UPDATE: Joe Paterno Releases Statement... And, Well, It's Awful
What? I knew nothing
Joe Paterno released a statement today. It was either written by Joe himself, or the worst PR person in the world.
A graduate assistant, who was later identified as current Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary, testified to a grand jury that he told Paterno what he saw former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky doing to a boy in the showers at Penn State in 2002– anal sex. Paterno testified that he was told Sandusky was "fondling or doing something of sexual nature" to the boy– an accusation that he forwarded along to the athletic director, Tim Curley, who is now facing perjury charges.
In his statement, however, Paterno says he wasn't given any details. Instead, he used the words "incident" and "inappropriate" to describe his understanding of what went on between Sandusky and the (estimated) 10-year-old boy.
He also says that he was "shocked" by the charges brought about… even though he was told in 2002 that Sandusky was doing something of a "sexual nature" to a young boy in the showers at Penn State.
Here is the statement in full, as obtained by Patriot-News:
"If true, the nature and amount of charges made are very shocking to me and all Penn Staters. While I did what I was supposed to with the one charge brought to my attention, like anyone else involved I can't help but be deeply saddened these matters are alleged to have occurred.
"Sue and I have devoted our lives to helping young people reach their potential. The fact that someone we thought we knew might have harmed young people to this extent is deeply troubling. If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers.
"As my grand jury testimony stated, I was informed in 2002 by an assistant coach that he had witnessed an incident in the shower of our locker room facility. It was obvious that the witness was distraught over what he saw, but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the Grand Jury report. Regardless, it was clear that the witness saw something inappropriate involving Mr. Sandusky. As Coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at that time, I referred the matter to university administrators.
"I understand that people are upset and angry, but let's be fair and let the legal process unfold. In the meantime I would ask all Penn Staters to continue to trust in what that name represents, continue to pursue their lives every day with high ideals and not let these events shake their beliefs nor who they are."
That is perhaps the most disconnected statement you will ever read.
A source tells the Patriot-News that Paterno will be a witness for the prosecution in the case against Sandusky.
UPDATE: Deadspin reports that as recently as 2009, Sandusky was running an overnight football camp for kids at a Penn State satellite campus. Oh. My.
[Related: Read the disturbing excerpts from the Jerry Sandusky grand jury presentment]