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. Fire McQueary

    All of you brilliant human beings that are celebrating this.... Karma's a *#$#&! Better look over your own shoulders!

    November 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jack

    Poor guy 🙁

    November 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Absol

    It doesn't matter if he has terminal chronic spleen ruptures... he molested children... no pity for this man.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    Absol, Paterno didn't molest anyone.

    November 18, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RR

    Some of you people seem to be forgetting that this man did nothing to the kids, nor did he witness it, and he did in fact report it when he found out about it. You seem to want to put him in the same category as Sandusky, and I find that to be quite unfair.

    November 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kathy

    Knowing allegations have been made and NOT following thru is being just as guilty as if you did the crime itself.

    November 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • RR

      How do you know whether he followed up or not? How do you know what he was told? You don't – but you want to convict him before you have the facts. How irresponsible is that?!

      November 18, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SAT

    This explains the transfer of real property to Mrs. Paterno for $1.00. More plausible than the shielding asset theory.

    November 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Thomas Graham

    Its a disgrace that there are people sitting here, making out that this is some kind of joke or a stunt. Hiding behind their keyboards and making frankly awful comments about a man with cancer. I don't care what Joe Paterno may or may not have done, its still cancer. Show some class and give him a bit of respect.

    And before I'm called naive, I recently lost a close family member to 'treatable lung cancer.' I wouldn't wish it on anyone and, frankly, anyone who does or treats it link some kind of a joke should be ashamed.

    November 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas Graham

      And I'm not asking people to like JoePa becuase of this. Just to prove that you have a bit of class and not make out that this is a stunt, or worse, something to be happy about.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gloria Hovde

    Joe I've lost 2 family members to lung cancer. For support consider visiting the Lung Cancer Alliance's website at:

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery,


    November 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. raven

    Paterno isnt the one who molested the kids, Sandusky is. Even if this announcement IS to deflect attention from his father, who could blame Steve Paterno? The ratio of articles about Joe Paterno vs. Jerry Sandusky boggles my mind. Way more about Paterno than Sandusky. He should have done more but Paternos family loves him and wants to protect him. I dont blame them. Theres a difference between treatable and curable. This will take him out and I hope his family can make his last days as peaceful as possible. Terrible burden for them all .

    November 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ma & pa

    We think ANYONE who KNOWINGLY put the Penn State football program above protecting children should be prosecuted. That being said, how does anyone know for sure Who knew What, yet? @TRex, why are you jumping on McQueary? He witnessed and reported the monsterous act, thank goodness, and now is out of sight because of threats. Those who threaten him should be on law enforcements investigate list. See where that trail leads.

    November 18, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ma & pa

    Mare0568 at 5:01 knows how it is. And it's encouraging to see condemnation, in principle, of perverts. And some people seeing such acts are so shocked by what they see they're stunned, they faint, they freeze and wonder if they could have seen rightly and can't process what they've witnessed to do anything about it. McQueary did report what he saw, shocked or not.

    November 18, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ma & pa

    Sandusky has been named. There must be others, as yet unnamed and all over the world, in the wad of lice he crawled up out of. Decent people use a many fauceted shower room to get clean, avoiding pruient thoughts to avoid embarrassment.

    November 19, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. ma & pa

    It 'used to be' such acts against the helpless were not spoken of without shame or sneers toward the injured one. Those acts ARE inflicted injury to both body and mind. The perp gets off on control of another who is told to keep quiet or more of same will be laid on a loved one.Now a small light is shining on a big problem everywhere and people are talking about it. Truth, without manipulation, is necessary.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. ma & pa

    'Used to be' people didn't know how to say what they saw about a "nasty" subject, or who to say it to. The "Older" generation grew up knowing they'd be ridiculed out of the police station for trying to say what was done against them or theirs and threatened with juviejail for making a "false report about 'upstanding' citizens of good reputation". Croneyism. Or, if they had a good father who might fix the perp, child was reminded of the death penelty in their state and how easy it would be to frame the innocent father and let the justice system wrongly do the job on the innocent father. Bad guys do a lot of threats. So many kept quiet knowing they'd be smeared for talking and to have a chance for a comfortable life they'd have to cooperate or go some place else. Some stay where they are and slug it out. Many people grew up far different than anyone should have to and don't look at what is happening until it is almost in their face. We'd like to know what this investigation finds out.

    November 19, 2011 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
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