Blog Entry

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Posted on: January 14, 2012 4:48 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 5:50 pm

Posted by Chip Patterson

Joe Paterno has begun to tell his side of the story. Sally Jenkins, of The Washington Post, did an exclusive interview with Paterno - his first official comments regarding the fallout at Penn State since his firing on Nov. 9. The story will be published in Sunday's edition of the paper, and was made available online on Saturday.

In the story Paterno gives his account of the events surrounding the alleged rape of a young boy by Jerry Sandusky in the Penn State facilities in 2002. The details of what Mike McQueary told the Penn State head coach, and the steps that were or weren't taken by Penn State officials.

From the piece in Sunday's Washington Post:

Paterno contends that ignorance was the context with which he heard McQueary’s disturbing story in 2002. McQueary, sitting at Paterno’s kitchen table, told him that he had been at the football building late the evening before when he heard noises coming from the shower. “He was very upset and I said why, and he was very reluctant to get into it,” Paterno said. “He told me what he saw, and I said, what? He said it, well, looked like inappropriate, or fondling, I’m not quite sure exactly how he put it. I said you did what you had to do. It’s my job now to figure out what we want to do. So I sat around. It was a Saturday. Waited till Sunday because I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. And then I called my superiors and I said, ‘Hey, we got a problem, I think. Would you guys look into it?’ Cause I didn’t know, you know. We never had, until that point, 58 years I think, I had never had to deal with something like that. And I didn’t feel adequate.”

At that point, Paterno set up a meeting for McQueary and Curley, the athletic director, and Schultz, who oversaw university police. McQueary has testified that he gave both men a far more graphic description of what he witnessed, which he believed to be Sandusky sodomizing a boy of about 10, who had his hands against the shower wall. At the preliminary hearing for Curley and Schultz on Dec. 16, McQueary said he had been reluctant to go into similar “great detail about sexual acts” with Paterno, out of respect for the coach, who was 78 at the time.

Schultz and Curley have maintained that McQueary failed to impart the seriousness of what he saw to them as well. They never told police about the allegation, instead informing Sandusky he could no longer bring children to university facilities. Prosecutors say Sandusky continued to abuse boys for six more years.

Paterno has said, “In hindsight, I wish I had done more.”

Most of the story lines up with Paterno's grand jury testimony, but there was some interesting insight into Jerry Sandusky's exit. Paterno explains in the interview that he was growing frustrated with Sandusky's involvement with Second Mile, the charity he used to help identify potential victims.

“He came to see me and we talked a little about his career,” Paterno said in the story. “I said, you know, Jerry, you want to be head coach, you can’t do as much as you’re doing with the other operation. I said this job takes so much detail, and for you to think you can go off and get involved in fundraising and a lot of things like that. . . . I said you can’t do both, that’s basically what I told him.”

The interview with Sally Jenkins was conducted on Jan. 12-13, you can read the full story here.

Follow Jim Rodenbush's Nittany Lions RapidReports for more on developments from State College, Pa.

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Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 11:30 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

this is not a football game, it was a crime.  A crime that could occur at any school.  Slinging mud at PSU is just plain ridiculous.  Whose to say another AD wouldn't do the same coverup?  Curley is the one who should go.  And Schultz.  Paterno is culpible for his inaction after first reporting it and still seeing Sandusky on campus.  Just as in football, when the team fails, the coach is responsible.  When the football program fails, the AD is responsible.  Period.  and to those who say Paterno ran the show, did he fire himself then?  Must have.

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 10:55 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

maybe they will close the college, after all the leader of that school is gone

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2012 7:31 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

How about doing what the media hasn't? Put the sentence into context.

Since: Nov 29, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 11:45 pm

Paterno never heard of "telling the truth"

He never heard of "rape and a man", even though he is Catholic, and in 2002, rampant child rape by Catholic priests was THE biggest story in the newspaper.

In the future, children will never hear of "truth and a Paterno".

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 7:05 am

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

It's funny really. Just look at what some of these brainless hacks are writing. One wouldn't think that Joe Paterno has been completely exonerated one every level, morally, ethically and legally and has been proven to have done the right thing with the information he had. One wouldn't think that it is very likely the same thing will happen for Penn State as a whole.

Since: Sep 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 4:45 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Come on Penn State fans say what is really on your mind - WHY DID THESE LITTLE BOYS HAVE TO GET IN THE WAY OF ALL OF THAT WINNING?

Since: Aug 19, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 4:23 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

YUP!!!! Joe Pa removed himself from coaching the team.....
Nope, a child rape scandal removed that old stain from the team. For all intent and purposes, for years and years, JoPa had no boss.  They'd been hoping for 10 years that he'd leave on his own but he kept refusing. Before this scandal, JoPa could have fired the AD.
You keep believing he had "superiors" if you want to let him off the hook.  I'd say they were his "superiors" in name only, and JoPa still did what he wanted, when he wanted. Until this time.  

Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: January 16, 2012 3:53 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 19, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 3:43 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

Joe had no way of knowing his superiors would drop the ball on this
Dude, JoPa could have asked one question. "Hey, what ever happened with the child rape allegations that McQuery made?". There you go, it would have been that easy for the infallible JoPa to find out whether the AD had dropped the ball.  Plus JoPa had no superiors at Penn State, it all began and ended with that old man.

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: January 16, 2012 3:32 pm

Paterno gives first interview on Sandusky scandal

When Penn State was well below their previous football prowess, people questioned whether the game had passed Joe by.  Was he too old to make the Nittany Lions successful?  No one asked if he was too old to oversee the entire operation.  JoePa basically answered the latter question.  He was not prepared for a reality like child abuse.  McQueary said as much by saying he didn't go into details out of respect for Coach.   It looks like Curley and Schultz either weren't prepared or they chose to look the other way.  I don't think it matters how much detail MacQuery gave Curley and Schultz, they had enough info to be even more scared than Joe, the old coach, and Mike, the graduate assistant.  By the time this happened, virtually everyone working with kids--YMCA, Scouts, Churches, Soccer Leagues--everyone should have known what to do and should have had a policy in place 5 to 10 years prior to this alleged incident.

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