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Paterno cancels news conference amid scandal

By Genaro C. Armas

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 8 2011 9:55 a.m. MST

STATE COLLEGE — Penn State administrators on Tuesday canceled Joe Paterno's weekly news conference in which he was expected to field questions about a sex-abuse scandal involving former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky.

"Due to the ongoing legal circumstances centered around the recent allegations and charges, we have determined that today's press conference cannot be held and will not be rescheduled," assistant Athletic Director Jeff Nelson said in a statement.

Paterno's son Scott told The Associated Press that the decision was made by President Graham Spanier's office.

Scott said that his father was disappointed and was prepared to take questions about the scandal as well as the upcoming game against Nebraska.

The news conference was to be the first chance for reporters to ask Paterno about what he knew about Jerry Sandusky, his former defensive coordinator and one-time heir apparent, who was indicted on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years.

Authorities have said that Paterno, who testified in the grand jury proceedings that led to the charges, is not a target of the investigation. But the state police commissioner has chastised him and other school officials for not doing enough to try to stop the suspected abuse.

A person familiar with Sandusky's relationship with Penn State told The Associated Press that the former coach long maintained an office in the East Area Locker building which is across the street from the Penn State football team's building, and was on campus as recently as week ago working out.

The university's online director listed Sandusky, whom PSU officials said banned from campus over the weekend — as an assistant professor emeritus of physical education in the Lasch building.

The grand jury investigating Sandusky found that he was given the office, a parking pass and other amenities as part of his 1999 retirement package.

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