January 14th, 2012
05:45 PM ET

Joe Paterno says he felt inadequate to handle child sex abuse allegation

Legendary football coach Joe Paterno, who was ousted from Penn State last year over an alleged child sex abuse scandal that rocked the university, told the Washington Post he felt inadequate to deal with the initial allegation of abuse.

Paterno, the all-time winningest football coach in NCAA Division I history, was fired in November amid the outcry over the handling of the accusations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

"I didn't know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was," Paterno told the Washington Post in an interview published Saturday. "So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn't work out that way."

The former coach, who is being treated for lung cancer, struggled to speak during parts of the interview; his voice was a raspy whisper. The sit-down was Paterno's first since his firing.

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Filed under: College football • Football • Jerry Sandusky • Joe Paterno • Penn State
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. s kel

    I hate, hate phony trolls like this fake hamsta

    January 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Hi, s kel.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    s kel:
    It is quiet here. I'm also watching the Pats kicking the crap out of the Broncos.

    Glad your feeling great!
    Don't question why, just go with the flow, big mon.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kyle788

    Banasy the response you gave is the exact gratification a troll would want. Can't you see? The only way to dissatisfy them is to ignore them. Please listen to my advice.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      It is still unclear if hamsta is really a troll or if he;s really....?
      I see him post more thn you.
      Therein lies the conundrum.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    Hello my friends.
    banasy and s kel, thank you.
    @ hamsta:
    I know a lot about being gay. A tremendous amount, in fact.
    Many of my closest friends are gay. Most of my gay friends are gay men, but I'm friendly with some gay women too. I know what they go through and what they think about those who surround them, both the good people around them and the bad. I fight for gay humans' legal rights, as I fought for African-Americans' legal rights since the late 1950s. (I'm a WASP.) I fought hard to get gay marriage in this state (NY), and I'll keep fighting stupid people who are threatened by gay people. BTW, I know very well why they are threatened; they know too, and it bothers them a lot.
    If you, hamsta, want to think I'm gay, it's fine with me. If I were gay, I'd just be gay and not worry about it.
    I've tried to be nice to you on this board, hamsta, and your response shows what you are.
    I've read your views and where you are in your life. You say that you work hard, and you don't have much success. I have an idea how you might feel about that.
    I really don't care what you think about anything.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT ( SHIP GUIDENCE COMPUTER MAKER )

      @joey..
      .
      how do gay guys fake orgasism>? they spit on each others backs..

      January 15, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. RUFFNUTT ( SHIP GUIDENCE COMPUTER MAKER )

    Legendary football coach Joe Paterno was really concerned about lossing his pay check,
    .
    he thought.. if i turn this guy in i might miss a paycheck,
    .
    then he thought, oh well those kids probally like getting pounded in the behind..

    January 15, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    Joe Paterno conspired to cover-up a crime. We call it criminal conspiracy. Even a child knows to call the police if that child sees a serious crime being done. Statutory rapye is in fact a serious crime. Paterno, just like many church leaders, conspired with others to habdle these crimes internally rather than alerting the proper authorities. Until the conspirators are dragged to justice, those whom they conspire to protect and keep secret will continue to raype boys. Paterno is a criminal, as is Mrs. Sandusky the enabler.

    January 15, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      He will be investigated.
      He will be questioned intensly.
      Leave it up to the investigators.
      If he is found to have participated openly in a cover-up, he should be charged.
      Merely being stupider than a child isn't a crime.
      But he sure is back-pedalling now, I noticed!
      This is in no way a declaration of my opinion of his guilt or innocence.
      I'm just saying.
      And I am not trying to anger you, Philip, either.
      Truly.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      But, being that Mrs. Sandusky not only enabled but facilitated and covered it up, she should be labeled a criminal, too, correct?
      As if one needs a label, I mean, to describe this horrendous debacle....

      January 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • dmariarn

      Child abuse is a horrific crime and thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims.That being said I don't find
      Paterno's claims he felt inadequate to be inconsistent.Leading a college football team is worlds away from the intricacies of dealing with a child abuse allegation.He's not equipped to lead an investigation into that,that job belonged to police,social workers and medical professionals.He reported second hand information to the head of the campus police,and campus officials.Regardless if you feel morallly he should have done more,he did what was right.You report a crime to the police,its their investigation and as he had no proof or first hand knowlegde of the crime,there was no more need for his involvment.His only mistake was trusting in those who were entrusted to investigate and protect the victims.

      January 16, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Paterno reported the hearsay complaint of incident that he did not witness. Police acknowledge complaint was received and they looked into it without influence or interference from Joe Paterno. For Joe to do more, he would have been seen as trying to influence or suppress or steer the police investigation. He was to report incident and thereafter to stay out of the way and let police do their job. For Paterno to have done more would have been to obstruct justice.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
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