11.12.11

Penn State Loses First Paterno-Less Game

Amid heightened security—and a discredited bomb threat—the Lions will take the field for the first time since Joe Paterno was ousted over a case of alleged sexual abuse. See full coverage. Plus, Jessica Bennett and Jacob Bernstein on the school's veil of secrecy.

Paterno's Son Breaks Down at Game

It was an emotional game day for Penn State on Saturday, with the student body attending the first big game without coach Joe Paterno. Paterno’s son, however, was there. Jay Paterno is the quarterbacks coach for the Nittany Lions, and after the game he gave an emotional interview addressing his father. “Dad, I wish you were here,” Jay told ESPN, choking up. “We love you.” Penn State lost to Nebraska 17–14. Despite uproar over the sexual-abuse scandal and calls to cancel the season, the university’s new president said after the game that the team will continue to play.

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Penn State Loses to Nebraska

Penn State lost its first game on Saturday in the post–Joe Paterno era, as Nebraska overtook the Nittany Lions 17–14. In an interview after the game, new head coach Tom Bradley said the past week has been “unprecedented in the history of college sports.” The game was the first one since 1966 that didn’t have Paterno as head coach, and assistant coach Mike McQueary was benched from the game after being put on administrative leave. Fans during the game cheered “We love JoePa” for the legendary coach, who holds the record for winning the most college-football games in history. President Obama on Saturday called for “soul searching” for the nation, saying, “People care about sports, it’s important to us, but our No. 1 priority has to be protecting our kids.”

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Moment of Silence at Penn State Game

The Nebraska–Penn State football game began with a moment of silence, as players from both teams kneeled together in the center of the stadium in recognition of the victims of the child-sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the school. The stadium was swathed in blue, the color associated with child-abuse prevention, as fans dressed in blue and the band carried blue flags. It's the first time in 46 years that Joe Paterno was not leading the team, and his son, Jay, a quarterbacks coach, took his usual spot on the team bus. In the stands, several fans dressed as the legendary coach. Former football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting at least eight boys. If his case goes to trial, it's likely that his victims would have to testify.

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Permitting Evil at Penn State
By Thane Rosenbaum

Joe Paterno and other leaders at Penn State averted their eyes and did nothing when they might have averted a tragedy, writes Thane Rosenbaum.

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Assistant Coach Mike McQueary Placed on Leave

Mike McQueary, Penn State’s assistant football coach, has been put on administrative leave. McQueary, who told a grand jury that he witnessed and first reported Jerry Sandusky’s alleged sexual abuse of young boys, has received several threats since the firing of coach Joe Paterno—who never reported the accusations to police. Some outraged by Paterno’s punishment question why McQueary, who said he actually saw Sandusky sexually assault a 10-year-old boy and did not stop him but instead told the head coach, isn’t being fired as well. The executive director of Washington’s National Whistleblowers Center says Paterno, as the head coach, was held to a higher standard than McQueary, who was a 28-year-old graduate assistant at the time.

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PSU Panel Created to Investigate Allegations

Penn State University’s board of trustees voted Friday to create an independent panel to investigate all the alleged coverup of the reported sexual abuse by a former assistant coach. With Gov. Tom Corbett in attendance—and just two days after they fired longtime head coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier—the board vowed in their first public meeting since the scandal broke to create an “impartial, open, and transparent inquiry” into how the 2002 incident had gone unreported to police. Former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has been accused of sexually molesting at least eight boys, and the university has been accused of covering up at least one incident. Meanwhile, Texas officials have begun investigating a 1999 incident detailed in the grand-jury report when Sandusky reportedly took an underage boy to the Alamo Bowl game in San Antonio.

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Mom: Son Lived in Fear of Sandusky

The mother of one of the alleged victims of Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky said Friday that her son “lived in fear” after the reported abuse. “I’m infuriated,” said the woman, whose son is referred to in the grand-jury report as “Victim 1.” “Even if I had the slightest inclination that anything inappropriate was going on, it should have been reported, or at least brought to my attention.”

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To Castrate or Not to Castrate?
By Michelle Cottle

We find discussing chemical castration icky, but it looms as a possible remedy every time there is a case like the Penn State scandal involving sick people who find barely pubescent boys or girls irresistible.

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Paterno Should Rot In Jail
By Patrick McDonald

When he was 12 years old, Patrick McDonald was sexually abused by his scoutmaster. Now, after decades of painful recovery, he argues: Joe Paterno should be prosecuted if he knew anything about Jerry Sandusky’s alleged crimes.

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Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky Scandal: Who’s Who
Clockwise from top left: Centre Daily Times, MCT / Landov (2); AP Photo (2)

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Paterno Contacts Criminal Defense Lawyer

Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has reportedly contacted Washington criminal-defense lawyer J. Sedgwick Sollers about representing him in the Penn State sex-abuse case. Paterno has not been charged with any crimes in the case, but two other university officials were charged this week for not reporting alleged child molester Jerry Sandusky to authorities. Sollers previously represented President George H.W. Bush during the Iran-Contra scandal.

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New Coach Takes Over With ‘Mixed Emotions’

Tom Bradley, a longtime Penn Stater, got the job of a lifetime today under difficult circumstances. Bradley had been a defensive coordinator for the football team but will now be interim head coach following Paterno's exit. Bradley demurred when asked if Saturday's football game would make any reference to Paterno. But he paid homage to his predecessor, saying, “Coach Paterno has meant more to me than anyone except my father.”

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Students Riot at Paterno's Ouster

Thousands of students at Penn State rioted Wednesday night after the university fired football coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham B. Spanier. The mob flipped over a news van, tore down two lampposts, and threw rocks and cans; police responded with riot gear and tear gas. The attack on the news van demonstrated the protesters’ belief that Paterno was the victim of a media campaign. Earlier in the day, Paterno had said he would retire at the end of the season, but the school’s trustees chose to remove him immediately.

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Report: Sandusky ‘Pimped Out’ Boys

A sportswriter claimed on Thursday that former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with more than 40 counts of sexual abuse, “pimped out” young boys to wealthy donors. While Mark Madden did not offer any facts to back up the claim, he wrote six months ago about Sandusky’s alleged sex crimes in the Beaver County Times, long before it was on anyone else’s radar. Madden on Thursday also suggested that Sandusky, who retired in 1999, was actually forced to leave his job “in exchange for a cover-up.” Police had investigated Sandusky in 1998 for allegedly molesting a boy but did not prosecute him.

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Buzz Bissinger: Good Riddance, Paterno

Like everyone else, I cannot get the scandal of Pennsylvania State University out of my mind. The story is unfolding at the speed of sound, not just the worst sports scandal in modern history but also one of the worst scandals in modern history:

A former Penn State assistant coach for 29 years and alleged sexual predator, Jerry Sandusky, apparently continued unchecked because of the failure of university officials and head football coach deity Joe Paterno to do anything that might have made a difference instead of what they collectively did achieve:

Buck passing and unconscionable cowardice.

Paterno is just a part of this whole sordid, shameful disgrace. He is easy to focus on because of his mythic stature, all false idol, as it turns out. But I find myself not caring about him anymore, particularly now that he has been let go.

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Why Fans Still Love JoePa
Penn Stater Maureen Seaberg explains the Paterno mystique.

While most of the country is expressing outrage at Joe Paterno and the Penn State football program and administration, a smaller—but very vocal—number of supporters of the Nittany Lions persist in Happy Valley, and among the ranks of the far-flung alumni.

How can that be, given the sex scandal that has abruptly ended Paterno’s storied career? It’s the decades that Paterno put into building the university’s football program, and his until-now untarnished reputation, that are so hard to put away, people say.

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