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: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: January 16, 2012 2:16 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

The thing that is most sad to me is that most Penn State fans are more concerned with protecting the reputation of their former coach than they are the kids that were abused on their own campus.  Of course, my guess is that most of the defenders have never stepped foot on campus.  I have never once said that Paterno should be accused of anything other than a lack of judgement.  I stand by that, and am stunned that people still defend his judgement in this.  To say that he is being misquoted is a joke.  Everytime someone talks about the past, they are using hindsight.  That is how it works.  Paterno himself says that he was told there was fondling going on in the shower.  That may be normal for some of you Penn Staters, but it is not for most of the rest of us.  If grown men fondle little boys in a shower, there is something wrong and any moral person will realize this.  Again, I said normal, so I do not expect many of you defenders to understand.  You are not capable, and we understand.  We thought JoePa was capable, and that is why many of us are disappointed. 

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2012 2:12 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

"You have sacraficed your morals to defend a man that admits he did not do enough."

Do you realize that he never once said that he didn't do enough? He merely stated that if he knew then what he knows now, he would have done more hence the "With the benifit of hindsight" qualifier that you left out. When you put the statement into context, it doesn't mean what you think it does.

Succuss with Honor. Not only did he preach it but he lived by it. Grow a pair and think for yourself.

Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:59 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:55 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

All you need to know here is, 3 people were in the room,  all say they were advised of what was potentailly innappropriate conduct. And amazingly, so many who read this story as proof of a cover up... not proof that McQueary didn't say as much as he says he said. This is not going ot end well for Mr. McQueary. The fact that JoePa wishes he'd done more, in hindsight, is no indication that he should have done more at the time. Hindsight is 20/20 and if in fact the whole thing was a misunderstanding and JoePa had blown the whole thing out of proportion, JoePa could easily be wishing he'd done less. Both points are useless in determining what he should have done. Only the circumstances of the moment are relevant. And key to that is what McQueray said. McQueary has alrady admitted he left out key details when talking to JoePa, so who's fault was that? JOePa's for being 78? I don't think so.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:47 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

@unforeseen--It is you that is clearly morally bankrupt with your defending of a man who has admitted he did not do everything he could.  You have sacraficed your morals to defend a man that admits he did not do enough.  Penn State fans can be as delusional as they choose.  Success with honor is a joke. 

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:24 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

I commend Paterno's statement, "I wish I'd done more."  He could have easily put everything on McQuearly and Curley.  To me, blame is now centered on those two and their actions, or non-actions afterwards.  Joe was probably advised not to say anything that would indite him to the investigation but, he had to tell his true feelings and except the recourse.  

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:20 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Smorgie,<br /><br />While I agree in principal to what you posted. I cannot completely that Joe does not deserve some questions and critical assement in his actions here. He was the face of this university. He took pride in his public perception not only on the football field, but around the campus. Heck, the man even kicked the president of the university of his property when he asked for his resignation. Then, still coached this team.<br /><br />I guess the question I have is, why do we erect a statue of a man for football victories, claim that he was an embassdor for the university and then not allow questions to arise on why a man he picked to be a part of his staff was allowed to stay on campus and continue to commit these horrible acts? The man was allowed at his practices, with kids for years afterward. Why can't we ask questions to Joe?<br /><br />His statue has a saying <em>“They ask me what I’d like written about me when I’m gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach.”</em> I don't think blame towards him is fair (considering I did that at first), but I do believe he deserves to be asked more than the typical employee type questions and formalities.. He wasn't the typical manager. <br /><br />Props on the perspective, though... 

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:15 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

It is amazing how many people are willfully ignoring the facts simply so they can condem an innocent man. Joe did exactly what he should have, legally, morally and ethically with the information he had. Too bad his critics in the media and on message boards are intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt as is anyone who seeking to slander an innocent man and institution. His legacy is intact. The grand experiment is a resounding sucess. Joe is and has football's most honorable coach and its moral compass and nothing these moral and mental simpletons can say will change that.

Success with honor.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Even Paterno knows he should have done more, yet many are still so quick to defend and dismiss.  Paterno clearly should have done more, and most unbiased people also know this.  One can excuse it by saying he went to his superiors, but that is still fairly weak.  It covers Paterno legally, but not morally.  Someone at the school should have cared about the kids, but nobody did.  If those that are defending Paterno fully are OK with the fact that he did the legal minimum, then so be it.  Most of us expected more from Paterno. 

Since: Nov 25, 2010
Posted on: January 16, 2012 12:27 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

For those of you who mentioned criminal charges against Paterno citing him as an accomplice, I'd love to hear the legal explanation of that.  Some of you fault him for not doing more, but he DID do what he was supposed to.  He reported it to his superiors and set up a meeting of them with the actual eyewitness, McQueary. Paterno didn't witness anything nor did he keep silent about what was reported to him. So he broke what law? And he would ba accomplice how?

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