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.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2012 7:09 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

It says right there in the above story

My point all along. If you trust news stories, you are a fool. Reporters today are no better than the ambulence chasing attorneys, and what they tell you is even less reliable. When this is presented to a jury and they make a finding after sober deliberation, I will accept their decision as probably correct. What a reporter writes is of very little interest to me. What ignorant message board posters write is of even less import than what the reporter writes.

Since: Jul 12, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 6:28 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

It says right there in the above story McQueary told him he saw Sundusky fondling a 10 year old boy. That isn't enough for you? I believe that is a felony in and of itself! Molesting children is THE crime of all crimes. He didn't do enough,he himself admits that. He should no longer be a coach,especially now that he has all the health problems that he has. Paterno isn't the only one who should bear responsibility,but he sure as hell shouldn't be immune to charges either...

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2012 5:57 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

psu-lioness, and the rest of the PSU homers,

In Paterno's own statements he admitted that he was told Sandusky was FONDLING a young boy in the showers.  I am not sure what they would teach you at PSU about this but, in the real world, that is child molestation !  Paterno knew 100% that a crime had been committed against a young boy in the PSU facilities.  He didn't need graphic detail.

Pay attention to the interview and don't read it with rose-colored glasses. Paterno acknowledges that he waited to figure out what he WANTED to do not, what he SHOULD do.  He, and his superiors, wanted it to go away with the least amount of exposure.

Ever notice how when a guilty person is caught, they always wish they would have done things differently ?

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:50 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

I can understand Paterno's regret.  That regret should be not taking McQueary to the real police.  But he did realize that he was outside his area of expertise and did try to get it resolved as best he could.   McQueary's father's advice also fell far off the mark.  Ultimately though, Schultz, Curley and Spanier will be responsible and Curley to a lesser degree for the cover up or passing the buck in this situation.
I've never been a PSU fan as I still see them as the interlopers to the B10, but I ALWAYS respected the heck out of Joe Pa and ever since he was wrongfully fired, I have felt that he was being crucified for the wrong reasons.  MCQueary is a guy who should be crucified as he is the one who failed the most in this situation, though as you indicated Curley, Schultz, and Spanier are next in line, but Joe Pa should not--as you said his greatest crime would be not ensuring that McQ went to the police--immediately.  And
 I can't imagine any father who would ever tell his son anything other than go to the police immediately in that situation and take the kid with him--was McQ as squeamish in his report of the incident with his Dad as he was with Joe Pa?    


Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:00 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

You know what folks... I have read almost all of the information out there about this case and I do not see how in the hell Paterno is responsible for this.  He did what he was supposed to do and thought the proper authorities were taking care of it.   I know the Penn State fans have been pretty vocal in their defense of the program, and they have been right obnoxious about it, but I think they are right about the Coach.  The rest of the administration... they are criminal in their response to this tragedy.   I see a broken old man who had pretty much an exemplary career that was remarkably free of much of the scandal that has involved so many of the major programs.... way too numerous to list them all.

Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2012 12:26 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Wow Tressel said he was a little confused how to handle Tatto gate and Penn State fans called him the biggest cheater to ever coach college football. Now Paterno said he wasn't sure how to handle the situation and all's forgiven, what a bunch of Hippocrates!!

Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:57 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

The no brainer is that the police were notified. Now run with that everyone . Comprehension is difficulty for some here.

Everyone having anything to do with Penn State support pedophiles, Joe Paterno who most on this site said he was a figure head only and could'nt even coach a D1 team now feel he should have done it all "cause he is PSU". JoPa is an old fart who poops in his pants etc. etc.  Really think he runs everything. I think he is also responsible for the break up of Demi and Ashton. He probably could have stopped and found a cure for AIDS. Geez I think he probably responsible for the economic decline in Europe!

Which is it ! Can't have it both ways!

Since: Sep 26, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:52 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

JoPa is just as guilty asSandusky. Every molestation that occurred after he CHOSE to not report it he should be held accountable. Not sure how he sleeps at night

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:34 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

You hear someone on your staff is molesting boys from someone with no reason to lie. Seems a no-brainer: Call the police. Not sure what was so confusing about this? I know JoePa is getting up there in years, but if he was still helping with the Xs and Os, he should have figured this one out.

Since: Feb 11, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2012 10:55 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Nothing new here.  Many people at PSU should have done more.  It's one thing to be told something happened, another to be witness of it.  McQueary saw it and then called his dad. Unreal.  If I were McQueary and actually saw that shower rape happen, I could not even look at Sandusky without beating his face in every time I saw it. 

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