Paterno has lung cancer, son says
Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was diagnosed with lung cancer last weekend, one of his sons says.
November 18th, 2011
04:28 PM ET

Paterno has lung cancer, son says

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.

soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Samuel R. Preston, III

    To add insult to injury, the Frogger machine at the deli down the road from him, which he had all time high score on, was accidentally unplugged today.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • stillnotregistering

      best in class

      November 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quiet1


      Bset in looking looking the other way for money, POS.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. me

    I have Sarcoidosis....

    November 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Linden

    The whole Penn State Board of Trustees is a cancer.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. iheartyou

    Well, well, well... what a timely announcement. Trying to garner a little sympathy in the midst of all of this drama maybe?
    I'm usually not this cynical, but this just reeks of publicity stunt. The reason why I call foul on this announcement is because he says in his statement "this is a deeply personal matter for my parents, and we simply ask that his privacy be respected as he proceeds with treatment." ..... well if it were so doggone personal and you want nothing but privacy then why did you come out a make a public statement. Just shut the heck up about it and let them deal with it on a personal level instead of announcing it to the press and the world. There are people dealing with lung cancer every single day that don't make a public statement about it.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jersey Girl

      I agree with you! The sympathy ploy, for sure.
      Next we'll hear that he was misdiagnosed and
      he had the flu!!
      I do not believe he has a "treatable lung cancer". If he's
      being treated for anything it's a cold.
      Italians – some THINK they are very shrewd – HA!
      btw: O.K. for me to talk about the Italians because
      I happen to be one.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      His son made the announcement because the media was following him to the medical center and the hospital and writing stories about it.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. J.T. Truth

    If it's so deeply personal then why announce it?
    Yes, it sucks for him and everyone else who has any form of cancer (especially the children who had the opportunity to live long lives, much less live their entire lives doing what they loved to do and getting paid millions for it).
    Does not change the fact that he knowingly covered for a pedophile for years and years.
    Does not change who he showed himself to really be.
    Shame on his son for trying to drum up sympathy for him in this manner.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      For a guy who calls himself "Truth" it's funny that you don't have anything but wild conspiracy theories. Nobody knows what Paterno was told or what he knew. We don't know anything, we just have the grand jury pronoucement which was WRITTEN BY THE PROSECUTION and is not the whole truth. Interestingly, the grand jury and prosecutors have not charge Paterno with any conspiracy and the attorney general expressed dismay that Paterno (an "honest and cooperative witness") was fired by PSU.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quiet1

      Steve – so I guess you do not read the news.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. aNN

    all of a sudden this comes out. He's had Lung Cancer for years..........Wonder Why?

    November 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Did you not read the article?

      November 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Quiet1

    Now that is funny, so I hope that makes all those boys feel better.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. steve

    i love how you ppl bash the man for doing what he was supposed to do with the scandal without ever hearing his side of the story and making assumptions like the fools that the majority of you are and then when the guy gets cancer, u amusingly make jokes with reference to the scandal...if you find a dictionary go find the word hypocrite and look at yourself in the mirror

    November 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      Right, he went straight to the police as soon as he realized what happened.

      oh wait....

      November 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dani3l

      Actually, he admits that he only did what was the minimum required – informed his superiors – and didn't follow up in any way. He also admits in retrospect that he ought to have done more. We HAVE heard his side. He AGREES with us. Haven't you been following the case?

      November 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon

      so speaking to the head of campus police who has jurisdiction on campus without having any evidence or having witnessed the act, he now is credible?

      November 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimmyVA

      Steve, you can't feed these Trolls. They convict and hang people BEFORE any facts come to light.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      And they all want to talk about moral this and moral that the past two weeks, it is a crying shame for some of the comments i have witnessed not only in this comments section but the past two weeks. all you denouncers are a sliver of a MAN, not coach, paterno is.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |

      u sound like a real moron. So please enlighten us! Why did he continue to WORK with Sandusly side by side years AFTER he was informed of the allegations?!?! Wouldn't a decent MAN or person for that matter try their hardest to have Sandusky arrested or at least reprimanded?! WTH is wrong with your ass?! You think there is any plausible explanation for his actions?! You're out your damn mind and probably never associate with children or have any of your own. YOU SANDUSKY SUPPORTERS ARE SICK MINDED AND EMOTIONALLY IMMATURE. Freaking nut jobs. SMDH @ society and sicko's that live in it. SHAME ON YOU!

      November 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Todd in DC

    Ok, that was funny. And callous. and funny.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Annie

    Fortunately it is treatable, but why is this breaking news. Could have put this in the US or Justice section or for that matter the Medical section thats an area that hardly is ever read.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dani3l

    What a shame.

    Do you think his doctor will treat him, or just report his case to a superior at the hospital and consider his job done?

    November 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dani3l

      What kind of class to Paterno's actions show?

      Is the man poor? Does he lack health coverage? Is his condition intractable?

      Or is this a smoke-and-mirrors diversion from his culpability in this horribly case?

      November 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kirk

    If the doctors and nurses were to just look the other way, I wonder how Joe would feel.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt


      November 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jersey Girl

      Paterno's and Sandusky's lifes are not over yet.
      Nor any others that are involved.
      Be afraid, be very afraid.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lee

    Wow, I sure hope if any of you naysayers get cancer or another serious illness you get just as much sympathy. Paterno did NOT molest those children Sandusky did. Yet you sure don't see his name in the news a fraction of what you see Paterno's...because Paterno is well known he becomes the scapegoat. Gee, ESPN reported they were told about a child molestation at Syracuse by a coach years ago and guess what ...they didn't report it because "they didn't witness it" .. Hmmm, neither did Paterno and he DID report it to campus security who are in fact held to the same standards as "regular" police.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dani3l

      Sandusky was an assistant coach. As head coach, Paterno was responsible for him, but allowed him to keep his post at Penn State after the abuse was exposed. Lots of people get cancer. It's treatable. God knows he has the money and health coverage. I wonder how many of the boys Sandusky victimized have health care coverage that will cover the costs of their therapy?

      November 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quiet1

      So I hope Sandusky can drop by and take a shower with joe to make him feel better – what a Great idea.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Dani3l, Sandusky was retired for years by the time anything that Paterno is even alleged to have known was taking place.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jersey Girl

      "Reported it to campus security"! Campus security, nor any other security, is NOT police.
      Paterno is guilty of omission.
      Wonder how Paterno would feel if any of his children were molested.
      Sorry to say, but from how he handled the abuse situation the man
      does not seem to care about who gets molested.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jersey Girl

      Because Paterno did not report the abuse he is just as guilty as Sandusky
      for child abuse simply because he (Paterno) could have stopped it
      by having pervert Sandusky locked up.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dani3l

      Steve – Sandusky retained full access to Penn State facilities even in retirement. Also, abuse was being investigated BEFORE he retired. Paterno ought to have known if he had been doing his job. He turned a blind eye until it was impossible to deny knowing what was going on. He shielded Sandusky believing the reputation of Penn State football was more important than the lives and safety of youth, victimized in facilities to which he gave Sandusky continuing access. He did the bare minimum which the law required, when he had to do it to cover his a s s. The man is culpable of abetting Sandusky's criminal acts.

      November 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. neil o

    couldnt happen to a nicer guy, lets just hope he can make it to the trial. F Penn State

    November 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt


      November 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Portland tony

    So far the only person who no one has accused of telling lies in this sordid PSU mess has been Joe P. Although it appears he under reacted, I'd wait until ALL the facts are known before sticking that second fork in the old guy.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • stillnotregistering

      under reacted? dude, he might not have seen anything but that what Paterno standing outside the showers, soap and towels in hand, to be sure

      November 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
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