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. Cathy

    This is a well timed ploy to defer attention away from the issue at hand along with the hope to garner sympathy for him. He must be paying big bucks for his personal spin-doctor!! May God have mercy on him as I don't think anyone else will/should!!

    November 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ted

    Sorry to hear that Joe, Hope you get better before you go to prison.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeepers

    You know what else he has? Crazy bad judgment when it comes to handling child molesters who work for him.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Charlie Tuna

    What a coincidence!! Yeah it's treatable if you cut out a lung. Oh well Joe, you are having a bad month. Joe had a cancer at Penn State years ago and did nothing to cut it out and it ended his coaching life. Lessons are hard to learn sometimes.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nancy

    I feel that Paterno should be part of the ongoing investigation. i don't minimize his potential part in the
    coverup. Nor do I feel he should be idolized. But gee, some of you folks, please don't sound so
    cruel with comments like "UI don't care." He's a human being. And wishing him dead sounds a
    bit over the top.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sue

    Very cleaver to announce his non-recent diagnosis of lung cancer now. This is a ploy to distract us from Paterno's culpability end this scandal. I'm sure his lawyers and family are hoping he will be viewed as a helpless, frail man who we couldn't possibly held responsible.

    The moment I saw this on news feed, I thought, here is another way we are re-victimizing the victims. There is no reason his family had to release this information that has been known for a year. It's only to garner sympathy.

    Shame on this pathetic group of people. Paterno is as odd as Sandusky. Why did Penn coaches shower together after practices and games. Weird. I wouldn't be surprised there are closet gay men amongst them(not that there is anything wrong with being gay) as well as pedophiles.

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

      I completely agree with you. You know what they say that timing is everything! I guess this is the perfect example of that

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

      Very cleaver?? What the heck does that mean? (Nice spelling, 'Sue'). And what does Penn have anything to do with this. That's a university in Philly. Get a brain, lady...

      November 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Shane

    Congrats joe hope you die a slow and very painfull death do you expect sympathy

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

      How can and others be so cruel. Yes he should have done more but to be so mean spirited about a cancer diagnoses is disgusting. I work with cancer patients and your remarks as well as others are hurtful.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. T.rex

    This is ridiculous. If lung cancer is going to target JoePa, i think lung cancer needs to target McQearly too.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. SPF

    Breaking News. His sciatica is acting up again. He's 84. What other breaking news of his ailments can his son reveal. Pathetic.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. God


    November 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    It doen't M. Doesn't change it in any way, shape, or form, which is why I question it even running in the first place.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MMM

    WOW, what incredible timing. Are they releasing this information NOW to divert attention. All this time and they said nothing, now, because of the scandal and the fact that his name is involved in it they say he has cancer.
    I do feel bad that he is sick, but why is everyone worried about that instead of worrying about how to take care of this HORRIBle cover up.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. William

    Karma's a mother

    November 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cyrus f. sidjabat

    God bless you Paterno! Penn State Alumni in Indonesia pray for you.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sasquatch

    LMAO and so are you. How about you hear his side before casting judgement.

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