January 22nd, 2012
04:25 AM ET

Son: Paterno, in serious condition, inspired by support

Throngs of Penn State students gathered in front of a statue of Joe Paterno early Sunday, braving freezing temperatures to pay tribute to the ailing legendary ex-coach.

Some shoveled snow so others could walk up and touch Paterno's outstretched hand on the statue.

Paterno, 85, was in serious condition at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, Pennsylvania, after suffering from lung cancer and a broken pelvis.

"Over the last few days Joe Paterno has experienced further health complications. His doctors have now characterized his status as serious," family spokesman Dan McGinn said Saturday. "His family will have no comment on the situation and asks that their privacy be respected during this difficult time."

Relatives said Paterno, 85, was able to communicate Saturday night.

Jay Paterno tweeted that he drove by the statue late Saturday night. "Just told my Dad about all the love & support - inspiring him," he wrote.

His brother, Scott, sent tweets saying a report their father had died were "wrong." The family was upset about the misinformation, a source close to them said.

Several websites that reported Saturday night that Paterno had died later apologized for the error, including the site that was the first.

"To the Penn State community and to the Paterno family most of all, I could not be more sorry for the emotional anguish I am sure we caused," wrote Devon Edwards, the managing editor of the Penn State student news website Onward State. "There are no excuses for what we did. We all make mistakes, but it's impossible to brush off one of this magnitude."

The site had initially attributed the information to multiple unnamed sources. Late Saturday night, it said "it was still trying to figure out where our process failed."

Edwards said he was stepping down over the error.

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soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Philip

    ...let's hope for the boys who will have undoubtadly aquired HIV from these se xual deviants. I can't wait for the Justice Department to begin vigorously prosecuting those whom knowingly spread HIV. Ignorance is not above the law. Ignorance of having aquired HIV is no excuse for spreading it. This is how AIDS will be defeated. Not by a "cure". They can't even cure the common cold. By quarantine...just as fmr. Surgeon's General Dr. c. Evrett Koop and his team who were the first to investigate gay men with AIDS reported to Ronald Reagan."If we don't quarantine these gay men with AIDS, the virus will spread to the hetero community via bi-suals and needle sharers" Today, AIDS has spread to fully 2% of Americas hetero citizens. End the spread. Off to prison for the spreaders. Make them slave their asses off paying for damages.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kandi

    Guess neither one of you wants to answer that. Ok have a good one.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    @Kandi. Penn State (it's leaders and those who fail to speak out) covered for Sandusky all these years just as the Catholic Church (it's leaders and those who fail to speak out) covered for their own gay men caught raypeing boys for decades. This stuff is just now coming out into the light. Give it some time.

    January 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kandi

    What about the many victims since the 98 investigation?

    January 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bigwilliestyles

    Watergate, Iran/Contra, Enron, the catholic church and many other instances teach us that a lot of people can be involved with a criminal act while feigning ignorance of 'all the facts'. Some, like Abu Graib, more heinous than others. Claiming 'I didn't know all the facts' has not been a safe haven in the past, nor should it be now.

    January 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bigwilliestyles

    @ Khandi: Sandusky was investigated in 1998. Nothing came of it. The 1998 investigation should have been a red flag on him when the shower incident was reported in 2002. That nothing was done for 10 more years is the REASON people believe that Sandusky's actions were protected and enabled by the university.

    January 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kandi

    Well what about government followup? Those people are not included? Why? And again why? Those are the true enablers!

    January 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kandi

    Sounds to me as he was protected MORE by state and federal agencys than anyone! If he wasnt listed on the pedofile list and kept away from children by the very people whose job was to do just that, than how were people to know he was a risk?

    January 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    Lest we all forget, and start playing connect the dots to Mars:

    It was Sandusky who did this, and who deserves every bit of the vitriolic hate I keep reading here for Joe Paterno.
    Joe Paterno was not an enabling b!tch.
    Joe Paterno did what was prudent and accepted at the time.
    Let me repeat that: at the time.
    He has stated that, in hindsight, he should have done more.
    Many do not accept this.
    It matters not.
    He is dead.

    Go after the live people who may have known about it, and quit kicking the corpse of some dead coach to salve your own bloodlust.

    And for those who will inevidibly say what about the victims?
    It is abhorrant and horrendous what happened to these boys.
    May they find peace and healing.

    January 22, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • scottzoid

      spot on, well said

      January 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bigwilliestyles

    Sorry Ban, not a chance. Death does not absolve one of responsibility any more than condescending opinion does. This is not 'connect the dots' it is connect the facts. It is the only way to reach the truth. If Paterno, or any reasoning adult in 'Happy' Valley knew about this and did nothing, they are just as wrong as the person witnessing the raype or abuse of a woman and do nothing. Connecting the facts, and public outrage, are often the road to uncovering a larger offense off of a smaller one, e.g: Watergate. Connecting the 'dots' is our best weapon.

    January 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Sorry, BWS, but the witch hunt has to end somewhere.
    Condescending? No more so than any other pontification here.

    "If Paterno, or any reasoning adult in 'Happy' Valley knew about this and did nothing, they are just as wrong as the person witnessing the raype or abuse of a woman and do nothing. "

    That is the whole point...IF Paterno...et al.
    IF he knew, perhaps all of the totaly hatred would be justified...but because y'all say he must have, that;s the gospel truth?
    I am trying to injuct a little equalibrium here.

    And the connect the dots was in reference to this thread turning into a discussion of what happens in Outer Mongolia when a butterfly farts....if you didn't know what I meant, asking me would have been nice before you called me condescending.

    January 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kandi

    @ banasy, im pretty sure thats not bigwillie posting under his name.

    January 22, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    I'm beginning to wonder...

    January 22, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. observer

    @Kandi & Melody: You will not get through to them. It's pointless to argue. Save yourself the aggravation.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
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