Paterno Speaks For The First Time After Dismissal

Paterno Admits He "Didn't Know Which Way To Go"

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WFAN/AP) — Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno says he “didn’t know which way to go” after an assistant coach came to him in 2002 saying he had seen retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a boy.

Paterno spoke from his home at State College, Pennsylvania with his family surrounding him.

In his first public comments since being fired two months ago, Paterno told Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post that assistant Mike McQueary “didn’t want to get specific” about details in his 2002 allegation involving Sandusky, who he claimed was showering with a boy in the Penn State football facility.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that Paterno was hesitant to make follow-up calls because he didn’t want to be seen as trying to exert influence for or against Sandusky.

“I didn’t know which way to go … And rather than get in there and make a mistake,” he told the Post before trailing off.

“I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was. 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 concluded.

Paterno reported the allegation to his superiors but was dismissed after 46 years as Penn State’s head coach.  Before McQueary visited him, Paterno said he had “no inkling” Sandusky might be a child molester. 

He is currently undergoing chemotherapy from lung cancer and is recovering from a broken pelvis.  Paterno was re-admitted to the hospital Friday for observation for what his family called a minor complication from treatments. He has been undergoing radiation.

In recent weeks, Paterno’s dismissal itself has come under question from many former players and alumni wondering about the motivations of trustees.

Others are roiled by a perceived lack of communication by trustees and President Rodney Erickson during a period when the school has promised to be more open and transparent. Many alumni who attended town hall meetings in Pittsburgh, suburban Philadelphia and New York this week questioned why Paterno, after 61 years of service to the school, wasn’t afforded due process before his dismissal.

Sandusky was charged with over 50 counts of sexually abusing boys over a 15-year span.  He has denied the charges, which were first filed Nov. 5.  Sandusky remains out on $250,000 bail while awaiting trial.

When asked how he’d feel if Sandusky was guilty Paterno replied, “I’m sick about it.”

What do you make of Paterno’s comments?  Share your thoughts below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


One Comment

  1. Lazlo says:

    This is the sound bite that was manufactured for Joe Pa after weeks of crafting by his attorneys.

    This is BS. Joe Pa knew the right thing to do, but he didn’t do it for fear it would draw negative attention to the program he projected out to the world.

    Shiney on the outside — but dirty, powerful and corrupt on the inside.

  2. Ken says:

    If it was his son in the shower I bet he would have known what to do !

  3. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx says:

    Hey Joe just because you have always been interested in other mens rectums does not give you the right to not report a child being raped. Are you a member of NAMBLA Joe you make me sick

  4. iu says:

    Paterno is a monster just like evryone else who keeps their mouth shut on these pedophiles. Paterno is GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY. Paterno should have went to the police and if the police do nothing then its the law enforcement problem and not his. Paterno deserves no due process for ruining hundreds of innocent kids.

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