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: Jan 15, 2012
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:29 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Kils08:  You are spreading nonsense.  Reporting it to his supervisors is not the only thing that Paterno could legally do.  Reporting it to his supervisors was the minimum legal requirement. Contrary to your assertion, that law does not prohibit Paterno from also reporting it to the police.  Quit spreading nonsense.  May I suggest Law 101 at your local community college.

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:28 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

He told the real cops.  That fact, unfortunately, is beyond the mental capacity of most folks & the media to grasp.  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.  If you understood State College (or took the time to do some research before drawing ignorant conclusions), that fact wouldn't be lost on you and the masses.

When Joe spoke to Schultz - who was the head of the Campus Police at the time - about the allegations, he was speaking with the highest law enforcement authority in State College. 

JoePa has the done the right thing consistently for 61 years.  In the past ten years, he decided to enable a monster who was raping little boys RIGGGGGGGHHHHHHT?  Smarten up. 

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:26 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Excuse my ignorance here. What level is the head of Campus Police? Can they arrest people and detain people? Here in Canada they are nothing more then security guards. For me this is what it should boil down to. If the guy he reported it to is an officer who can arrest people and coordiante with the normal police then that changes it a bit for me. If the guy is nothing more than security guard then I don't what planet Paterno was on when he thought that was sufficient. Also how could you continue to work with the guy afterwards? Thats messed up.

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:25 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

I know I'll get crucified but after being away from this story for awhile I have found some sympathy for Joe.   Everyone, including myself, has said that he should have gone to the cops.  After hearing his side of the story, it would be hard to go to the cops if all he heard was a second hand story from McQueary about seeing something "that looked like innapropriate or possible fondling."   The guy had been his friend for God knows how long and you hear "it appears he may have been doing something innapropriate with a boy."  Not exactly convincing.  If McQueary had said "I clearly saw him raping the boy" then immediate and harsh repercussions should have been imposed.  

If I'm going to destroy my friendship, the man's professional career, and the way he will be looked at by any human being the rest of his life, which is what would've happened even if, after the police investigated, Sandusky was cleared.  Once you are accused of child molestation, even if found innocent, you are forever guilty.  No parent is going to let their children anywhere near you.  Your children are going to be hassled mercilessly and fail to make any friends.  Your wife may leave you(I know it didn't happen here) basically, just by the accusation.  If I'm going to do this to any man, especially my friend, I want something more convincing than "I think I may have senn something like inappropriate or possible fondling."  Where Joe went wrong was not following up with the investigation to see what happened and what was determined to make sure the allegations were unfounded if he was going to let Sandusky remain on staff.  Also, he should have probably said at a minimum that absolutely zero contact with young boys would be allowed going further.  He should have sat down and said "Jerry I've heard something terrible and I hope to God it's not true.  What do you have to say?  Regardless of what Sandusky said he should have followed that "In light of these accusations it's in the best interest of everyone that you no longer bring any children to our campus because we can't be associated with condoning this stuff."  That's where he was wrong.  It's not his job to be judge and jury on sketchy accusations.  I know many will disagree but imagine if you were on the spot and someone came and told you that he thought he saw you're best friend "possibly touching a child innapropriately."  I'd have to know more than that to ruin his life.  Once the cops come, everyone wants to know why, once they hear that it involves molestation, that man is forever stained even if the police drive away and never come back.  You'd better be damn sure before you do that to anybody without significant proof.  Especially if you weren't even the one who witnessed it.    

Since: Jan 14, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:22 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

I didn't know what to I did not an excuse.

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 15, 2012 10:26 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

I would have called the cops.  Not the campus cops.  The real cops.

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 15, 2012 10:24 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

He does deserve it.  He was told that a little boy was being sodomized in the shower on the PSU campus.  His response was far from adequate.  When you're in charge, you take the hit when you screw up.  That's what's happening here.

Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2012 9:34 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

I agree with you.  The lack of action of his superiors who had played for Paterno, makes one question what exactly he taught his players beyond Xs and Os.  Great men are defined by what they do not what they say.  Paterno was a good football coach and generously donated to the university.  But in a defining moment to show he was a great man, he failed miserably. 

I will not try to guess what I would have done.  I have never been and hope to never be in that situation.  I would like to think I would have acted differently but those who say they would have are really only speculating.  However, I have never felt I was a great man and have never been placed on such a pedestal that requires my actions set the example. 

Paterno justified his firing in the interview.  If he "didn't know what to do" in this situation, how could anyone expect him to lead the university during the difficult months to follow.  PSU needs someone who they believe knows what to do, not someone who admitted he is not up to the task. 

Since: Oct 22, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2012 9:15 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

I have been a huge fan of PSU for over 40 years. I have not been a fan of Joepa for about the last 10 years or so. I feel he should have stepped down many years ago. BUT, heres a man that has done things the right way for a half a century, he made a huge mistake. Who in their life hasn't made the wrong decision more than once that has effected other people. I feel terrible for these boys and the families, but Joe doesn't deserve the treatment he is getting and the only reason he is, is because of the media pressure that PSU has sucombed to. The media beats things to death and what were they suppose to do. They crucified the man that has personally changed so many lives. Ask yourself what would you do. Don't condemn other people until you can admit you are perfect. Good luck Joe many people still respect you and what you did for PSU football. You deserve to retire with dignity and respect.

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: January 15, 2012 9:06 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Some excellent points, bottom line is Paterno is just scum. Makes me wonder what else he heard over the years that had nothing to do with football that he ignored.  I bet if Sandusky's football schemes were lacking,  Paterno would have jumped on that!

How many more boys were molested because of Paterno indifference?

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