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): CBSSports.com 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 CBSSports.com 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.
Posted on: November 22, 2011 12:57 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 12:58 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
It's no secret that while he was the head coach at Penn State, Joe Paterno may have been the most powerful man on campus in State College, and according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Paterno wielded that power whenever possible when it came to the discipline of his players. The Wall Street Journal acquired emails from and talked to former Penn State University standards and conduct officer Vicky Triponey who says that Paterno fought her every step of the way, and wanted to hold football players to a different standard than other students.
The confrontations came to a head in 2007, according to one former school official, when six football players were charged by police for forcing their way into a campus apartment that April and beating up several students, one of them severely. That September, following a tense meeting with Mr. Paterno over the case, she resigned her post, saying at the time she left because of "philosophical differences."The story also tells of other incidents that took place during Triponey's tenure at Penn State, including a meeting between Paterno and Triponey in 2005 that also involved President Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and assistant athletic director Fran Ganter. At this meeting Paterno was very vocal in his critique of Triponey and expressed how he didn't like her meddling in the football team's business, which Paterno felt was his territory.
Things came to a head in September of 2005 following the school's suspension of linebacker Dan Connor who had been accused of making harrassing phone calls to a retired assistant coach. Despite the suspension, Paterno ordered Connor to suit up for practice and Connor says he could only recall being suspended for games, not practices.
This resulted in Graham Spanier coming to Triponey's house to inform her that Paterno had given him an ultimatum. The school was to either fire Triponey or he would cease his efforts to fund-raise for the school. Connor's suspension was then reduced to 10 days.
Then came the 2007 incident with the Penn State players involved in that fight at a campus apartment. It was another incident in which Paterno and Triponey had differing views on how things should be handled, with Paterno saying that his players couldn't be expected to cooperate with the school's disciplinary process because it would mean that they'd have to testify against each other, and that would make it hard to play football together.
The majority of charges against the players were eventually dropped, with two players pleading guilty to misdemeanors. There were also four players suspended for a summer semester, but none ever had to miss any games.
Shortly after Triponey resigned and was replaced by Bob Secor, and the school instituted new rules that gave the school limited ability to end a student's participation in activities such as football.