NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Author Joe Posnanski joined WFAN host Mike Francesa on Tuesday afternoon to discuss his new book, “Paterno.”
In the interview, Posnanski revealed that former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno and ex-assistant coach Jerry Sandusky never liked each other. In the early 1990s — around 1993 — Posnanski said that Paterno felt like Sandusky was no longer doing his job effectively.
“Paterno felt that (Sandusky) wasn’t recruiting and he wasn’t working hard enough, and their relationship became hostile,” Posnanski told Francesa.
The author also made it clear that Paterno didn’t like The Second Mile, Sandusky’s charity. The once-beloved head coach felt that it was a distraction and that it interfered with Sandusky’s coaching duties.
In all the interviews that Posnanski conducted over the years, he said that not one person ever indicated that they knew about Sandusky’s sex scandal.
Posnanski admitted, however, that writing this book during the massive Penn State sex scandal was both “a blessing and a curse.” He found that at the end of the book, the key question that begs to be answered is “Why? Why didn’t (Paterno) follow up? Why did he respond the way he responded?”
Posnanski also provided some insight into the man who Paterno really was. He admitted that he found the Brooklyn native to be quite different from he thought he would be — and certainly different from the saint that he was portrayed to be.
“The real (Paterno) was tough, and he wasn’t particularly nice all the time,” Posnanski said. “His players hated him when they played for him, but so many admired him and believed that he changed their lives.”
Posnanski went on to tell rare and juicy Paterno stories, including one in which Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis tried to coerce Paterno into joining his team as an offensive coordinator. Davis promised Paterno that he would be the coach of the Raiders someday, but he denied the offer because he felt that he was smarter than Davis.
Davis proceeded to call Paterno’s wife, Sue, to tell her that she was holding her husband back. The scheme didn’t work, but Posnanski claimed that Sue loved Penn State more than Joe did, at least in the early years of his tenure with the university.
After much of the smoke has cleared, where do you stand when it comes to Joe Paterno’s legacy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…