University News

Paterno ’50 fired amid Penn State sex abuse scandal

By
News Editor
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Joe Paterno ’50, head coach of the Penn State football team for the last 46 years, was fired by the university’s board of trustees last night after a sex scandal rocked his program.  

Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator under Paterno, was arrested on allegations of child molestation Saturday. Sandusky was charged with 40 counts related to improper incidents involving eight minors from 1994 to 2009, according to the New York Times.  

According to multiple reports, Paterno was made aware of one such incident, which occurred in the showers of the football facility in 2002. Paterno “redirected the graduate assistant who reported the assault to the athletic director, rather than notifying the police,” according to the Times. The graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, is a current assistant coach at Penn State.  

The president of the university, Graham Spanier, resigned yesterday amid the controversy.

Paterno had released a statement yesterday, before he was fired, saying he would step down at the end of this season.  

“This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more,” Paterno said in his statement.

Paterno played quarterback and defensive back at Brown. He is tied for the record for career interceptions with 14. The athletics department annually presents the Joe Paterno ’50 Award to an “outstanding first-year varsity male athlete,” according to the department website. Director of Athletics Michael Goldberger declined to comment on whether the department will continue presenting the award.