PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — There are reports that former Penn State Nittany Lions football coach Joe Paterno remains hospitalized, now in serious condition, after having some health complications.
The 85-year-old Paterno has been in the hospital since Jan. 13 for observation for what his family had called minor complications from cancer treatments.
In a statement to the Associated Press, family spokesperson Dan McGinn said: “Over the last few days Joe Paterno has experienced further health complications. His doctors have now characterized his status as serious. His family will have no comment on the situation and asks that their privacy be respected during this difficult time.”
- Read the full Associated Press Story: “Spokesman: Paterno in serious condition”
- Related Story: Pittsburghers Comment On Paterno’s Legacy
Paterno was diagnosed with cancer in November, just days after being ousted as coach in the aftermath of a child sexual abuse scandal surrounding former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
On Saturday evening, CBSSports.com reported that Paterno had passed away. This was in addition to a report from another news outlet in State College, Pa.
However, the Paterno family spokesperson later said those reports were “not true,” and family members say the former coach is still alive.
Paterno’s sons, Scott and Jay, each took to Twitter Saturday night to refute the reports.
Jay Paterno posted: “I appreciate the support & prayers. Joe is continuing to fight.”
CBSSports.com later removed the story, saying it was mistakenly published.
Meanwhile, police barricaded off the block where Paterno lives Saturday evening. Also, a police car was stationed about 50 yards from his home. The Associated Press reports that several people had gathered in the living room of the house. No one was outside, other than reporters and photographers stationed there.
Over at the statue of Paterno just outside a gate at Beaver Stadium in State College, roughly 200 students and townspeople also gathered Saturday night. Some brought candles, while others held up their smart phones to take photos of the scene. The mood was somber, with no chanting or shouting.
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