Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:33 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
While there are many people under the impression that Joe Paterno was fired by Penn State during the fallout of Jerry Sandusky's indictment, the truth is that Paterno is still a member of Penn State's faculty. He's just no longer the school's football coach.
On Thursday Penn State issued a release in response to many alumni who were complaining that Paterno was being treated unfairly by the school.
“Coach Paterno remains employed by the University as a tenured faculty member,” said the release. “The details of his retirement are being worked out and will be made public when they are finalized. Generally speaking, the University intends to honor the terms of his employment contract and is treating him financially as if he had retired at the end of the 2011 football season.”
In November when Penn State announced at a press conference that Graham Spanier was no longer the president of the school and that Paterno would no longer coach the football team, the school never said that Paterno had been terminated. Rather the Board of Trustees said that Paterno would "no longer serve as head football coach."
Essentially Paterno was suspended for the rest of the season, and now that the year is done, he's retiring as if he'd just finished his final year.
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Posted on: November 22, 2011 12:57 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 12:58 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
It's no secret that while he was the head coach at Penn State, Joe Paterno may have been the most powerful man on campus in State College, and according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Paterno wielded that power whenever possible when it came to the discipline of his players. The Wall Street Journal acquired emails from and talked to former Penn State University standards and conduct officer Vicky Triponey who says that Paterno fought her every step of the way, and wanted to hold football players to a different standard than other students.
The confrontations came to a head in 2007, according to one former school official, when six football players were charged by police for forcing their way into a campus apartment that April and beating up several students, one of them severely. That September, following a tense meeting with Mr. Paterno over the case, she resigned her post, saying at the time she left because of "philosophical differences."The story also tells of other incidents that took place during Triponey's tenure at Penn State, including a meeting between Paterno and Triponey in 2005 that also involved President Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and assistant athletic director Fran Ganter. At this meeting Paterno was very vocal in his critique of Triponey and expressed how he didn't like her meddling in the football team's business, which Paterno felt was his territory.
Things came to a head in September of 2005 following the school's suspension of linebacker Dan Connor who had been accused of making harrassing phone calls to a retired assistant coach. Despite the suspension, Paterno ordered Connor to suit up for practice and Connor says he could only recall being suspended for games, not practices.
This resulted in Graham Spanier coming to Triponey's house to inform her that Paterno had given him an ultimatum. The school was to either fire Triponey or he would cease his efforts to fund-raise for the school. Connor's suspension was then reduced to 10 days.
Then came the 2007 incident with the Penn State players involved in that fight at a campus apartment. It was another incident in which Paterno and Triponey had differing views on how things should be handled, with Paterno saying that his players couldn't be expected to cooperate with the school's disciplinary process because it would mean that they'd have to testify against each other, and that would make it hard to play football together.
The majority of charges against the players were eventually dropped, with two players pleading guilty to misdemeanors. There were also four players suspended for a summer semester, but none ever had to miss any games.
Shortly after Triponey resigned and was replaced by Bob Secor, and the school instituted new rules that gave the school limited ability to end a student's participation in activities such as football.
Posted on: November 13, 2011 12:24 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and former Penn State treasurer/vice president of business Gary Schultz may both be retired, but they're both drawing substantial amounts of money from the school -- even as both face serious charges from the state of Pennsylvania.
According to PennLive.com, Sandusky, who faces 40 charges of sexual assault for incidents that date back to his tenure as assistant head coach at Penn State, accepted a lump sum payment of over $148,000 from the State Employees upon retiring from Penn State in 1999. Since then, Sandusky has been deriving monthly pension payments that total $58,898 annually.
As for Schultz, the 39-year employee of Penn State retired in 2009, and had rejoined Penn State on an interim basis in 2011 when he was charged with perjury and failure to report child abuse in the Sandusky investigation. Upon his first retirement retirement, Schultz accepted a lump sum of $421,847, and currently draws a pension of $27,558 per month -- enough for an annual income of over $330,000 in pension.
If Schultz is convicted on his charges, however, he stands to forfeit that pension. Under Act 140 of Pennsylvania state law, there are several types of actions related to public trust that could trigger a forfeiture of pension. There is an entire Section of Act 140 relating specifically to perjury, which is one of the charges Schultz faces. And even if he is innocent of the perjury charge, he may also be subject to forfeiture under Section 5101, which relates to, among other things, obstructing administration of law.
If Schultz does forfeit his pension, according to the law, he is still entitled to the money he paid in without interest, but that money must first go to legal fees and restitution related to the crime that forced his forfeiture. It was not announced how much Schultz paid in during his time at Penn State, and obviously it's too early to know how much in legal fees Schultz's criminal case will accrue -- or whether his case will end in forfeiture.
It's also worth noting that among the various reasons for forfeiting pension, Sandusky's charges don't appear to be covered as reasons to forfeit pension.
For the record, athletic director Tim Curley -- who also faces charges of perjury and failure to report -- did not participate in the state's pension plan, nor did fired school president Graham Spanier. Fired head coach Joe Paterno did participate, but his information has not yet been released by Penn State. A request is already in to the school for that information from the Patriot-News.
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:46 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 10:47 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Penn State Board of Trustees announced on Wedneday night that Penn State President Graham Spanier has been relieved of his duties effective immediately. In the same press conference it was announced that head coach Joe Paterno had been relieved of his duties and will not coach another game at Penn State as well.
Spanier had been silent for the last few days as many on the Penn State campus and across the country have called for his job following the news of Jerry Sandusky's actions at the school and Penn State's failure to act on them. According to another report in The Chronicle, Spanier's silence may not be by choice, as he was ordered to keep quiet by the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees met for around three hours on Wednesday night to discuss the status of Spanier and Paterno before a unanimous vote called for both to be relieved of their positions at the school.
Spanier was named Penn State's President on September 1st, 1995.
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:13 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 5:45 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
On Wednesday morning, Joe Paterno announced that he would retire at the end of Penn State's football season. On Wednesday evening, the Penn State board of trustees decided that wasn't enough.
The trustees cleaned house at a Wednesday night meeting, announcing that both Paterno and PSU president Graham Spanier were done with the school effective immediately. That means Joe Paterno's legendary, 46-year career as head coach of Penn State is, as of today, officially over. Tom Bradley, who has spent the last 33 years coaching alongside Paterno as a defensive assistant, has been named the interim head coach for the rest of the 2011 season.
John P. Surma, the vice chairman of the board of trustees, announced at the ensuing press conference that the decision to remove Paterno was unanimous. "The university is much larger than its athletic teams," said Surma. The press conference was marked by numerous angry and accusatory questions, many of which Surma chose to ignore.
Paterno, 84, leaves Penn State as the winningest coach in major college football history, having just passed Grambling legend Eddie Robinson in his last game. He was notified of the board's decision by phone call, according to Surma, and after the press conference, he greeted a small group of students who had come to his house by telling them, "Right now I'm not the football coach."
Paterno's firing comes as his Nittany Lions are ranked 12th in the nation and leading the Big Ten Leaders Division with an 8-1 (5-0) record. It was the 19th time in his career that a Paterno-led Penn State team had started the season with at least eight wins in its first nine games.
The status of Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and of vice president/treasurer Gary Schultz is still to be determined. Both men face charges for perjury and failure to report child abuse in their roles in the Sandusky scandal. Surma would not say at the conference whether the two men would continue to have their legal fees paid by the university.
Paterno has come under harsh criticism - including from within the community known as Happy Valley - for not taking more action in 2002 after then-graduate assistant and current assistant coach Mike McQueary came to him and reported seeing Sandusky in the Penn State showers with a 10-year-old boy. Paterno notified Curley and Schultz.
Earlier Wednesday, Paterno had said in a statement that he was "absolutely devastated by the developments in this case." "I grieve for the children and their families," said Paterno, "and I pray for their comfort and relief."
Paterno informed his players on Wednesday of his intent to retire in an tear-filled team meeting. Afterward, many players told the media that they had never seen Paterno so emotional.
"In all the clips I've seen of him, I've never seen him break down and cry," quarterback Paul Jones said. "And he was crying the whole time today."
Cornerback Stephon Morris said some players also were nearly in tears themselves. "I still can't believe it. I've never seen Coach Paterno like that in my life," Morris said.
The Penn State football game with Nebraska is still scheduled for this Saturday in the Nittany Lions' home finale. But for the first time since 1950, Paterno will not be there as a member of the Nittany Lions coaching staff.
Posted on: November 9, 2011 5:41 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 6:13 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
In the first official comment from Penn State athletics administrators on the Jerry Sandusky scandal since under-fire president Graham Spanier offered his "unconditional support" for two accused PSU officials last Saturday, acting Nittany Lion athletic director Mark Sherburne issued the following statement on the officials athletics website, gopsusports.com, Wednesday afternoon:
The Penn State athletics family is devastated by the details in the Grand Jury presentment. Our hearts go out to the children involved and their families.Sherburne has been named the Nittany Lions' interim athletic director in the wake of the resignation of one of those two officials, former AD Tim Curley. Curley resigned Sunday after being charged with perjury and other charges related to the grand jury investigation into Sandusky's alleged sexual abuse of minors.
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: November 9, 2011 2:26 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli and Adam Jacobi
In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal that has led to the arrests of two Penn State officials and the planned retirement of longtime head coach Joe Paterno, it appears that the school's highest ranking official will now lose his job as well.
According to a report in The Express Times, Penn State president Graham Spanier's resignation or termination could be coming shortly. In the report a source close to the Penn State Board of Trustess said that Spanier will either resign or be voted out by the end of the day. On Wednesday afternoon, Nate Bauer of BlueWhiteIllustrated.com reported that Spanier had submitted his resignation, though that report has yet to be confirmed.
Spanier has been silent for the last few days as many on the Penn State campus and across the country have called for his job following the news of Jerry Sandusky's actions at the school and Penn State's failure to act on them. According to another report in The Chronicle, Spanier's silence may not be by choice.
Per the paper, Spanier has been ordered to keep silent by the school's Board of Trustees:
That may not be his choice, two individuals close to the administration told The Chronicle on Tuesday. He is following strict orders from the university's Board of Trustees not to talk.The Penn State Board of Trustees is scheduled to hold a closed-door session on Thursday in which the futures of both Spanier and Paterno was expected be discussed. Paterno's future may still be discussed, but now, it's unclear whether Spanier's career will even last long enough to make it to the Thursday meeting.
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:33 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 1:37 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen and Adam Jacobi
UPDATE - Nov. 9: The Associated Press is reporting that Joe Paterno has decided to retire at the end of the season.
As the amount of alleged victims in the Jerry Sandusky case climbs rapidly, reports are emerging that Penn State head coach Joe Paterno's coaching career will soon come to an end. Official support for Paterno is reportedly "eroding," even as Nittany Lion fans rally in support of the longtime coach.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Paterno's 46 years as Nittany Lion head coach "will soon be over, perhaps within days or weeks." According to two sources familiar with top administrative discussions who spoke to the Times, talks to determine "how to manage his departure have begun."
"The board of trustees has yet to determine the precise timing of Paterno’s exit," the Times writes, "but it is clear that the man who has more victories than any other coach at college football’s top level and who made Penn State a prestigious brand will not survive to coach another season."
At least one person has come forward to dispute the Times report. Joe's son Scott Paterno said at a gathering of reporters at the Paterno household on Tuesday afternoon that "nobody has asked Joe [Paterno] to step down" and that Paterno would be coaching at Nebraska this weekend.
"There has been no contact about anything to do with anybody stepping down," said Scott. "The status quo holds. It's the same as it's always been. He's the coach at Penn State. When there's more to add I will."
Later, at Paterno's home, a crowd of hundreds gathered in an impromptu rally for the embattled head coach. Cries of "we love you, Joe" and chants of "Let Joe stay" peppered the air. Paterno emerged from his house to give a brief statement, but did not answer questions.
What is known, however, is that the Penn State board of trustees held an emergency meeting Tuesday night. Chairman Steve Garban acknowledged to the Associated Press that the board was "in session" when asked. A person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the schedule was not made public said the trustees were having a teleconference Tuesday evening.
The Board of Trustees released a statement Tuesday expressing outrage over the “horrifying details” of the Sandusky case. The board announced it would form a committee to investigate the “circumstances that gave rise” to the case. The statement did not mention the job status of Paterno or Spanier.
Meanwhile, reports have emerged that the number of alleged victims in the Sandusky case is growing after the state attorney general and police commissioner publicized two phone numbers to help potential victims contact investigators. According to Fox 29 in Philadelphia, the number of alleged victims has more than doubled in just one day and as of Tuesday evening, approaches 20. Sandusky has yet to be charged in any of the new allegations that are coming in.
Paterno was scheduled to speak at a press conference Tuesday morning, but the conference was canceled, reportedly by Spanier. The Times later reported that Paterno will not hold an off campus press conference as was rumored. Paterno did coach Tuesday's practice.
According to the grand jury report that charges Sandusky with 40 counts of sex crimes against minors, Paterno was told of an incident involving Sandusky in a Penn State locker room in 2002 and reported that incident to his superiors But the head coach allegedly made no further effort to follow up on the incident as Sandusky enjoyed continued access to PSU facilities.
In a statement, NCAA president Mark Emmert said that the Sandusky scandal "is a criminal matter under investigation by law enforcement authorities and I will not comment on details."
"However, I have read the grand jury report and find the alleged assaults appalling," said Emmert. "As a parent and an educator, the notion that anyone would use a position of trust to prey on children is despicable. My thoughts and concern goes out to the alleged victims and their families."
State police commissioner Frank Noonan said Monday that Paterno fulfilled his legal obligations and was in no danger of being charged with any criminal wrongdoing, but that he felt the 84-year-old coach had not lived up to his moral obligations.
"Somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child," Noonan said. "I think you have the moral responsibility, anyone. Not whether you're a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral responsibility to call us."