Entries in Joe Paterno (42)


Exclusive: Rick Santorum 'Devastated' over Penn State Scandal

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Cal(MANCHESTER, N.H.) – Rick Santorum, a graduate of Penn State, said he was a “friend” of embattled football coach Joe Paterno, but would not say whether Paterno should stay on in the wake of a sex abuse scandal.

“Look, I pray and hope that he didn’t do anything he shouldn’t have done, but it certainly looks horrible for the university, horrible for the football program and obviously people were fired, should be fired,” said Santorum, a former Republican senator from Pennsylvania.

Two top school officials have been arraigned on charges of perjury and failure to report allegations that former Paterno assistant coach Jerry Sandusky has abused children. Paterno had been alerted to one incident and the coach informed a school official, but did not call the police.

“I have no idea what his side of the story is. I think for me, after someone has served in such distinction for all those years, to sort of to jump to a quick conclusion whether he should go or should he stay, I don’t think that’  fair to me,”  Santorum told ABC News’ John Berman during the ABC News/Yahoo! “Newsmaker” interview Tuesday in the first primary state of New Hampshire.

Santorum is a 1980 alum of Penn State and a big fan of the university’s football program. He said he would still cheer this weekend for the football team.

“Of course I’ll be rooting for him and wish him the best,” Santorum said.

As for the sexual harassment allegations that his opponent Herman Cain is facing, Santorum called them “very troubling,” and said that all the candidates are going to be “held accountable for their positions and what they have done in their life.”

The former Pennsylvania senator said running for president wasn’t “a lifelong dream,” but he’s “in the best position” to win the election.

“I think America is looking for someone they can trust,” Santorum said. He dismissed his low poll numbers, saying it’s “still early” and he’s running a different campaign that’s “grassroots,” but he believes he has a “path to success.”



Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Penn State Scandal: Football Coach Joe Paterno to Speak Tuesday

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno will speak at his regular weekly press conference on Tuesday, his first public appearance since the arrest of his longtime assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, on child sex abuse charges.

Paterno was named in the indictment that brought charges against Sandusky and two university officials for what police allege was a cover-up of at least one instance of Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy on campus in 2002.

Sandusky is charged with molesting at least eight boys over 15 years, at least three of whom were brought to the attention of employees at Penn State who failed to report the incidents to police.

Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President of Finance Gary Schultz were both charged with failing to report the abuse and lying to a grand jury when asked about what they knew.

Paterno did not report the incident to police but did tell his supervisor, Curley.  Paterno has not been charged with any crime, thought prosecutors stressed to ABC News on Monday that the investigation is ongoing.

"As top administrators and senior officials at the university, Curley and Schultz had an obligation to report," said a spokesman for the attorney general's office.  "We feel confident that given the circumstances of this case, the law applies to them."

Paterno has said that his actions are in accordance with the law.

When asked about Paterno, State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said, "He is not regarded as a target at this point."

Still, authorities condemned Penn State University on Monday for what they called a widespread culture of failing to report the abuse by Sandusky.

"This is not a case about football.  This is not a case about universities.  This is a case about children that have had their innocence stolen and a culture that did nothing to stop it or prevent it from happening to others," said Noonan.

Police are still trying to determine the identity of the boy from the 2002 incident.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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