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: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 6:52 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

What, are you going to treat this as just another item for your website reporting factory?  It's bad enough that you trivialize most newsworthy topics by citing this report or that report - which gives you a convenent out doesn't it?  "Oh, we didn't report it.  We're just passing on what someone else reported."  But you got caight this time, didn't you?  How about if the media went back to source verification source verification before it sent out items that are guaranteed to attract attention.  There are still plenty of controversial stories out there, things that will get people talking and posting to websites.  It would show that a little less cynicism of "whatever sells" on the part of the media.

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2012 6:50 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

It's a shame that his legacy and the legend that is Joe Pa has been tarnished by this Sandusky molestation case as I think they were too quick to make a scapegoat of him.  He should have been allowed the dignity of retiring at the end of the season as he intended at least--it's a shameful world we live in when we judge people without knowing all the facts and then condemn them for that.  He said himself that he should have done more and in hindsight wished that he had, but isn't that something we are ALL guilty of:  When a poor person on the street begs for money and you ignore them, shouldn't we have done more?  When a neighbor or relative abuses or beats their children and we look the other way, shouldn't we have done more?  When a person is beaten or attacked on the streets of LA and we say we didn't see anything, shouldn't we have done more?  When a black man is beaten senseless by the police while we drive or walk on by, shouldn't we have done more?  Joe Pa is no more guilty than we are.....

Since: Sep 14, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 6:44 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

You said last night he was off the respirator, then he was dead...So your probably wrong now..POOR reporting last night...He is probably in Aruba on a beach somewhere sipping a Pina Colada...Get your FACTS before you report..

Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 6:34 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

We all die.  Being 85 years old is not a given thing and it is not a golden thing.  The dude was a football coach.  He was likely too old and likely made a wrong decision on many issues over his life.  The kids were likely not molested, but rather screwed mentally based on some sort of "odd" encounter.  The guilty would prbably agree to that description.  We live in a screwed-up world people.  You got college kids picking on a certian person of a certain nationality and yet cry about all the damage from the treatment upon him.  You do the crime, not only you but other people - may pay the price.  Joe Paterno is innocent in this whole matter and he deserves peace.  Do you think that out of all the people that have crossed his path at Penn State - that only the Sand-man was a bad person?  I think not.  You got people dealing drugs, and all other sorts of freaky stuff going on in this perverted world - that we all live in.  We are should feel shame, for none of us are angels and will never be....for none of us - are perfect.

Since: Oct 28, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 6:19 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

My Prayers and Thoughts go out to the entire Paterno Family. I hope they keep him on the ventilator so that he can be well.

Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 6:04 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

my thoughts and prayers go out to the family. His condition don't sound good. He was a great coach that should have been able to leave on his own terms. I do understand he didn't handle the Sandusky situation as he should have, but  all of us make mistakes. I truly hope they rename the stadium after him when it's all said and done. He was Penn State Football and probably more like "he was Penn State" Nobody thinks Penn State without thinking of him now and probably forever as he was a legend to the school.

Since: Jul 6, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 5:33 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

Bear died of a heart attack. He had a couple while he was coaching at Alabama, but it was kept quite. Understand what you are saying tho.

Since: Feb 5, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2012 5:29 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

It just goes to show you, you can never trust the media!!!!

Since: Feb 5, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2012 5:23 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

You know what CBS? You lost your reality.  I had casually and slowly switched over to ESPN, this was the final nail on the coffin.  Get your stories straight before you go posting such bad news.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 4:45 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

He cannot survive not doing what he wants to do.
Bear Bryant was the same way. How long did Bear live after his last bowl game victory against Illinois?
The Bear lived four weeks after coaching his final game.JoPa should be afforded a victorious death.

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