Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Paterno, in letter, defended Penn State football

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Joe Paterno defended his football program's integrity in a 7-month-old letter released Wednesday, a day ahead of a report that could forever mar his legacy.

In the letter, written shortly before his death in January and confirmed as legitimate by his family, Paterno rejected the idea that former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of boys amounted to a "football scandal" or in any way tarnished the accomplishments of his players or Penn State's reputation.

The results of Penn State's internal investigation into the Sandusky scandal are set to be released today.

A team led by former federal judge and FBI ex-director Louis Freeh interviewed hundreds of people to learn how the university responded to warning signs that Sandusky — who helped Paterno win two national titles for a university that touted "success with honor" — was a serial child molester.

Sandusky was convicted on 45 criminal counts last month at a trial that included gut-wrenching testimony from eight men who said he abused them when they were boys. By contrast, the Freeh report, to be released online at 9 a.m. today, will focus on Penn State and what it did — or didn't do — to protect children.

Among those who will be scouring the Freeh report are school officials trying to repair Penn State's shattered reputation and ex-players and alumni who remain outraged over Paterno's ouster after Sandusky's arrest.

Paterno himself offered a passionate defense of the university and its football program in the letter that surfaced for the first time Wednesday.

The Paterno family said the letter was given in draft form to a few former players around December. One of the ex-players circulated it to other former players Wednesday, and it was posted on the website FightonState.com, which covers the team.

"Over and over again, I have heard Penn State officials decrying the influence of football and have heard such ignorant comments like Penn State will no longer be a 'football factory' and we are going to 'start' focusing on integrity in athletics," Paterno wrote. "These statements are simply unsupported by the five decades of evidence to the contrary — and succeed only in unfairly besmirching both a great university and the players and alumni of the football program who have given of themselves to help make it great."

Paterno also wrote, "This is not a football scandal and should not be treated as one."

Paterno, in letter, defended Penn State football 07/11/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 12, 2012 9:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and estranged wife Carole put Beach Drive condo on the market

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo on the market for $1.5 million.

    U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo in Parkshore Plaza on the market for $1.5 million. {Courtesy of Amy Lamb/Native House Photography]
  2. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor's race has been making headlines for nearly two months as Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker have been making speeches, pressing the flesh at fundraisers and gathering their ground forces for an election battle that has already broken fundraising records.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  3. Tampa moves to pause permits for 5G wireless equipment to assess impact of new Florida law

    Blogs

    To business groups, the bill that Gov. Rick Scott signed Friday will clear the way for superfast 5G wireless communications and give Florida an edge in attracting high-tech companies.

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and other local officials have worried that a new state law aimed at facilitating the installation of 5G wireless technology could clutter scenic corridors like Tampa's Riverwalk.
  4. Trump takes another swipe at CNN after resignations over retracted Russia story

    National

    NEW YORK — President Donald Trump used the resignations of three CNN journalists involved in a retracted Russia-related story to resume his attack on the network's credibility Tuesday.

    Anthony Scaramucci, a senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, talks to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. [Associated Press]
  5. Clearwater woman dies after losing control of SUV, flipping in Palm Harbor

    Accidents

    A Clearwater woman died early Tuesday morning when she lost control of her SUV and crashed in Palm Harbor, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.