In Paterno’s First Interview Since Being Fired, He Says He Had ‘No Inkling’ Sandusky Might Be Abusing Children

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Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post landed the first interview with Joe Paterno since being fired by Penn State and the first interview since the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal broke.

Joe Paterno’s first interview since the Penn State-Sandusky scandal
Here are some of the more telling points…

  • Paterno says he “didn’t know exactly how to handle” the report by an assistant coach that Sandusky may have raped a boy in the Penn State locker room showers and that Paterno turned the information over to others because he “didn’t feel adequate” and had never dealt with a situation like that.
  • Paterno does not recall exactly how assistant coach Mike McQueary described the shower incident, but Paterno recalled that it was described as “inappropriate, or fondling.” Paterno says McQueary didn’t get specific, and Paterno wasn’t sure it would have mattered, noting that he had “never heard of…rape and a man.”
  • Paterno says he had “no inkling” Sandusky was a “sexual deviant” and that Sandusky was a former employee that Paterno did not associate with. Paterno noted that Sandusky was much younger and that the two had a “professional, not a social” relationship.
  • Paterno maintains that he was unaware of the 1998 police investigation and that it was something “nobody knew about.”
  • Paterno says Sandusky was encouraged to retire in 1999 because Paterno thought he Sandusky was spending too much time with his charitable organisation to ever be a head coach. At the time, Paterno says, the school was offering a 30-year employees a nice retirement buyout.
  • After calling the board of trustees and being told he was terminated as head football coach, Paterno’s wife immediately called the board back and “snapped” saying “after 61 years he deserved better.”
  • Paterno says he thinks about the victims, and notes that if something similar had happened to his kids, he would “get a bunch of guys and say let’s go punch somebody in the nose.” Paterno’s wife says she would have killed perpetrator.

You can read the entire interview at The Washington Post.