New revelations about Joe Paterno

“[…] in 1976, a child allegedly reported to PSU’s Head Football Coach Joseph Paterno, that he (the child) was sexually molested by Sandusky.”

This line appeared in a court order from an insurance coverage case for Penn State. That one line brought back questions about Joe Paterno’s knowledge about Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of boys at Penn State University.

Paterno died shortly before Sandusky faced dozens of charges of sexual abuse. The question at the time was how much did Paterno know about the abuse. The former head coach was known for his legendary achievements in college football. That history was marred by the abuse allegations. His family denied that he participated in any cover-up, however, Penn State funded an investigation that found that Paterno may have known about the abuse in 1998. The current implication from the court order suggests he may have known earlier than that:

The order also cites separate references in 1987 and 1988 in which unnamed assistant coaches witnessed inappropriate contact between Sandusky and unidentified children, and a 1988 case that was supposedly referred to Penn State’s athletic director at the time.

All, the opinion states, are described in victims’ depositions taken as part of the still-pending insurance case, but that, according a PennLive review of the case file, are apparently under seal.

“There is no evidence that reports of these incidents ever went further up the chain of command at PSU,” Judge Gary Glazer wrote, in determining that because Penn State’s executive officers – its president and trustees – weren’t aware of the allegations, he would not bar claims from that time frame from insurance coverage.

There is no evidence verifying these claims. Continue reading

Joe Paterno Speaks

Joe Paterno finally decided to speak about the charges against Jerry Sandusky. His comments come months after he should have spoken, but at least he said something. In a recent interview, Paterno stated that he did not know how to handle the situation:

“I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was,” Paterno told the Washington Post in an interview published Saturday. “So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.”

He later stated:

“You know, he didn’t want to get specific,” Paterno said about McQueary. “And to be frank with you I don’t know that it would have done any good, because I never heard of, of, rape and a man. So I just did what I thought was best. I talked to people that I thought would be, if there was a problem, that would be following up on it,” he told the Washington Post.

“I called my superiors and I said, ‘hey, we got a problem I think. Would you guys look into it? Because I didn’t know, you know … I had never had to deal with something like that. And I didn’t feel adequate,” Paterno said.

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Penn State students riot for… Paterno?

Last night the Penn State Board of Trustees fired Joe Paterno. Earlier that day Paterno released a statement saying that he would retire at the end of the season. The Board of Trustees’ decision came after a full day of news coverage. They had little choice in the matter. From Paterno to the Board, the decision appears governed by money and power, and the Board could not risk the lose of money that allowing Paterno to remain might bring.

This is a huge blow for Penn State. Paterno is, as the media constantly reports, the “winningest” coach in college football history. He ran that program for decades and had great power in the university. Not only did he make Penn State’s football team winners, he also kept them clean. The players basically could not do anything wrong or they risked getting in trouble with Paterno.

That kind of prestige breeds affection, and plenty from Penn State and the surrounding community flocked to support Paterno. That would be fine, except for one thing: Paterno is accused of ignoring child rape.

That makes some people’s reaction to Paterno’s firing all the more curious:  Continue reading