Blog Entry

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

Posted on: January 21, 2012 8:47 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2012 1:42 am

Posted by Adam Jacobi

UPDATE (12:25 a.m. ET): issued an apology and correction for publishing an unsubstantiated report that former Penn State coach Joe Paterno had died.


UPDATE (1:35 a.m. ET):
The Washington Post reported that Paterno's family was weighing whether to take the longtime coach off of a ventilator on Sunday.


Penn State
student website Onward State has reported that Penn State players were notified of longtime head coach Joe Paterno's passing via email, and went on this report. Paterno, 85, had been receiving chemotherapy as part of his treatment for lung cancer.

However, Paterno family spokesperson Dan McGinn told a New York Times reporter that the report of Paterno's demise is "absolutely not true," and Jay Paterno tweeted that his father "continues to fight." Onward State has since retracted their report.

Jay Paterno later tweeted he let his father know about the students gathering around his statue on campus, and that the "love and support" is "inspiring him." 

Paterno was the head coach of Penn State for 46 seasons before being fired in November as his role in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal came under greater scrutiny. Combined with the time he spent as an assistant, Paterno spent a total of 61 years on the Penn State sidelines. He left behind a legacy that, on the field of play, was unparalleled in Division I football. Paterno holds the all-time Division I record for football coaching wins with a 409-136-3 record, and he won two national championships while going undefeated in five different seasons.

[STATS: JoePa's lifetime coaching record]

Under Paterno, Penn State was a perennial powerhouse, known for decades as "Linebacker U" for its propensity to develop All-American linebackers. Paterno coached such great linebackers as Dennis Onkotz, Jack Ham, Shane Conlan, LaVar Arrington, Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor, and Sean Lee, along with many others.

Additionally, running back John Cappelletti won the Heisman Trophy in 1973 under Paterno, and Cappelletti was one of seven Penn State players to win the Maxwell Award for most outstanding college football player. All in all, 68 players were named first-team All-American by at least one of the major news services under Paterno; 13 of those players were two-year winners.

Paterno's longtime defensive coordinator and the architect of the defensive schemes that came to typify Penn State football was Jerry Sandusky, who's now more well-known for the allegations of underaged sexual abuse against him made by men who were involved in Sandusky's charity, The Second Mile, as boys. Sandusky is still awaiting trial for those allegations, and he pled not guilty to the charges in December 2011.

In an interview with the Washington Post released just a week ago, Paterno expressed remorse for not having done more to stop Sandusky's alleged crimes, and he also said he was "just sick about" the situation. Investigators did not bring charges against Paterno, and instead mentioned that he had fulfilled his legal obligations by notifying his superiors about an alleged assault when he was first notified in 2002.

After Paterno was fired in 2011, Penn State named Tom Bradley -- who, coincidentally, was Sandusky's replacement at defensive coordinator -- interim head coach. Bradley went 1-3, including a loss to Houston in the TicketCity Bowl, and was not retained as a coach when Penn State hired Bill O'Brien in January.

Paterno was well known for encouraging his players to excel in the classroom and earn their undergraduate degrees at Penn State, and his name will live on at Penn State. Paterno and his wife Sue were major financial supporters of Penn State University, as they donated millions of dollars for the Paterno Library on campus, and Paterno helped establish the Paterno Liberal Arts Undergraduate Fellows Program.

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 3:23 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

Dead yet?

Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 3:19 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

That was a thoughtful comment.  You're right, Joe gave 61 years of his life and deserves some respect.  He also deserved a "real" apology for this network's huge screwup last evening.  What he got was a lame attempt at trying to pass the blame.

"If ordinary men and women had done their jobs and fulfilled the duties of the positions they hold, nobody would have any reason to expect JoePa or anyone else to have taken EXTRAORDINARY measures."  Despite what people have been led by the media to believe, JoePa did not have details about what happened and he still did what he supposed to do, even though he didn't know what to do.  Joe Paterno has more integrity in his little toe than the media in the entire country had put together.  He made one mistake in 61 years.  He didn't have hindsight.

I'll bet with benefit of hindsight, CBS wishes it had checked its facts before copying someone else's work last evening.  Should we throw them all under the bus and then run over them consistently and repeatedly for 3 months as the media has done to Joe?  Joe would say, "No."  This is exactly why none of us have any respect for the media anymore and so very much respect for JoePa.  The managing editor at the news outlet who issued the first erroneous report last night issued a "heartfelt" apology an then resigned.  THAT is a reporter with journalistic integrity.  CBS should hire him to teach them about that kind of integrity.

We love you JoePa.  May God Bless you and your family tonight and always.

Since: Jun 6, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 3:09 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

How can you be so inconsiderate in a time like this? I agree with the firing of Jo Pa, but to say this is wrong, I will pray for your ignorance.

Since: Apr 6, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:57 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

thats all this man is known for now is children rape....Were you guys thier??  you have no idea how everything went down at Penn St. This man coached at Penn for 50+ years and i dont give a F*ck about Penn St. i'm a UK fan, but C'mon 50 years has to account for something ...Have a heart and  give this man his due , if you can't do that your scum.

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:50 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator


Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:47 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

I have a Joe pa story.  This one time, a little boy was being raped and Joe Pa didn't do anything. Then because Joe didn't do anything, more little kids were raped.....The End

Since: Apr 27, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:45 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

Does it really matter that much either way to most of us? Sounds like its just a matter of time and pretty soon too if the family is considering this action of stopping ventilator! We all died its a fact of life its just some go sooner than others but we will all get there!

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:41 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

Hey i have a Paterno story......This one time, some little kid was being raped and Joe Pa did nothing. Then, because Joe Pa did nothing, more kids were raped.....The End

Since: Jan 5, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:36 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

Ya, sure, last dude who commented. I have a Paterno story. He knew about this guy who raped children and instead of doing anything about it he allowed that person to continue using Penn State's facilities to commit the crimes. Or did you want me to talk about something as trivial as football?

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:30 am

Report: Paterno family weighs stopping ventilator

Regardless, Paterno doesn't have much time.  Everyone bickering over all this dumb stuff won't change that.  One of the greatest coaches in college football history is about to die and all you people can do is call each other idiots and/or bring up the Sandusky thing.  Sheesh....

I'm actually a Michigan fan but as a Pennsylvania native this still hits close to home for me.  Joe, I hope you go as painlessly as possible.  You were definitely an icon in PA, college, and sports in general.  Condolences to his family. 

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