Paterno Speaks Briefly After Canceled News Conference
UNIVERSITY PARK (KDKA) — Media from all over the country converged on the Penn State campus this morning in hopes of hearing what legendary coach Joe Paterno might say about the child sex abuse allegations that have rocked the university.
Every week during the football season, Paterno holds a weekly press conference; and although the school put out an advisory that today’s news conference would be about football — and football alone, the university canceled it shortly before it was supposed to begin.
“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,” Jeff Nelson, a spokesman for PSU’s athletic department, told reporters. “We will not have any additional comments on this matter.”
Not long after that, the New York Times reported plans are in the works to end Joe Paterno’s career.
Later in the day, Joe Paterno said he hoped to answer questions, but could not.
“I know you guys have a lot a questions and I was hoping I was going to be able to answer them today, but we’ll try to do it soon – soon as we can,” Joe Paterno said. “We can’t do it today.”
His son said there had been no discussion with the administration.
“There has been no contact about anything to do with stepping down,” Scott Paterno said.
When asked if President Graham Spanier canceled the press conference, Scott Paterno said, “You’d have to ask the administration about that.”
“It’s really a terrible story,” PSU sophomore Becky Hopkins said.
“For me, it was incredibly disappointing to hear it because Penn State’s always been associated with that honor, integrity,” added PSU senior Timothy Reynolds.
Former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing at least eight boys whom he met through a charity that he founded over the course of 15 years. Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business, Gary Schultz are also charged — accused in the cover-up.
A graduate assistant who claims he witnessed Sandusky with a boy in the shower says he went straight to Joe Paterno. Paterno reportedly told Curley about the allegations and Curley told Schultz; but no one reported the incident to police.
As for Paterno, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly told reporters yesterday, “He’s been cooperative with the investigators in this case; he’s not regarded as a target at this point.”
While some people are questioning if Paterno should have done more, others defend him.
“If everything that Joe Paterno said — if everything surrounding him is true and he did go to superiors and talk to them,” Reynolds added, “then I feel he did everything correctly and personally, I don’t think he’s to blame for anything.”
Not everyone agrees, though. In fact there is a Facebook page calling for Paterno’s resignation.
Another Facebook page called “Fire Graham Spanier” is also gaining in popularity. Likewise, a petition is also circulating that urges the school’s board of trustees to replace Spanier.
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