NFL  > General NFL  > Paterno interview
January 16, 2012, 01:30 PM
If you have not seen this or read the dialogue you should.

Legendary football coach Joe Paterno, who was ousted from Penn State University over an alleged child sex abuse scandal, told the Washington Post he felt inadequate to deal with the initial allegation of abuse.

Paterno, the all-time winningest football coach in NCAA Division I history, was fired in November amid the outcry over the handling of accusations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who faces more than 50 counts involving sexual acts with 10 boys since 1994. He has pleaded not guilty.

"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."

The former coach, who is being treated for lung cancer, spoke with a raspy voice during the interview -- Paterno's first extensive sit-down since being fired.

A Penn State graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, told the grand jury late last year that he had seen Sandusky "with a boy in the shower and that it was severe sexual acts going on and that it was wrong and over the line." He said he had gone to Paterno with what he saw.

Paterno said he'd never been told the graphic details revealed in a grand jury report, but that he nevertheless reported the allegations to his boss, then-Athletic Director Tim Curley.

Curley and Gary Schultz, a former university vice president, have been charged with perjury and failure to report the abuse allegations, which law enforcement did not learn about for several years. They have pleaded not guilty.

"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 don't see how Paterno could claim he had never heard of rape with a man? He is ailing and sounds bad, and this could be his last interview sadly. I really don't think he will be up for a trial, which I am sure will be a year or so down the road. I don't think anyone involved with the case should be allowed to do interviews, they usually end up badly for the person being interviewed.
It is truly sad that an American icon like Paterno has to go out like this.
January 16, 2012  01:52 PM ET

Joe pretty much ran the show there at Penn St., so to say he was worried about screwing up university procedure, I have a hard time buying that story. I doubt Paterno has ever not KNOWN how to handle a situation on campus. He was paid a lot of money and probably did not wish to bring scandal/shame on his famous meal ticket. Sorry if this seems harsh, but children were continually being raped because these folks turned their heads. Shame on them, NOT PENN ST.
The kids are what are suppose to be our number one priority in life not commodities and or victims of MONSTERS like Sandusky! burn in hell asshole!

January 16, 2012  02:13 PM ET

more disturbing crap!

A judge ruled last month that the perjury case against Curley and Schultz will go to trial, following graphic testimony from the prosecution's star witness in the case against Sandusky, who faces more than 50 counts involving sexual acts with 10 boys since 1994.

Mike McQueary testified that he told university officials that he saw Sandusky possibly sodomizing a boy in 2002, saying that what he saw was "extremely sexual in nature." McQueary was a graduate assistant for the football team at the time of the alleged incident.

But during a court reading of Curley's grand jury testimony, the former athletic director said he was not made aware of any sexual activity.

Curley, who after the alleged incident restricted Sandusky from using university property, said his decision was based on what was considered inappropriate but not sexual conduct.

He said he thought McQueary was just "uncomfortable with (Sandusky's) behavior and didn't think it was appropriate for Jerry to be in the showers with a young person."

But McQueary said, "There's no question in my mind that I conveyed to (university officials) that I saw Jerry with a boy in the shower and that it was severe sexual acts going on and that it was wrong and over the line."

Curley's attorney, Caroline Roberto, said after the December decision that McQueary has credibility issues, while Schultz's attorney, Thomas Farrell, questioned why police were never alerted.

Sandusky, meanwhile, has pleaded not guilty to all charges while denying any sexual activity with his accusers. Regarding the 2002 incident in the showers, he has said that he and the boy were just "horsing around."

McQueary, a former Penn State quarterback, testified that he met with Curley and Schultz to inform them about the alleged incident about nine days after first alerting then-head coach Joe Paterno.

Schultz testified to a grand jury that he recalled being told at a meeting that Sandusky "may have grabbed the boy's genitals while wrestling" and agreed it would be inappropriate sexual conduct between a man and a boy, the grand jury said. But he also testified that the allegations made were "not that serious" and that he and Curley "had no indication that a crime had occurred."

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January 16, 2012  07:54 PM ET

Jack...Paterno says he ha never heard of rape with a man.... that is ridiculous.... stop all the interviews already, it behooves neither side right now.

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January 16, 2012  08:29 PM ET

all of that is a sad sad mess, and blemishes a great school, I heard talk that PSU should decline to take part in any bowl games for years, why ? Isn`t that stuff mainly for the kids in the football program ? Why punish them, the college makes the money from it, but the kids playing are the ones being punished if that happens, I just don`t get it.Sandusky is a messed up dude, and I hope the worst for him, but his actions should not bring down grief to the football program and kids that are there, and I have heard on several radio sports talk shows were the talking heads are just hammering away at that.

I agree jim, as I suggested when this story broke, those kids are suffering from this scandal, all should be refunded their tuition.

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January 17, 2012  05:47 AM ET

It is sad Ripper....and yes that quote raised a huge red flag on the whole play! If I was a parent of a student I might persuade them to change schools....seriously.

January 17, 2012  05:49 AM ET

The interviews keep getting more disturbing,,,,their attorneys should be fired for allowing this madness.

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January 17, 2012  08:56 AM ET

it's the environment Jack, it's negative!

January 17, 2012  04:47 PM ET

But why? I can understand thinking about this if your son plays football at Penn State. I can maybe see it if your kid is associated with the athletic department in any way. But how does this affect the academics at Penn State?

It doesn't reflect on the academics in my opinion.

January 18, 2012  09:46 AM ET

It doesn't reflect on the academics in my opinion.

Penn State is not famous for it's academics.... how ever sports is their claim to fame. Hence the big long cover up of someone in the athletic program....

January 18, 2012  09:47 AM ET


January 18, 2012  09:47 AM ET



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