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Penn State racked by fallout

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett said Thursday that he supported moves by Penn State's board of trustees to force out famed football coach Joe Paterno and president Graham Spanier, saying he had lost confidence in their ability to lead.

Corbett, who is on the 32-member board, made the comments after a second day of private meetings of Penn State trustees amid an unfolding child sex abuse scandal involving the university. He also implored students to avoid the violence that erupted late Wednesday in the wake of Paterno's firing.

In other developments:

• Penn State officials said that multiple threats had been made against receivers coach Mike McQueary and that he will not be at Saturday's final home game against Nebraska. It was McQueary who told Paterno — but not police — about seeing former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in a shower with a young boy in 2002.

• Paterno stayed in his home throughout Thursday. NBC News reported that he had hired a criminal attorney from Washington to represent him, but that report was refuted on Twitter by Scott Paterno, his son. Paterno is not a target of the criminal investigation, having fulfilled his legal requirement by reporting what McQueary told him to Curley and Schultz. But the state police commissioner called Paterno's failure to contact police or follow up on the incident a lapse in "moral responsibility."

• The Nittany Lions started life without Paterno, introducing interim coach Tom Bradley.

"We're obviously in a very unprecedented situation," said Bradley, who was Paterno's lead assistant for the last 11 seasons. "I have to find a way to restore the confidence."

Asked if he thought that Paterno and Spanier didn't do enough to alert law enforcement out of safety of children, Gov. Corbett said he was disappointed in their actions.

"Their actions caused me to not have confidence in their ability to continue to lead," he said.

Corbett, Pennsylvania's former attorney general, wouldn't answer questions from reporters about any of the board's internal discussions in the wake of a grand jury report released Saturday that said Sandusky had sexually assaulted eight boys over 15 years, including some on university property. He has denied the allegations.

"Certainly every Pennsylvanian who has any knowledge of this case, who has read the grand jury report, feels a sense of regret and a sorrow to also see careers end," Corbett said.

"But we must keep in mind that when it comes to the safety of children, there can be no margin of error, no hesitation to act."

Many questions remained unanswered — from how much Paterno actually knew to whether there will be any repercussions for McQueary.

In the week since the state grand jury released its report, athletic director Tim Curley has taken administrative leave, and vice president Gary Schultz has retired.

"We do not yet know all the facts and there are many details that have to be worked out," board vice chairman John Surma said in announcing the firings of Paterno and Spanier, one of the nation's longest-serving college presidents.

He said "change was necessary" and added: "To allow this process to continue was going to be damaging to the university."

Penn State racked by fallout 11/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 10, 2011 11:14pm]
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