Penn State coaching legend Joe Paterno dead at age 85

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  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 7:37 a.m.

    JoePa definitely made a mistake by not following up, and he admitted that he should have done more. But I refuse to see this as evidence that he was not of good moral character. How many other coaches get payed millions then donate the bulk of it back to the university library while living in a modest home near campus? How many other coaches love and respect their wives like he did? How many other coaches truly want their players to be better people by taking advantage of their schooling opportunity?

    I'd have to say that he was naive to trust the athletic director and vice president of the university, but I don't believe for a second that he "looked the other way" in order to protect anything or anyone.

    Also, I think there's a generational difference with us and our parents/ grandparents. Sexual abuse of a child was so rare in my grandpas time that he rarely jumps to that conclusion first. Maybe Joe didn't quite understand what McQuery was explaining?

    In the end, that man loved Penn State and his community, not just football.

  • Robbie512 PROVO, UT
    Jan. 23, 2012 11:40 p.m.

    Instead of focusing on what else Mr. Paterno could have done, perhaps we should focus on what else we can do. After all, our lifestyle is only maintained at the expense of thousands of people around the world, and the suffering it causes likely contributes to problems as serious as these ones.

  • ND95CA Lincoln Park, IL
    Jan. 23, 2012 6:37 p.m.


    As powerful as Paterno was, Sandusky wouldn't have lasted a day out of jail if that had been JoPa's grandson. Anybody who believes otherwise is only fooling themselves.

  • Ufan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2012 6:26 p.m.

    New to Utah

    Stop blaming the messenger.

    If that had been JoPa's grandson in the shower with Sandusky, instead of some faceless nobody, we would have seen how Jo Pa should have responded, instead of how he did respond.

    Paterno was a great coach, but his legacy will be forever tarnished because of his failure to do what was right.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 23, 2012 5:00 p.m.

    From the article Jack Flash referenced:
    Steve Garban, chair of the Penn State Board of Trustees, and John Surma, vice chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees:

    Coach Paterno remains employed by the University as a tenured faculty member, they said in a statement released Thursday. The details of his retirement are being worked out and will be made public when they are finalized. Generally speaking, the University intends to honor the terms of his employment contract and is treating him financially as if he had retired at the end of the 2011 football season.

    The takeaway of this incident should be that once anybody becomes aware of a possible crime against a child (in this case, rape), we all have the obligation to notify the appropriate LAW ENFORCEMENT officials. Joe Paterno was not going to be prosecuted as he complied with PA state law. But hopefully we can all agree there were several people (Joe included) who failed to protect children. It is not hard to imagine, if I were a parent of one of the victims, how angry and disgusted I wouild be.

    Why did Sandusky's career end in 1999?

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    Jan. 23, 2012 4:51 p.m.

    Re: Anti Bush Obama I am going to tell you something if you never meet Joe Paterno you can have your beliefs, I hope that you or somebody in your never have to go through this, because you wouldn't survise. Joe did do alot of good in his 61 years as a head coach at Penn St. You must not know the law. Hearsay willn't hold weight in reporting a crime of any type Joe followed by turning it over to several people at a higher level at Penn State. Joe should have followed up but he didn't. I futurer believe that you are like so many other quick to judge people, made one day you will be judge for not doing or taking the proper action and I hope and pray to god you get the same treatment that you dish out, wipe everything out over a mistake and are run into the ground and told that any good you did don't mean a thing. I have meet and went to several lectures this grat coach gave and I am a better man for it.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 23, 2012 1:53 p.m.

    "He never bothered to find out about the shower assault child, never bothered to ask Sandusky what happened."

    You know this how?

    Jacl Flash - not sure who the writer was, as he claimed to be a sports writer, but in sports in general, many many coaches are "fired" and still get their salary due to contract obligations. "Released" playes still oftern get their contract rates as you have heard by certain players being fired yet still not giving their teams salary cap releaf because the team still needs to pay them.

    If this is the smoking gun of some contraversy, it is a cap gun. Joe was months away from dying. He can worked for his employer for over 40 years, and given much back to the school that was not sports related. Just perhaps the trustees are a little more compassionate and didn't want to "fire" a man months from his death. Just maybe, perhaps.

    But no, for the victims of a crime done by someone else, lets assume the worst and drag this dead mans name through the mud, before all the evidence is out. Its more fun that way... and I'm sure the victims feel much better.

  • Jack Flash Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 23, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    Fired? Really? I thought so too until I read an article by Adam Hoge of CBS Chicago. He pointed out the wording in the press conference when Paterno was "fired". Search "Joe Paterno was never fired" and see what you think.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Jan. 23, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    The evidence of a coverup are:
    Sandusky had access to his office, the gym and shower until he was arrested.
    Sandusky had access to psu satellite facilities.
    Paterno PROMOTED McQuery, the shower incident witness who didn't call 911 immediately.
    He reported it to people whose best interest was to protect the multimillion dollar football program.
    He never bothered to find out about the shower assault child, never bothered to ask Sandusky what happened.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 23, 2012 10:43 a.m.

    Anti Everything guy.... so what exactly is it the Joe did that leads you to beleive he is as evil as Ted Bundy?

    Do you just live in extremeville, spewing hate in everything you do?

    The dude just died. His sin is a sin of ommision. And actually not even that because he did report what was told to him, he simply had a hard time understanding how someone he know as an otherwise normal person could do something so evil.

    Very odd and disturbing you would equate Paterno with Bundy... very very odd.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Jan. 23, 2012 10:23 a.m.

    For all of you BYU fans who are acting so self righteous right now and somehow fail to think about the lives of victims of this sex abuse, you better be willing to defend Ted Bundy the way you defend Joe Paterno if you truly believe what you are saying right now.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Jan. 23, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    How convinient that he dies now. I lost all my respect for this guy. Enabling child molestation killed everything he accomplished at Penn State. I have no respect for him.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Jan. 23, 2012 9:22 a.m.

    Joe Pa was mot the one who saw Sandusky in the showers. When it came to his attention he reported it to his superiors. Yes, he should have followed up more. But having reported it, there is only so much he could do. HEARING that something happened is not the same as SEEING or KNOWING that something happened. In the U.S. we assume innocence until proven guilty. While I do think Joe Pa should have done more, most of the guilt lies with others, and this one mistake should not overshadow the rest of his career. He was a positive influence on many.

  • JJ1094 Saratoga, UT
    Jan. 23, 2012 8:49 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin

    How can you possibly be so dishonest when writing such false things?
    "I'm pretty sure that failure to report child rape is a crime in its own right"- since Joe did report and comply with the law in all ways, this is a false statement to imply he did not.

    "good at his job, and was willing to cover up crimes to keep it that way" absolutely false again.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Jan. 23, 2012 7:35 a.m.

    For those who need to see things in a pretty light in order for the world to work for them--he remains a legend and the victims are just becoming more annoying every day. I leave them with Joe's own words. "I should have done more."

  • What Yeah Centerville, UT
    Jan. 22, 2012 10:36 p.m.

    Joe Pa inspired and helped thousands of young men, as well as thousands of fans and families that attended the games.
    He made some grevious mistakes as well.

    I hope that he is rewarded for all the good that he has done, and that he receives mercy and forgiveness for his sins. I hope that I receive the same when my time on earth is done as well.

  • crowntown1 Corona, CA
    Jan. 22, 2012 10:00 p.m.

    No on here has ever met him spoke with him nada! So just pay tribute to his storied career and too his iconic figure in College football forever.

  • CA. reader Rocklin, CA
    Jan. 22, 2012 8:01 p.m.

    Joe Paterno was more than just a football coach. He accomplished many things outside the football stadium. He once gave a scholarship to a football recruit who lost a leg in an accident before the young man could enroll.

    If his only accomplishments had been as a football coach, they could be summarily dismissed. Too many people benefitted from his good life and good works.

    I hope Penn State issues his family an apology for the horrible way they handled his dismissal.

  • Robbie512 PROVO, UT
    Jan. 22, 2012 7:55 p.m.

    Forgiveness is God's to bestow; man is always morally obligated (see Matthew 18:21-35, Doctrine and Covenants 64:9-11).

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 22, 2012 7:03 p.m.

    An accessory (to a crime) must generally have knowledge that a crime is being, or will be committed. A person with such knowledge may become an accessory by helping or encouraging the criminal in some way, or simply by failing to report the crime to proper authority. The assistance to the criminal may be of any type, including emotional or financial assistance as well as physical assistance or concealment.
    To be convicted of an accessory charge, if one has knowledge of the crime, the accused must generally be proved to have had actual knowledge that a crime was going to be, or had been, committed. Furthermore, there must be proof that the accessory knew that his or her action, or inaction, was helping the criminals commit the crime, or evade detection, or escape.

    Paterno's liability depends on PA state law and what constituted "reporting." Every state should have laws that require people in authority positions to report the abuse of children to law enforcement and/or Child Welfare Services.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Jan. 22, 2012 6:29 p.m.

    JohnJacobJumbleHeimerSchmidt said:

    "No amount of football success will ever compensate for what happened to those kids in the 10 years he looked the other way."

    Who made you the judge, jury, and executioner, sir??

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 22, 2012 6:01 p.m.

    My condolences the friends and family of Joe Paterno.

    Forgiveness of Joe's lapses are not for us to bestow, but the purview of the victims and their families.

    I hope as a society we have learned something.

  • tigger AMERICAN FORK, UT
    Jan. 22, 2012 5:55 p.m.

    On another note: Two years ago my son lived in St College for a couple of years doing odd jobs, menial work and just trying to get by. He said he would often see Mr. Paterno walking home and that he was a down to earth regular "Joe" who would greet or speak to him as anyone else would. Well, actually, better than many other people. Probably better than many posters (myself included) on this site tend to treat people fallen on hard times.

  • Spartan ALPHARETTA, GA
    Jan. 22, 2012 5:53 p.m.

    Please people remember it is not for us to judge him. It is for God to do so. May he have eternal peace and rest in the Lord.

  • Kathleen3 WARMINSTER, PA
    Jan. 22, 2012 5:50 p.m.

    After a few years of searching for any viable reason to terminate Joe Paterno, Penn State's Board of Trustees jumped at the chance to associate Joe with the Sandusky scandal. Paterno's termination and public humiliation killed the passion and stole the soul of this honorable and generous man who devoted his life to Penn State.

    In death, Joe's soul has been returned to the rightful owner. Now, one has to wonder how each and every member of Penn State's Board of Trustees can live with themselves.

  • morganh Orem, Utah
    Jan. 22, 2012 4:50 p.m.

    It is sad that Paterno is going to be remembered for what he did not do. I in no way condone sex abuse and Jerry Sandusky should be punished to the full extent of the law. Paterno should have done more and he didn't follow up which was a big mistake. "Joe Pa" biggest legacy he leaves to college football was the way he approached the game. He was not about "fan fare" or glory, he was about preparation and hard work and he also was a Coach who respected the other team. Too many times in college sports respect is pushed aside for your own greatness and it is sad that this respect is lost during the height of competition.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 22, 2012 3:19 p.m.

    And here is the common thread I really dislike. Joe is guilty of not doing enough to prevent someone from doing something wrong. For this, he is being judged just as harshly as the one who actually committed these crimes.

    I am so glad there are so man of you out there that have not committed a "sin or crime" of omission - that haven't driven by a stranded motorist, seen an accident and not stopped to render aid, had neighbors that we're having problems, or like in my case, a friend who committed suicide. To all you who haven't committed one of these sins of omission I tip my hat to you. Sainthood personified.

    Since I am one who has failed to do all I should have done, more than once, I can feel empathy for Joe, for the moral heartache he must have had in his final days, for the friends who turned their back on him, and the jug dement of those who never did have to walk in his shoes.

    I think Joe should be honored for his contributions to football, for the man he was, and also learn from his errors as an imperfect human.

    Jan. 22, 2012 3:11 p.m.

    For those of you that think Coach Paterno was a "bad man" or failed the morality test I suggest that it's you that have failed.

    Men like Coach Paterno are from another time. He lived his life with the belief that people were like him - good, honest, hard working and committed to his passion - which in this case was building the character of the young men he coached.

    They never think about things like you do - they are too focused on the good in the world and the old ways that drive them to build character.

    No player that ever played at Penn Sate would say less. He pushed his players to graduate and become successful in life. He was a beloved man because he was a good man.

    Perhaps he was naive about these types of horrible things - the vast majority of men from his time are naive to these terrible deeds.

    What he was not naive to was hard work, dedication and becoming the best you can.

    Perhaps if America was more like him we would be in a better place - instead we all seem to quick to judge a person whose life goals was excellence.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Jan. 22, 2012 2:19 p.m.

    It's all too easy to criticize a dead man in the court of public opinion.

    I'm appalled that so many are willing to pillory Joe Paterno before the courts have even finished judging Sandusky.

    Doesn't "Joe Pa" deserve the same withholding of judgment? Can't we wait at least until the courts have delved into the case, rendered a judgment and concluded exactly how Joe Paterno was involved?

    The man isn't even dead 24 hours and many, in their almighty wisdom, have decided that Joe Paterno is guilty.

    What does it say about our society when we don't even allow Joe Paterno's family the dignity of holding his funeral before jumping in with zeal and publicly and verbosely proclaiming him guilty?

    To those who think they know exactly what went on, you need to remember that newspaper and media reports are not reliable. If they were then "Dewey" would have been the 34th President of the United States.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 22, 2012 1:54 p.m.

    Hawkeye79 you've posted the only true and respectful response of all the others. The article that was written about his death other than reported highlights what he did on and off the field. He was more than a football coach. He touched the lives of everyone he came in contact with. He was more moral, more righteous than 3/4 of the posters on this board, including probably even myself. Hindsight is always 20/20. He fully admits that he didn't know what to do. Really, how many of us have been put in that same position. Before you condemn him for his part maybe some of you need to understand. He reported it to his superiors. It was heresay for him to say anything to the police because he didn't witness it himself. The so-called witness says he reported it to the police, but nothing I repeat nothing is shown in a police report. So how can any of you fault Coach Paterno shows your own holier than thou attitude.

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    Jan. 22, 2012 1:00 p.m.

    For whatever this may add to the discussion, the program access Sandusky had was not granted to him by Joe Paterno. Sandusky's on-campus office and access was given to him by the University President, who watched JoePa's 400th win with Sandusky as an invited guest in the presidential box.

    Paterno's biggest folly was not following up. He informed the university administration about a second-hand account concerning a retired member of Paterno's staff. He saw nothing, but simply heard the account from a subordinate. Those in charge of the investigation then kept Sandusky around. If you reported a similar account to the police and later saw that the accused individual was free, should you be held accountable for not following up if the person was free simply because the police officer did not do his/her job?

    It is a pity that Paterno's legacy will be tainted simply because he trusted that others were doing their job.

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    Jan. 22, 2012 12:58 p.m.

    It's easy for some of you still have no sense of forgiveness, all the sexual abuse that happen in Utah after the Joe P case went public and maybe before you condem Joe P maybe you need to be comending all the people in Utah that has abused children too, or sexual sandal. I for one believed that Joe Paterno did make mistakes in the way he handled the abuse case, and hind site is 20/20. What about what happen at BYU, volition of the Honor code I don't hear you people codeming BYU when they do wrong. Show some respect for the dead man and to his family, not one posting was there any show of comfort said to his family, holy than tho.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Jan. 22, 2012 12:19 p.m.

    @New to Utah...etal
    He was a great coach...there is no doubt. But was he a great man??? That's the question that will forever linger in peoples minds. Before this story broke he seemed to have been...but's not a certainty that he was. As JJJHS has already said...all that glory does not compensate him...if he did turn his back on any of these kids.

    (Just another Voice... also from Payson,Utah)

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    Hearing JoePa's comments last month was further proof that he still didn't understand what he did wrong...or what he didn't do right. Sex crimes against children is serious crime, perhaps the most serious. And because they are children, they lack the resources to stand up and protect themselves. We, adults, must do it for them.

    You don't report sex crimes against children perpetuated by a fellow coach, who you see everyday and have contact with EVERY DAY, and then ASSUME things will be handled. Any real man would have stopped what happened in the shower that day and dragged the pervert to authorities directly. Any real man would have followed up on the matter with authorities because any true man would not want a trusted coach by his side for 15 years who is a child molester. Any true man would have ACTED!

    I regret such a good man as Paterno was so trusting and naive as to let such allegations go by the waste side. He deserved better but earned what he got.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 22, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    At first, I too excused Paterno's actions regarding the sexual abuse of "at-risk" children. After all, Paterno reported it to his superiors. But the truth is, no one held more sway than Joe Paterno. Sandusky continued to be a presence around Penn State. Sandusky had fund raisers for his charity attended by the assistant coach who witnessed the abuse first hand. I cannot comprehend being able to even look at Sandusky after witnessing such a horrible crime. Man's inhumanity to man is stunning.

    It is sad Paterno's legacy ended the way it did. But the greatest tragedy is how Paterno and others inaction facilitated the destruction of children.

  • FaifeauSam Lehi, UT
    Jan. 22, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    To those who are so self-righteous, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    Jan. 22, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    It takes 20 years ( or 50 plus) to build a reputation and 5 minutes to destroy it- Warren Buffet

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    The media should have been writing an article every day about the criminal Sandusky. But that's boring. That doesn't sell newspapers. So instead the media twisted the story to make it seem about Joe Paterno, because he is well known.

    Not enough has been written to condemn McQuery for the way he mishandled reporting. He is the witness. He is the one who should have called police. Paterno knows about football. Going to him about the Sandusky issue is like asking your grandfather to figure out what's wrong with your computer. He's not going to be able to figure it out. There is someone better able to fix it.

  • Nussdorfer AC Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2012 11:04 a.m.

    Joe Paterno, after his notice of the 2002 incident, allowed Sandusky, into practices, on the field for games, into the locker room, and onto bowl game trips with young men from Second Mile. Paterno also claims he'd never heard of a man sexually abusing a male minor.

    Paterno was part of the cover up and allowed a most horrific tragedy to perpetuate.

  • Robbie512 PROVO, UT
    Jan. 22, 2012 10:47 a.m.

    He said he did what he thought was right at the time. Who are we to say otherwise? So much suffering takes place in the world everyday and we pretend like it doesn√Ęt. Let God judge the man and may he rest in peace.

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 22, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    Joe you are a legend and a good man surrounded by those who gravy trained on your name and good will. It is sad that your brutes, Mr. Sandusky, betrayed you and now your name will be tarnished by the evils that live in the hearts of conspiring men.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Jan. 22, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    @New to Utah

    "...someone else's crimes."

    I'm pretty sure that failure to report child rape is a crime in its own right.


    "His heart was in the right place."

    You sure about that? Seems to me he was nothing more than a man who was very good at his job, and was willing to cover up crimes to keep it that way. Would you look at the guys who ran Enron and say their hearts were in the right place?

    Joe Paterno was as great of a failure off the field as he was a success on it.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 22, 2012 9:14 a.m.

    Dissapointing that such a great career had to end the way it did. His heart was in the right place.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Jan. 22, 2012 9:11 a.m.

    No amount of football success will ever compensate for what happened to those kids in the 10 years he looked the other way.

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    Jan. 22, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    A truly great coach has died and will be missed.I believe that people will only want to remenber how he left the sport that he truly love and devoted his life to for 61 years.The man made a mistake that cost him what he loved most college football. My heart and my prays go out to his family, that lost a father and a husband, and a granfather. Joe Paterno did alot for Penn State in the years that he coach him and should be remenber for that and not just for the sex sandal that cost the man his job, he did do alot of good, and he will be held accountable only tto God, and not the people who spoke of ill of one mistake he did. The man did accept his part in not going to the police and believed that the system and chain of command at Penn State would handle the problem, and they are the ones that dropped the ball. Joe lost his job and so did the president and other which were as guilty as Joe.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Jan. 22, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    Joe Paterno was a great football coach and human being. It is disgraceful that an overzealous media and a politically correct mainstream media sought to discredit his achievements because of someone elses crimes. So much of what transpired to cause the firing of Joe Paterno lacked context, fairness and balance and now he is dead with not the dignity he deserved. He did not break any law, he reported the incident, he cared about those being abused. The lifetime of serving young men and being a winner now has an asterisk,