Blog Entry

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

Posted on: January 21, 2012 8:47 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2012 1:42 am

Posted by Adam Jacobi

UPDATE (12:25 a.m. ET): issued an apology and correction for publishing an unsubstantiated report that former Penn State coach Joe Paterno had died.


UPDATE (1:35 a.m. ET):
The Washington Post reported that Paterno's family was weighing whether to take the longtime coach off of a ventilator on Sunday.


Penn State
student website Onward State has reported that Penn State players were notified of longtime head coach Joe Paterno's passing via email, and went on this report. Paterno, 85, had been receiving chemotherapy as part of his treatment for lung cancer.

However, Paterno family spokesperson Dan McGinn told a New York Times reporter that the report of Paterno's demise is "absolutely not true," and Jay Paterno tweeted that his father "continues to fight." Onward State has since retracted their report.

Jay Paterno later tweeted he let his father know about the students gathering around his statue on campus, and that the "love and support" is "inspiring him." 

Paterno was the head coach of Penn State for 46 seasons before being fired in November as his role in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal came under greater scrutiny. Combined with the time he spent as an assistant, Paterno spent a total of 61 years on the Penn State sidelines. He left behind a legacy that, on the field of play, was unparalleled in Division I football. Paterno holds the all-time Division I record for football coaching wins with a 409-136-3 record, and he won two national championships while going undefeated in five different seasons.

[STATS: JoePa's lifetime coaching record]

Under Paterno, Penn State was a perennial powerhouse, known for decades as "Linebacker U" for its propensity to develop All-American linebackers. Paterno coached such great linebackers as Dennis Onkotz, Jack Ham, Shane Conlan, LaVar Arrington, Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor, and Sean Lee, along with many others.

Additionally, running back John Cappelletti won the Heisman Trophy in 1973 under Paterno, and Cappelletti was one of seven Penn State players to win the Maxwell Award for most outstanding college football player. All in all, 68 players were named first-team All-American by at least one of the major news services under Paterno; 13 of those players were two-year winners.

Paterno's longtime defensive coordinator and the architect of the defensive schemes that came to typify Penn State football was Jerry Sandusky, who's now more well-known for the allegations of underaged sexual abuse against him made by men who were involved in Sandusky's charity, The Second Mile, as boys. Sandusky is still awaiting trial for those allegations, and he pled not guilty to the charges in December 2011.

In an interview with the Washington Post released just a week ago, Paterno expressed remorse for not having done more to stop Sandusky's alleged crimes, and he also said he was "just sick about" the situation. Investigators did not bring charges against Paterno, and instead mentioned that he had fulfilled his legal obligations by notifying his superiors about an alleged assault when he was first notified in 2002.

After Paterno was fired in 2011, Penn State named Tom Bradley -- who, coincidentally, was Sandusky's replacement at defensive coordinator -- interim head coach. Bradley went 1-3, including a loss to Houston in the TicketCity Bowl, and was not retained as a coach when Penn State hired Bill O'Brien in January.

Paterno was well known for encouraging his players to excel in the classroom and earn their undergraduate degrees at Penn State, and his name will live on at Penn State. Paterno and his wife Sue were major financial supporters of Penn State University, as they donated millions of dollars for the Paterno Library on campus, and Paterno helped establish the Paterno Liberal Arts Undergraduate Fellows Program.

Since: Oct 17, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:40 am

Reports of Joe Paterno's death refuted by family

MAYBE, but it was Paterno, had he taken appropriate action, that could have stopped others from being sexually abused.

Since: Aug 8, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:37 am

Reports of Joe Paterno's death refuted by family

At minium, I can't respect the guy for not taking a swing at Sandusky, himself.  Then not notifying the autorities, at best, a question about his morals and what's important.  He technically did nothing wrong.  But, this goes beyond technical.  All he had to do would have been to call the police.  Then there is no  tarnish on his credibility.  The situation dictated that a leaer need to take charge and do what was right.  No, just a mention to the AD.  

Since: Jul 29, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:36 am

Reports of Joe Paterno's death refuted by family

You know that bald headed freak Dodd was behind this...

He's the king of drama! Id love to take that guy out back behind the wood shed! 

Since: Jan 21, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:36 am

Reports of Joe Paterno's death refuted by family

jerry worked with joe for many years and he thought that he could trust him he did what he had to but in the end jerry went down and brought a good man and great coach with down him it was jerry that raped those boys not joe 

Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:36 am

Reports of Joe Paterno's death refuted by family

Alabama fan here, and I must say I have a lot of respect for the Penn State Program and fanbase, Joe Pa is and always will be one of the greatest coaches to walk the sidelines. I will not even pretend to know the in's and out's of the Sandusky Scandal, and how much Coach Paterno knew. All I know is the man could flat out coach, my prayers are with his family, and hope he can pull through all this. Thoughts from a Bama fan going out to all the Penn State Nation.

Since: Jun 22, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:34 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:30 am

Reports of Joe Paterno's death refuted by family

Just when you think "journalism" can get any worse.  Absolutely horrible that Paterno's death was wrongly reported. I called my Dad to tell him when I read that story. I guess I'll call him tomorrow and say it wasnt true. Is there still editors or fact checking done in reporting any more?

     This happens way to often nowadays, and this is especially egregious. How hard can it be to find proof postive befor printing this "story."  Absolutely no standards or ethics. Espn and other sports outlets constantly reporting false stories about which athlete signed a new contract or got traded.   No integrity at all.  Here I am (not all that old just yet )  starting to sound like a cranky old man already.  Someone should be fired for this, just that simple.

Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:28 am

Reports of Joe Paterno's death refuted by family

Wow, you'd put Paterno in prison because he did what he was supposed to do? He basically fired Sandusky many years ago and refused to allow him access to the football locker room. Curley and Spanier gave him a "job" as physical education teacher, Sandusky NEVER taught a class but had a paycheck and a office! And Joe continually refused him access to the football locker room. Who gave him access, oh yeah, the big guys!
The man is dying and still, people like you find ways to tarnish his reputation. Hopefully for you, hell does exist!

Since: Jan 21, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:27 am

Reports of Joe Paterno's death refuted by family

I hope you read this when you grow up, and realize what a true ball-bag you are!

Since: Aug 20, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:25 am

Reports of Joe Paterno's death refuted by family

A downright no good person, hope every breath you take, you think of a CHILD you let down!!

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