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Entries in Joe Paterno (42)

Friday
Jan062012

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

Friday
Dec162011

Paterno Said to Delay Sex Assault Report to Avoid Ruining Weekend

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- Former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno was in no hurry to forward to authorities a witness' report of a sexual abuse of a young boy because he didn't want to "interfere with their weekends," according to a deposition read in court Friday.

The man Paterno told about the abuse, former athletic director Tim Curley, testified in a deposition Friday that he didn't think it was a crime, so he didn't call the police.

Their testimony was among a series of accounts by Penn State officials who displayed a remarkable lack of urgency after a boy was allegedly sexually assaulted in a Penn State locker room shower in 2002 by former coach Jerry Sandusky.

The day ended with Judge William C. Wenner ruling that there was enough evidence to try Curley and former vice president of finance Gary Schultz on charges of perjury.

In a hearing at Dauphin County District Court Friday, Paterno's deposition was read in which he recounts being told by assistant coach Mike McQueary that he saw Sandusky fondling a boy.

Paterno, who is 84 and battling cancer, did not appear in court. His deposition was entered into the record.

"He (McQueary) had seen a person, an older person, fondling a young boy," Paterno testified. "I don't know what you would call it, but it was of a sexual nature. I didn't push Mike to describe it because he was already upset, but it was something inappropriate to a youngster."

"I didn't want to interfere with their weekends, (so) either Saturday or Monday, I talked to my boss, Tim Curley, by phone, saying, 'Hey we got a problem' and I explained the problem to him," Paterno said.

Curley, in his deposition, said he did not think the incident constituted a crime worthy of calling the police, despite admitting to the grand jury that he knew Sandusky had been seen showering naked with a boy and inappropriately horsing around and wrestling with him.

"I never reported it to University Police. I didn't think that it was a crime at the time," Curley testified.

The reactions by Paterno and Curley follow a pattern of lax responses by university and Second Mile officials to sex abuse allegations against Sandusky.

McQueary, who witnessed the 2002 incident in the locker room, said that rather than physically stopping the assault, or even saying anything to Sandusky while he was in the shower with the boy, he merely slammed his locker and walked out of the building.

Instead of calling the police, McQueary talked about it to his father and didn't call Paterno until the next day.

University president Graham Spanier was notified of the 2002 incident by Schultz and Curley but also did not report the incident to police.

The hearing Friday hinged on the testimony of Mike McQueary, who is the prosecution's main witness in the cases against Curley, Schultz and Sandusky.

One of Sandusky's attorneys, Karl Rominger, said Thursday that there was a simple explanation for why Sandusky would have been in a shower with the boy that night, and it was not sexual.

"Some of these kids don't have basic hygiene skills, teaching a person to shower at the age of 12 or 14 sounds strange to some people, but people who work with troubled youth will tell you there are a lot of juvenile delinquents and people who are dependent who have to be taught basic life skills like how to put soap on their body," Rominger told ABC affiliate WHTM.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov212011

Bullying of Alleged Sandusky Victim Prompts Joe Paterno to Speak Out

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The boy who first came forward to accuse former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual assault has been harassed so intensely that he had to leave high school, prompting ousted coach Joe Paterno to speak out against bullying.

The mother of the alleged victim, who set off the investigation and led to 40 counts of child sexual assault against Sandusky, told ABC News that students at her son's high school blame him for the firing of Paterno, the beloved head coach who oversaw the university's Nittany Lions football team for 46 years.

Speaking exclusively with ABC's Good Morning America, the attorney representing Paterno said that the former coach denounces bullying, and called for respect in the name of the school.

"Coach Paterno strongly condemns harassment or bullying of any kind, and he asks anyone who truly cares about Penn State to conduct themselves honorably and with respect for others," attorney J. Sedgwick Sollers told ABC News.

Paterno had previously called for a prayer for the victims of abuse in the wake of the scandal breaking.  He hasn't spoken publically since his ouster from the school and is reportedly battling lung cancer.

Psychologist Mike Gillum has been counseling the unnamed young man, who is referred to as Victim 1 in the Sandusky case grand jury report, for the past three years while the case was being investigated.  He said that scorn and bullying can be a major concern for victims of abuse.

"It's very scary," Gillum told GMA Monday morning when discussing the state of mind of someone who's come forward after being victimized for years.

"You wonder what kind of push-back or what kind of reaction and how far that reaction might go in terms of people in the community.  Will people threaten you?  How hostile will things become?" he said.

Victim 1, who according to his testimony was 11 or 12 years old when he was first sexually abused by the 67-year-old former defensive coach, has been accused of changing his story as the case evolved.  Sandusky's defense attorney has already publicly said he's going to go after the credibility of the boy's story based on the fact that his statements escalated.

But Gillum says that victims of abuse often take time to reveal the full details of what happened.

"The level of humiliation, the level of insight into how deviant what's occurred is, means that they're not going to reveal that until they really feel comfortable," he said.  "And that may take months, that might take a year or two."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov182011

Joe Paterno Has Lung Cancer

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- Legendary football coach Joe Paterno has a treatable form of lung cancer, his son says.

In a statement obtained by ABC News, Scott Paterno says the former Penn State head football coach was informed of his illness last weekend “during a follow-up visit for a bronchial illness.”

“He is currently undergoing treatment and his doctors are optimistic that he will make a full recovery,” Scott Paterno said. “As everyone can appreciate, this is a deeply personal matter for my parents, and we simply ask that his privacy be respected as he proceeds with treatment.”

The NCAA on Friday opened an investigation into Penn State’s handling of accusations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky that he molested young boys while serving on Paterno’s staff.

Paterno, 84, was fired earlier this month amid pressure placed on the university’s administration from critics who say he knew of at least one instance of sexual misconduct on Sandusky’s behalf and failed to inform the proper authorities.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov142011

Sandusky Admits to Showering with Boys, Denies Sexual Contact

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General(NEW YORK) -- Alleged child abuser Jerry Sandusky admitted to showering and horsing around with kids -- but not sexual assaulting them -- in a phone interview with Bob Costas on NBC News' Rock Center Monday night.

The former Penn State football coach is accused of sexually abusing at least eight boys over a period dating back to 1994. Sandusky, who is currently free on $100,000 bond, faces 40 counts of sexual abuse in connection with the allegations.

"I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact," Sandusky told Costas in Monday's interview.

In the interview, during which Sandusky's lawyer Joe Amendola sat next to Costas, the embattled former coach admitted to having a fondness for children but denied that he is a pedophile.

“I enjoy being around children," Sandusky said. "I enjoy their enthusiasm. I just have a good time with them."

Hours before Sandusky's interview with Costas, Amendola told CNN his client is innocent and described him as a "big overgrown kid."

The allegations have culminated into the firing of longtime football coach Joe Paterno, Penn State president Graham Spanier, and a grand jury investigation into an alleged coverup involving high-ranking officials from the university.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov142011

Judge Who Set Penn State Sex Abuse Suspect Free Without Bail Volunteered for Him

Patrick Smith/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, PA) -- The judge who let Jerry Sandusky return home without paying any bail and without an ankle monitor after he was arrested on 40 counts of child sexual assault, was a volunteer at Sandusky's charity, The Second Mile.

Sandusky turned himself in to District Judge Leslie Dutchcot's office on Nov. 5, after a 23-page grand jury presentment detailing the allegations against Sandusky was accidentally posted online on Nov. 4, according to the attorney general's office.

Despite prosecutors' request for $500,000 bail and an ankle monitor to be placed on Sandusky, Dutchcot ordered Sandusky freed on $100,000 unsecured bail, only to be paid if Sandusky failed to show up for court.

The Second Mile charity is listed as one of a handful of organizations Dutchcot volunteers for in a biography on her law firm's website.

The Patriot News reported Monday that Dutchcot only volunteered a few times in 2008 and 2009, after Sandusky had stopped participating in the Second Mile, according to a source.

Judge Dutchot did not return calls for comment.

Christopher Mallios, an attorney with AEquitas, part of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, said that having unsecured bail is extremely unusual for a defendant charged with a high number of serious crimes.

Mallios said that in his work in the Philadelphia District Attorney's office there was always concern over whether a defendant who had a position of authority within the community or financial means would receive preferential treatment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov132011

Franco Harris Defends Joe Paterno in Child Sex Abuse Scandal

Patrick Smith/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- On Sunday, Pittsburgh Steeler great Franco Harris, who played college ball at Penn State, defended his former coach, Joe Paterno, who lost his job over the child sex abuse case that has rocked the university.

Harris was one of a stream of supporters who visited Paterno at his home in State College, Pa., on Sunday.

When he came out of the Paterno house, Harris said he didn’t understand why Paterno is being portrayed the way he is, that he did what he should have done in the case.

Paterno told investigators that when a graduate student told him in 2002 that he had seen former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in the gym showers with a young boy, he in turn informed university officials.

Investigators say those officials never passed on the report to police to investigate.

Sandusky was arrested on Nov. 5, charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period.

Two university officials have also been arrested on perjury charges, and University President Graham Spanier and Paterno both lost their jobs.

The children Sandusky allegedly abused were all connected to his Second Mile charity, which was supposed to give at-risk children a chance to improve their lives through sports.

Harris, along with Cal Ripken Jr., Arnold Palmer and Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid have all been listed as honorary directors of the charity.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov132011

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

Saturday
Nov122011

Penn State Scandal: Nittany Lions Take the Field Without Joe Paterno

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images(UNIVERSITY PARK, Penn.) -- Penn State University's Nittany Lions Saturday will be playing their first football game in 46 years without legendary head coach, Joe Paterno, 84, who was fired amid a sexual abuse scandal by a former assistant coach.

"We lost our coach so I guess we are playing for a little bit more now. We're playing for Penn State and trying to make Penn State's name back to where it was," linebacker Nate Stupar told "Good Morning America."

Former assistant football coach Gerard "Jerry" Sandusky has been charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period.

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.

"My son started acting out," she said during an exclusive "Good Morning America" interview.

Her child once said he wanted to conduct an Internet search of "sex weirdos," said the woman, whose identify Good Morning America did not reveal. "He said he wanted to see if Jerry was on there."

She sought intervention from her son's guidance counselors, who confirmed her suspicions that he had been molested by Sandusky who, she said, also was regularly taking the boy away from school grounds during the schoolday, without her knowledge or consent. Her son spent time alone with Sandusky, she said, and slept overnight in his basement.

"I was horrified," the mother said, of what she learned from school counselors.

Nevertheless, Penn State, a longtime sports powerhouse, has much more on the line than football.

While riotous student protesters, angered by what they view as the scapegoating of Paterno, overturned one TV crew's vehicle this week and gathered en masse in front of Paterno's home, 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.

Increased security will be in place for today's game and "inspections will be more deliberate and thorough, and the University's regulation on bags will be strictly enforced," university officials said.

Many of the 100,000 fans projected to pack the stadiium for Saturday's game are will be clad in blue -- the designated color representing the sexual abuse of children -- instead of the white; their customary attire for home games.

Another major change in plans is the removal of assistant coach Mike McQueary from the coaching line-up for Saturday's game against Nebraska.

Now on administrative leave, McQueary was a 28-year-old graduate assistant in the football department when he allegedly saw former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy, roughly 10 years old, in the locker room showers.

McQueary left the building and reported the incident to Paterno the next day.

Authorities said McQueary did what was required of him and he was not a target of the investigation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov112011

Penn State: Asst. Coach Placed on Leave, Candlelight Vigil for Victims 

J. Meric/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary, was placed on indefinite paid administrative leave on Friday.

Acting President Rodney Erickson made the announcement on Friday saying McQueary could not function under the circumstances.

McQueary witnessed the alleged rape of a 10-year-old boy by Jerry Sandusky on the Penn State campus in 2002. He informed Coach Joe Paterno but did not intervene or call the police. Erickson said McQueary received numerous death threats.

Penn State students say they will hold a candlelight vigil on Friday evening for victims of sexual abuse.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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