Joe Paterno Interview: Former Penn State Coach Speaks on Penn State Scandal

Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterJanuary 14, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 09:  Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno arrives at his house on November 9, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

At long last, Joe Paterno has emerged to speak about the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal that cost him his job and rocked Penn State as a whole.

Paterno went on the record with Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, saying once again that he believes he did the right thing by reporting the details relayed to him by assistant coach Mike McQueary up the university's chain of command. He also reiterated that he never had but a clue about Sandusky's sexual misconduct prior to the infamous 2002 meeting with McQueary, despite having known, worked with and been a close friend of Sandusky's for decades.

Paterno declined to comment on his "gut reaction" to Sandusky's alleged crimes, preferring instead to allow the legal process to run its course before casting his own judgment on the man who once served as the defensive coordinator on his football staff.

Neither was Paterno at all bitter or vindictive toward Penn State, despite his 61-year tenure at the university coming to an end with little more than a brief phone call in the middle of the night. Paterno also expressed a measure of hope and belief in the notion that he had stayed true to his original intentions throughout the better part of a century that he spent on the sidelines in State College.

The crestfallen Nittany Lions legend struggled through the interview on account of a case of lung cancer with which he was diagnosed in November amidst the maelstrom that ripped through Happy Valley. Sandusky is currently awaiting trial on his charges, while former athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz are already fighting allegations of perjury and failure to report a sex crime for their roles in the cover-up of the Sandusky scandal.