Joe Paterno Speaks with The Washington Post


Photo: Washington Post

Here it is, Washington Post reporter Sally Jenkins’ exclusive interview with Joe Paterno, whose lawyer and PR man were present during the discussion which took place at Paterno's home earlier this week.

Jenkins uses many words to paint a picture of Joe and his family in their current state. And while there are relatively few direct quotes from Paterno – who seemingly wasn’t pressed on the most important issues – here are two notable excerpts, one about the night of his firing, and the other, his reaction to the scene Mike McQueary described to him:

Paterno is accused of no wrongdoing, and in fact authorities have said he fulfilled his legal obligations by reporting to his superiors. Nevertheless, the university Board of Trustees summarily dismissed him with a late-night phone call four days after Sandusky’s arrest. At about 10 p.m., Paterno and Sue were getting ready for bed when the doorbell rang. An assistant athletic director was at the door, and wordlessly handed Sue a slip of paper. There was nothing on it but the name of the vice chairman of trustees, John Surma, with a phone number. They stood frozen by the bedside in their nightclothes. Sue in a robe and Paterno in pajamas and a Penn State sweatshirt. Paterno dialed the number.

Surma told Paterno, “In the best interests of the university, you are terminated.” Paterno hung up and repeated the words to his wife. She grabbed the phone and redialed.

“After 61 years he deserved better,” she snapped. “He deserved better.”


“You know, he didn’t want to get specific,” Paterno said. “And to be frank with you I don’t know that it would have done any good, because I never heard of, of, rape and a man. So I just did what I thought was best. I talked to people that I thought would be, if there was a problem, that would be following up on it.” 


Read the full story here.


15 Responses

  1. Eff this guy: You can clearly tell he is 100% when you listen to the audio of the interview.
    Obama: You are right little kids should never be molested, and old people die. But the BOT’s handled this thing like @#$@#$.
    Vieve: The kids Sandusky apparently molested deserved better, but Paterno deserved more than a phone call. Paterno reported it to his superiors, as he was required. Why aren’t you calling for the heads of his superiors?

  2. So Joe claims to not have known about the 1998 allegation (and, with no charges filed, that isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility).
    And McQueary admitted on the stand in the Curley/Schultz case that he didn’t give Joe the complete version of what he saw because he was 75 and didn’t feel he should get the graphic detail.
    So now, it seems, Joe may not have lied, as everyone just assumed he did. IF he only got a watered-down version of the events from McQueary, and then passed it on to his superiors (including the guy who oversaw the university police, and following the policy that MANY corporations have- you don’t go to police first, you go up the line)… well… I guess he’s not the devil everyone thought he was, eh?
    I’m not claiming Joe is a saint. He should have done more. But there are people who still think that Joe lined these boys up for Sandusky. And those are the ones the board of trustees was trying to appease when they abruptly fired Joe. That’s an injustice, I don’t care what you say.
    Yes, the kids suffered injustices a million trillion times worse than Joe. And NO ONE should forget that. But that doesn’t mean the handling of Joe can’t be discussed. And it doesn’t make the Penn Staters who are upset by it insensitive assholes (some are, but there are those in every situation, right?). Their Alma mater, for many of them their world, came crashing down. And then they saw a witch hunt for the man the idolized. A witch hunt that led to his untimely and possibly wrong termination. Can you really blame them?
    The world is not black and white, folks. It’s not “he is completely innocent” or “lock him up forever,” no matter how much easier that would make you sleep at night. It’s a gray-area situation. And without being in Joe’s shoes, none of you can claim that you would have definitively done different. So you shouldn’t definitively demonize him, either.

  3. “…never heard of, of, rape and a man.”
    What the F does that even mean? Paterno is completely out of touch with reality. At least I hope he is. Because if not, he’s just scum.
    Somewhere in the country a coach is probably acting inappropriately with a player right now. Many people who played sports during their childhood and teen years know this is true. The boys’ basketball coach at my high school was a predator.
    It’s everyone’s responsibility to know the signs of a deviant (there were plenty with Sandusky), identify them, and then act accordingly by any means necessary.

  4. In my opinion, JoePa was nothing more than collateral damage from the whole Sandusky mess as the higher ups at Penn State scrambled to cover their asses while the whole thing blew up like a nuke. Was Joe’s firing handled badly? You betcha, but that’s small potatoes compared to the unimaginable suffering those kids endured. And that should NEVER be forgotten, despite what happened to Paterno.

  5. Poor baby. He still doesn’t get that sometimes just doing the minimum required isn’t the best choice. Enjoy the home Joe; you haven’t coached in years anyway, probably thought he was watching the Penn Relays all those years.

  6. Paterno was not fired just not the coach. He gets paid the rest of his contract plus tenored professor benefits for life. From his interview it is clear that he is out of touch with what goes on in the world today. A real shame his entire life was in a box that was Penn state football.

  7. It would have been funny if fat Scott Paterno was in the background fixing himself s sandwich

  8. Yeah, boys never got molested by men back in the “good ole’ days” from where Paterno came from. He never heard of it in all of his days on the earth since those days either. He never heard of it. BULL FUCKING SHIT. He chose to ignore a child rapist because “And to be frank with you I don’t know that it would have done any good, because I never heard of, of, rape and a man.” That’s a fucking sickening lie from a fucking scumbag who turned their head to the problem he was told about. The most powerful man at Penn State is all of a sudden sooo fucking stupid he can’t understand it’s possible for a man to rape a boy. Fuck you Joe Pa. I’m not an idiot.

  9. So the whole PSU world is imploding. An extremely famous ex-coach faculty emeritus member of the family has been indicted on 40 counts of child molestation; the athletic director and head of campus police have been indicted for perjury; an assistant coach is on record saying he witnessed aformentioned ex-coach raping a boy on University property and he reported it to the Great Joe Pa who did nothing more than call the AD. (This was 9 fucking years ago and the alleged molester continued to have full access rights to the University and was seen around campus with boys, on road trips with boys, in the gyms and shower areas with boys – and the KING of Nittany Mountain reported it, but did NOTHING for 9 years as this predator used PSU and the athletic department as his own personal bath house (rape room) for troubled kids!!!
    Oh yeah, and we’re all supposed to feel sorry for Joe PA because he wasn’t fired in person.
    FUCK him. Legally he did the bare minimum. Morally, he’s a fucking piece of shit.
    I ask anyone who reads this. If you knew of (which Joe certainly knew about Sandusky in 2002) a co-worker, friend or acquaintance who was involved with child molestation in any way shape or form, would you sit around and do nothing, say nothing, attend social functions, athletic events and charity events with this person? NO FUCKING WAY!
    Would you do nothing if you attended a banquet on the road and the molester you heard about was sitting at a coaches table in the company of a child? NO FUCKING WAY!
    Do I have any sympathy for Joe Paterno? NO FUCKING WAY!!

Comments are closed.