Joe Paterno, the former Penn State football coach who lost his job amid a child sex abuse scandal allegedly involving his former defensive coordinator, has lung cancer, his son Scott Paterno said Friday.
"Last weekend my father was diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer during a follow-up visit for a bronchial illness," Scott Paterno said in a statement released Friday afternoon. "He is currently undergoing treatment and his doctors are optimistic that he will make a full recovery.
"As everyone can appreciate, this is a deeply personal matter for my parents, and we simply ask that his privacy be respected as he proceeds with treatment."
The 84-year-old Joe Paterno, who had the most wins (409) of any NCAA Division I football coach, was fired last week after former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with 40 counts in what authorities allege was the sexual abuse of eight boys. Two Penn State officials were also charged with perjury and failing to inform police of the allegations; Paterno is not facing charges.
Paterno coached at Penn State for 61 years, including 45 years as head coach.
Friday's announcement coincides with news that the NCAA is investigating Penn State in connection with the Sandusky charges and the university's handling of the allegations.
"This unprecedented situation demands the NCAA evaluate the university's accountability" and application of NCAA bylaws," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a letter to the school dated Thursday. The NCAA and Penn State made the letter public on Friday.FULL STORY