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: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 8:20 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

There's a lesson here about delivering news through the internet. Being first means nothing; being accurate means everything.

CBSSportsline messed up worse than the kid resigning from a college paper. The editors of this site should think about that.

A college kid feels more responsibility and gumption than a multi-national media conglomerate. Instead of seeing this medium as a tool to cutback on old school journalism, why don't you use some good old school journalism (like FACTCHECKERS) and apply it to the new medium?

Bad move, CBS.

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 8:19 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

dewey defeats truman!!!!!

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 8:17 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

this whole site should be fired!!! joe isn't dead! hire people who know and will find out the facts before reporting a story! now ban me for stating my displeasure about this group of low lifes! God bless you Joe!

Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 8:15 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator, my apologies

Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 8:11 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

Between screwing up information on fantasy sports and now Joe Paterno's condition, CBS sportsline should revamp their whole system and hire competent people to run it.  My thoughts and prayers to the Paterno family.

Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 8:06 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

the editor at PSU Onward State ( who first reported the incorrect info on Paterno's death ) has resigned.  Who at CBS Sportsline has resigned?????  Unless the one line twitter apology was enough.?  Imagine what a thrill it must have been for the proud Paterno family to take time away from Joe to respond to the false report of his death from a national news organization. We'll see if CBS does the right thing or just preaches about it now that they have a scandal of thier own.

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 7:52 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

Thoughts and prayers to the Paterno and Penn State families.  History will show that Joe Paterno was a family man.  His family extended to the Penn State Football team, the Penn State community, the NCAA and anyone who appreciated the positive things that college football gave its players and fans.

Since: Aug 22, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 7:45 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

Last night CBSsportsline says Joe Paterno has died at the age of 85. Everyone else, Like ESPN,FOX SPORTS,Etc said he was alive but really struggling. Today CBS apologizes for putting out wrong information.  CBS, get your crap together. 

  As for Joe Paterno, My thoughts and prays go out to him and his family.  

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 7:31 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

We live in a sick world. We should all be grateful for the things we have. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Paterno family. He is one of the best coaches in College and we go down as a legend in college football.

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 7:12 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

You don't have to like him and you don't have to like Penn State and you certainly don't have to like the alledged incidents.  However, please have respect for the family and the life that is hanging in the balance.  Joe Paterno may have covered up Sandusky's sins.  For that he will have to answer to a higher power.  For now, let's all pray for him andhis family. 

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