Joe Paterno’s History of Sweeping Crimes Under the Rug and Penn State Writings from Yesteryear Which Do and Do Not Question His Decisions

Today, the Wall Street Journal ran a fantastic, must-read article which details Joe Paterno’s refusal to cooperate with former Penn State chief disciplinarian Vicky Triponey. Emails uncovered by the paper reveal a myriad incidents in which Paterno did his best to bail out Penn State football players who were accused of infractions ranging from shooting arrows to sexual assault. What’s worse, in emails, Triponey voiced her concerns to Graham Spanier about Paterno’s belief that football players shouldn’t be subject to the same punishment as other students.


Check out this bit of tid: [WSJ]

In an Aug. 12, 2005, email to Pennsylvania State University President Graham Spanier and others, Vicky Triponey, the university's standards and conduct officer, complained that Mr. Paterno believed she should have "no interest, (or business) holding our football players accountable to our community standards. The Coach is insistent he knows best how to discipline his players…and their status as a student when they commit violations of our standards should NOT be our concern…and I think he was saying we should treat football players different from other students in this regard."

The confrontations came to a head in 2007, according to one former school official, when six football players were charged by police for forcing their way into a campus apartment that April and beating up several students, one of them severely. That September, following a tense meeting with Mr. Paterno over the case, she resigned her post, saying at the time she left because of "philosophical differences."


Paterno’s eventual "punishment" for those players was that they had to help clean the stadium and participate in charity events. But more on that in a second.

The WSJ details other, similar clashes between Paterno and Triponey, who sports the template for female disciplinarian haircuts.

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During one such clash, in 2004, Paterno gave an eery glimpse inside his thoughts on punishment and accountability: [WSJ]

"I can go back to a couple guys in the '70s who drove me nuts," he said. "The cops would call me, and I used to put them in bed in my house and run their rear ends off the next day. Nobody knew about it. That's the way we handled it."


Yeah, that’s not the way we do things in this world, Joe.

There’s an obvious parallel to be drawn here between Paterno’s views on disciplining players and the disappearing issue of Jerry Sandusky raping a boy in the shower: Joe Pa protects his own. Always.

And if you’re wondering why all of these red flags – which almost without fail showed Joe Pa’s use of kid gloves – went largely unaddressed by the media, you need to look no further than the bubble that is Happy Valley, where the blue pill is often a chosen dessert and whitewashing is a favorite pastime. 

Here are some excerpts from the Daily Collegian about that 2007 incident mentioned earlier: [Daily Collegian]

A "disappointed" Joe Paterno addressed the football team regarding some players' alleged involvement in an assault at a downtown apartment party last weekend, a team spokesman said yesterday.

"The coaches addressed the team," said Guido D'Elia, Penn State's director of branding and communications. "[The players] know exactly where he stands on this. He was very clear."

Paterno said in May that the entire team must clean Beaver Stadium each Sunday after home football games as punishment.

"We're going to be up early in the morning cleaning the stadium," Connor said, "but you have to just do it."

Other activities included participating in several fundraising and goodwill events.

"We did Habitat for Humanity and the Special Olympics," Connor said. "As soon as you get there you realize you're helping people, and it's good. We should use our celebrity status … to help out people and set a good example."


Such harsh punishment, helping others…

Later that year, when asked about another fight involving football players, Paterno weighed in again: [Daily Collegian]

At his press conference, Paterno tried to shift the discussion away from the off-the-field distractions. He defended the players' work ethic and character and tried to spur discussion about Saturday's game.

"Can we talk about Wisconsin?" he asked. "We're fine. Let me handle the football team. As soon as I know enough to make some decisions I'll make them and that'll be it."


And that's about as much as he was usually pressed on those sorts of issues.

In 2000, when Rashard Casey was acquitted of any wrongdoing in the beating of an off-duty police officer in Hoboken, New Jersey (a crime that by all accounts he didn’t commit), the school paper fellated Joe for his “gut instincts": [Daily Collegian]

"I also want to commend coach Paterno for his handling of this situation," Penn State President Graham Spanier said. "We all try to make the right calls. And in the business of coaching or university administration, judgments have to be made. Joe Paterno has always stood for integrity in intercollegiate athletics and this will continue to be the case in the future."

But it was not the case in the past. Since Casey's arrest, Paterno has been criticized for sticking to his guns and sticking with Casey.

But Paterno also remembered Casey's character, and believed what the quarterback said to his coach.

"Just because I can look back and all the times I've met with him and spoken with him, that he knows the type of person I am and how I carry myself," Casey said at the beginning of the season.

"So, just by him believing in me, it means the world to me and to my family."

Coaches are paid to make to make the tough calls. And Paterno has earned his wage because he made the right one.


Score one for Paterno, but that sort of blind loyalty eventually cost him and his program. 

Other times, when players did appear to be in the wrong – like in 2003, when Paterno benched Paul Jefferson in the Blue-White game for his alleged role in a fight – the university and its athletes wouldn't cooperate: [Daily Collegian]

Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar will not file charges stemming from an April altercation between members of the Penn State wrestling and football teams, following what he said to be lack of cooperation from those involved.

"What we have here are football players fighting wrestlers at [the] cheerleader house,'' Gricar said. "It's not clear to me who was the victim of what. Everyone is holding back information.'' 


Gricar, as you know, went missing in 2005. His laptop, floating in a river.

Of course, there are instances of Penn Staters speaking out about the program’s failure to hold players accountable. Check out this 2003 article, written by the brave Chris Korman, about sexual assault charges against Anwar Phillips, whose story is detailed in the Wall Street Journal article: [Daily Collegian]

State College bureau Associated Press writer Dan Lewerenz asked Curley when the news of Phillips' suspension reached his office. Curley, wanting only to discuss the joyous hiring of Ed DeChellis, was a bit shocked at the question.

Then he said that the university would be releasing a statement on the matter later in the day.

University president Graham Spanier also told Lewerenz that an official statement was forthcoming.

And, just so there could be some icing on this pass-the-blame cake, members of the sports information department confirmed that the mystical statement was on its way.

Needless to say, it never arrived.

To think that Paterno didn't know every little detail of the Judicial Affairs case is to be simply naive. Joe Paterno, even at the age of 76, controls every facet of the Penn State football program like a — gasp! — dictator. And he has apparently decided that he can do no wrong.

The only logical explanation for why Paterno would allow Phillips to play is that the old coach was sticking with what has worked recently.

In the Rashard Casey and R.J. Luke/T.C. Cosby cases, Paterno stood by his players all the way until all three were exonerated from assault charges.

In both cases, Paterno came out looking like a wise old benevolent king with the foresight to wait for hindsight to clear everything.


Again, that was written in 2003. Some of that sounds familiar, no?

Here’s more commentary from the Daily Collegian on the matter: [Daily Collegian]

Hey, Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, Joe Paterno: How loud is your silence?

According to police, Penn State football player Anwar Phillips admits he had sex with a woman even though he knew she didn't want to. Judicial Affairs sentences him to a two-semester probation — in December.

Yet in January, Phillips plays in the Capitol One Bowl. Now students and the media are asking questions: How is it that a student that admitted to and was sanctioned by the university for sexual assault was able to represent the Blue and White in Florida?

Responses on the topic have been less than forthcoming.

The day after the story broke, head football coach Joe Paterno held his annual spring press conference; the first question asked was about Phillips.

But all Paterno had to say was that he had no comment and that if the reporters continued asking questions on the issue, he would continue to "waste time" and answer, "No comment." Then he went into a long tirade about the high graduation rates on his team.

The same man who benches players for missing class is refusing to comment on why he allowed a player sanctioned for sexual assault to play in a bowl game.


Jeez, it almost makes you think that Paterno (and Spanier and Curley and others) were more concerned with the football team and Penn State’s image than they were about sexual abuse.

[Wall Street Journal on Paterno]

51 Responses

  1. JoePa’s situation is just enabling everyone that ever had a grief to finally air it out. The NCAA is probably very concerned about the roof being blown out on these types of issues going on at most every single college football & basketball program in the country where players and coaches are above the fray.

  2. Ms. Vicky should stay out of Joe Pa’s business & get back in the kitchen where she belongs

  3. As I am not a huge Paterno supporter, what college coach doesn’t support their team and cover their butts? This is only coming out because of the allegations, but ALL coaches treat their players different, so this really shouldn’t be huge news. Only is big news because of the whole situation.

  4. WSJ’s piece was a complete one sided joke. Triponey was a downright terrible administrator at PSU – talk to any student who had to deal with her during her time on campus. Terrible journalism.

  5. The thing that needs to be understood is that in the 70’s, it was a different time. You could do what he did when he would pick the kids up from the police station and have them stay at his house and then yell at them in the morning. Thats how things were. These coaches were to act as a father and it was accepted in the 70s. In the 70s, it was more seen as an embarrassment to the team if it was reported, instead it was always shhhhh and I will take care of it on my own….It was just a different time period.

  6. the “everyone else does it” argument rarely works. also, it doesn’t. look at villanova, for example, Pinkston threw one punch at a party and he sat out the entire season.

  7. We get it. Everyone hates Joe Paterno and Penn State and all of their fans are mindless drones who blindly follow the the eam… Can we move on to a story about how much of a bitch Sidney Crosby is?

  8. @Kyle Scott
    I forgot, all hail Villanova, your amazing alma mater. Villanova is a school for prep douches and everyone there does coke. And you can’t tell me Jay Wright never stood up for his players, ever. Every coach does it, whether it’s ALL the time or sometimes.

  9. the shit that happens in bumble fuck pa scares me. i will never move anywhere away from south eastern pa. the rest of pa is full of hicks, retards, racist, sexually assaulting fucks. fuck penn state, fuck pittsburgh, go Philadelphia.

  10. That’s the problem – JoePa still tried to discipline his team like it was the 70’s. This is why most people aren’t still working when they’re 84, it becomes difficult to keep up and adapt to how things are done.

  11. That sh*t happens at St. Joe’s too. You can’t tell me that Delonte West (that thing on his face) didn’t have guns in his dorm room

  12. Crosby=All finesse, no balls… Bad combo for hockey fans outside of Pittsburgh.
    Pittsburgh fans=bad. No joke here. They are just the worst human beings ever.

  13. Don’t diss my godfather JoePA, that’s right P.A. for Pennsylvania, the keystone state was named after that fine upstanding exemplar of moral rectitude and Christian values. JoePA is a molder of men, he makes men moldy at times true, but that’s part of his charm and ineptitude, I mean gratitude – or altitude, and…and…he built a library!
    And now…now, in his hour of need, the world has deserted him, now that he has lung cancer…WHY GOD [email protected]@!
    I haven’t deserted you Papa JoePa, I’m on my way, I’ll help you in any way I can. Administer chemo, fold your diapers, change your sippy straw, you can always count on me, your
    Forever Grateful,

  14. PS, this wasn’t breaking news. This was all published and known about when it went down. Nice regurgitation though.

  15. V. Trip was a pain in the ass. A lot of other administrators didnt care for her too much while she was there. She liked to create waves. Best thing that happened to PSU is when she left….

  16. he used to make scott pa eat sticks of butter when he missed curfew… All Staters are mindless fucktards and this evil prick is the leader.

  17. Guy protected a child rapist and you think he’s a good man because he won football games…really people? Good. I hope he withers away from that cancer wishing he’s done more.

  18. I love it when people say that the Media got Joe Paterno fired. Allowing Jerry Sandusky to fuck children got Joe Paterno fired. If you don’t see that, you’re an idiot.

  19. Article fails to mention how Austin Scott was kicked off the team when he was arrested for rape…..which was later proven to be a false accusation.

  20. Dear Kyle:
    You are a fucking asshole Penn State and JoePa Hater.
    Why don’t you just come out and admit it?
    Villanova Rules.
    Kyle Asshole Scott Rules.
    All Hail Villanova
    All Hail Kyle.

  21. Does anyone else get the feeling that all of Kyle’s posts about Penn State are just from
    Shouldn’t you be giving credit to deadspin for these posts?

  22. Looks like the Sandusky case wasn’t the only thing Joe Paterno and PSU kept tight lipped about. No one should be above the law.
    I won’t miss him.

  23. “Penn State assistant Jay Paterno, son of Joe Paterno, offered an interesting take on the matter last week during an interview with ESPN. During the interview, taped before Penn State’s road game against Ohio State, Jay Paterno was asked to describe his reaction to the news his father’s name had been removed from the trophy.
    “The only reaction I had was let’s get there and win it and put it back on,” he said. “We’ll bring our own Post-It note. That was my reaction. We’ll bring a nice yellow Post-It note, and we’ll stick it right back on.”

  24. Who doesn’t protect their own, wheter it is students, family etc… I still love JoePA! I think the media is trying to find anything to attack him and PSU.. of course everything is going to be coming to the surface.

  25. unny how certain media outlets do nothing but fan the flames instead of actual fair & balanced investigative work. We all want the truth. but the sensationalized national assault on this entire university and community must end. We are not pedophiles, pedophile enablers, or pedophile supporters. WE are a reeling community and campus, that wants truth and accountability for the heinous actions of 1 monster, and the alleged inactions of several others. Let the light of the truth shine on the dark shadows of our “bubble” – but let the smear campaigns, wild and unsubstantiated rumors, and moronic national press crawling around END NOW. Let the justice system work. Let the real reporters dig. And until then, STFU.

  26. Your anti-State crusade is REALLY getting old. How about you try something else? Something that actually makes sense?

  27. There’s nothing more pathetic than a child rapist, except maybe PSU students and alumni that refuse to deal with reality. There’s a great line from Scent of a woman, I don’t know who went to this place, William Howard Taft, William Jennings Bryan, William Tell, whoever. Their spirit is dead, if they ever had one. It’s gone. You’re building a rat ship here. How these words fit so well for good old PSU!

  28. Bruce please tell me what is the reality you speak of? From what I read on your post doesnt mean sh!t. In fact is just a waste of space on this website.

  29. Reading the posts of the PennState/Paterno hangers on and defenders, it’s easier to understand how Victim 1 was bullied out of his high school because they blame him for Paterno’s firing:
    That’s the MO of the Paterno/PSU cult: blame everyone except the perp and his enablers. Blame the media, blame the victim, blame Rick Santorum, blame everyone except the man who admitted he “should have done more”.
    One gets the impression that boy buggery is an expected and welcome experience up in State College PA, and God help any poor souls who interfere. So reminiscent of the movie “Deliverance”.

  30. Brill paints PS 149 in an unflattering light, and I won’t go into depth here on the debate over whether his portrait is accurate and fair or not. What I will say is that visiting only public schools co-located with the new generation of charters would bias any reporter against traditional public schools. Why? More successful neighborhood schools are better able to resist co-location with charters, both because they tend to be oversubscribed–more parents want to enroll their kids in these schools than there are seats available, meaning there aren’t empty classrooms around for charters to use–and because successful schools also tend to have more politically active and connected parents, teachers, and administrators, who are able to lobby against co-locations.

  31. Leave Joe Alone! This is all bad reporting and not reporting all the facts. Crossing Broad has lost all my respect. Stick with Philly stuff. You don’t know shit about College football. Cover Temple and Nova.

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