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: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: January 15, 2012 12:38 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Sounds to me like lack of institutional control.Nobody wanted to make ant hard decisions, so maybe if we all go to sleep it will go away.Tell that to the boys who were molested after the people who should have handled it did not! I feel bad for Joe with his cancer and his hip,but i could care less about his or PSU image,they took care of that by keeping secrets!

Since: Jan 15, 2012
Posted on: January 15, 2012 12:38 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

I believe you are not looking at this correctly.  95% of the people don't run a multimillion dollar operation and lead a powerhouse football program.  What YOU need to understand is that the rules are different for different people (hence the janitor not getting into trouble).  Maybe in your life you are not a leader and hence don't think what JoePa did was a problem (you are probably young) but when you get into a position of leadership and responsibility you better damn well address things like this immediately.  I can see him thinking on it overnight....or even pondering it over a week....but at some point the intelligence had to kick in and he needed to address this (for him to act innocent like he didn't know what to do let's not forget the Church scandal already paved the way for the ignorant to understand that these things are a problem).
Face it.....I don't think JoePa is a bad man but he seriously dropped the ball here to the point where he is liable (we are talking about child abuse!).

Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2012 12:15 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

You people are going to look so stupid when the whole story comes out. Lets just say that if you were in JoePa's position and your telling yourself you would've done more, you are lying to yourself. Get off your high horses and realize that 95% of people would have done exactly what JoePa did. Also to clear stuff up, JoePa was told SECOND HAND information in which McQueary said he saw no sexual act and this happened in 2002, 3 years after Sandusky left the coaching staff and hence left JoePa's jurisdiction. And the campus police has the same authority as every other police force here in State College, so they are more to blame here than anyone with their failure to investiagte sucessfully.

Since: Jan 15, 2012
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:48 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Corleone-mob: Do you not understand the obvious perception here of a coverup to save the reputation of PSU and the money making machine known as PSU football.  Campus Police is paid for by whom?  Let me take a wild guess....PSU?  And then after this disclosure, nothing happens.  Wow, big surprise.  And then Paterno just sits on it.  Obviously, never even subsequently speaking to McQueery, his assistant coach, about whether he was further contacted about the incident or whether there was an investigation.  Right.  All tbe while, Paterno's and PSU's reputations remain intact as long as the incident stays....covered up.  Coincidence.  Right.  And btw, Campus Police does not have exclusive jurisdiction on campus, if that is what you were suggesting.  My suggestion: give up this desperate and futile attempt to rationalize and defend Paterno's actions and inactions.  We all know what happened here.


Since: Jan 25, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:42 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

who was 78 at the time.

I can believe that Paterno would have had a very hard time processing what he was hearing. I would as well. I mean your first thought would have to be 'WTF..........this is not normal behavior for anyone.'

Not making excuses for Paterno or anyone in this situation; just saying that hearing something like that would be the last thing one would expect, especially someone who is 78 years old.

Still, he should have done a LOT question.

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:37 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

When he told Schultz he was telling a campus flunkie who just happened to have the campus police as one of his responsibilities. What were his credentials to run a police force? No one has brought that up. Do you know? By his actions it seems he had none and was a financial guy who didn't know the first thing about investigating cases. Wake up. Joe screwed up badly. He knows it, why don't you?

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:36 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

So we should believe Paterno now?  After he's ignored the school's compliance officer in the past?  After he ignored the school president approx. 10 years ago when they wanted him to step down?  After he thought it was his right to tell the board of trustees when he would retire and how they should conduct their business?  And finally, he tells this story weeks after everything came to light when he and his family, staff, lawyers, etc have time to piece his explanation together to try to save his image?  It's time for the media to stay away from Paterno until he testifies in court cases.  He's looking for a forum to portray himself as he wants, and ESPN is only so happy to oblige him to help make news for themselves.  They (ESPN) are as pathetic as he is.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:34 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

replying to:  ...The State College Campus Police is not your typical walky-talky wielding, joke of a security force.  The have complete jurisdiction on campus - above any other force - carry guns, make arrests, etc

Are you being sarcastic? or stupid?

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:34 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

The point is, when you make a huge mistake that impacts so many innocent lives YOU DON"T GET TO RETIRE WITH DIGNITY. You are fired with a stain on your reputation. Like so many blind and defensive PSU faithful, you confuse being a football coach with being a great man. You should at least know now that there is a huge difference between the two. The media reflects what right-minded people are thinking, so you'll have to endure some unpleasant truths the next several months as the saga plays out.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:32 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Joe Pateno is at the least an awful human being to a blatant liar. I would ask him immediately why he didnt call Sandusky? Did he address Sandusky/ what did he think of Sandusky when he was banned from beinging little boys onto comapus? Was it usual practice for coaches to bring little boys to bowl games? Joe deserved to get fired and hopefully he is laso brough up on charges,

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