINGTON POST anymore.

One of the stupidest lines of thinkng about this whole tragedy at Penn State is the continuous nonsense which compares it with the situation at Ohio State, USC, etc.  Hey fellow fans, leave that kind of nonsense for the truly ignorant like Dennis Dodd.  Seriously, however passionate we may be as fans of the programs we follow, let's not get in the gutter with Dodd and his crew.  The story of the events at Penn State will come out, just as stories of scandal did at other programs.  The tragedy at Penn State is unique no doubt, but there is no need to resort to arguments of moral equivalency.  That's a losing proposition and plays into the hands of those like Dodd, who constantly publish trash for the sole purpose of lighting up their websites.  What if published a rehash on recent scandals and no one commented?  Maybe they'd get the message to just report the news and move on.  

Since: Mar 5, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2012 6:53 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

I held JoePa in the highest esteem possible for so many years because he epitomized "doing the right thing and doing things the right way" but this was an abysmal failure and his story ends as it should. I can't bring myself to feel sorry for him, not one bit, not when the story of what happened to the kids is so repugnant. I'm sure he wishes he had done Unfortunately, that didn't happen. He's not alone in the failure but he is a part of the failure.

Since: Aug 8, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2012 6:20 am

Paterno gives crock of s*** interview on Sandusky

Paraphrasing JoePa  ---  "I heard one of my coaches was raping a boy in the locker room so I went to bed, and when I woke up I told a few people a few minor details about it at the office. Gee, I really thought that they would have taken care of it. I guess they didn't." F - U Joe. You let a child raper that was on your staff go free for almost ten years and let him to continue to use the school facilities, and all you can do is lament that the people you told (when obviously your first call before going to sleep should be to the police) didnt do enough. Your story is dead. As is your legacy. 

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