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As Joe Paterno built his legacy at Penn State, he clashed with upper management in his effort to protect his players from punishment, according to the Wall Street Journal.Penn State’s former chief disciplinarian, Vicky Triponey told the Journal:
“There were numerous meetings and discussions about specific and pending student discipline cases that involved football players..” and were treated “more favourably than other students accused of violating the community standards as defined by the student code of conduct.”
A few obvious examples of this favourable treatment:
- Paterno let Anwar Phillips play in a bowl game while he was temporarily expelled from school when he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman. Graham Spanier said the situation was a “miscommunication.” Phillips was later acquitted.
- Paterno told an offensive lineman who was suspended by the school for making threatening calls to an ex-assistant coach to come to practice. His suspension was then lowered to just 10 days.
- In 2007, six football players were charged with assault after breaking into an off campus apartment and beating up several other students, they beat one student until he was unconscious. Police dropped the charges, and Paterno made his own punishment: the players had to clean the stadium for two hours after a game.
After the last incident in 2007, Triponey met with Paterno, Spanier, and other officials and asked Paterno to get his players to be truthful about what happened. Paterno was angered and said football players should not have to participate in the school’s normal disciplinary action because they would have to testify against each other, making it hard to play football together.
Soon after, Triponey resigned due to “philosophical differences.”
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