Entries in College Football (2)


New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator to Replace Joe Paterno

Elsa/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Penn.) -- New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has agreed to replace embattled veteran football legend Joe Paterno as the head coach at Penn State University.

The Penn State Nittany Lions plan to make the replacement official with an announcement on Saturday, sources have told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.  O’Brien interviewed with the team on Thursday, according to his agent Joe Linta.  Terms of his deal with Penn State are still unknown.

O’Brien will reportedly continue to serve as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator for the remainder of this season.

After spending 14 seasons on the collegiate level, including coaching stints at Duke, Maryland and Georgia Tech, O’Brien joined New England in 2007.  He spent 2008 coaching receivers, and has worked with Patriots’ star quarterback Tom Brady since 2009.

Paterno, Division I’s winningest coach in history, was ousted as head coach of Penn State’s Nittany Lions amid an onslaught of child sex abuse allegations leveled at his retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.  By the time he was fired on Nov. 9, Paterno, affectionately nicknamed “Joe Pa” by fans, had a total of 409 victories.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Penn State Scandal Probe Continues as Team Plays Without Paterno

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- As the investigation continues into the sex abuse scandal that rocked Penn State last week, the school's football team played its first game without legendary coach, Joe Paterno this weekend.

For the nearly 100,000 people who packed Beaver Stadium Saturday, it was the first football game in nearly half a century without Paterno.

It was about much more than football.

It was about healing after the arrest of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on child sex abuse charges, then the firing of Penn State President Graham Spanier and Paterno—the winningest major college football coach in history.

After an emotional pre-game prayer involving all the players and coaches from both Penn State and visiting Big Ten rival Nebraska, the Nittany Lions fell behind 17-0 in the third quarter, and their comeback fell short, losing 17-14.

The moment of silence was held for the victims of alleged child sexual abuse.

At a news conference after the game, newly appointed Penn State President Rodney Erickson, who replaced Spanier, said he believed it was right to play and bring national attention to issue of sexual abuse.

He said the pre-game moment of silence "one of the most moving and genuine" shows of support he's seen.

Despite the turmoil in the football program, Erickson said that if Penn State—which was ranked No. 12 coming into the game—receives a bowl bid, the school would not turn it down.

"If our student athletes have earned the right to compete" in a bowl, "I see no reason not to do so," he said. Sandusky has been charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period. Two other university officials are facing perjury charges related to the case.

The mother of the first child to contact police alleges that her son was about 11, and enrolled in programs sponsored by Sandusky's Second Mile Foundation, when the molestation began.

Her son spent time alone with Sandusky, she said, and slept overnight in his basement.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said he believes there will be an investigation on the Sandusky charity, the Second Mile and what exactly officials there knew.

Sandusky also faces possible charge in San Antonio, Texas, where he allegedly threatened to ship another of his alleged Pennsylvania victims back home after the boy rejected Sandusky's advances during 1999 Alamo Bowl.

While Paterno was not present at the game, his son Jay remained at his post as the quarterbacks coach.

"Once we got here and the juices started flowing I was focused and that is the way we have been trained," he said.

He delivered a letter with this message to before the game: "Dad, I wish you were here. We love you."

While riotous student protesters, angered by what they view as the scapegoating of Paterno, overturned one TV crew's vehicle this week and gathered in front of Paterno's home while other students have placed their focus elsewhere.

"The important thing is what happened to these kids... Some people are forgetting what this is really about," said Megan Lister, another student at Penn State, which attracted thousands to Friday night's candlelight vigil for the alleged victims. It replaced a planned pep rally.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio