Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Won't ever condemn Paterno, Corbett says

He called Sandusky case "unusual circumstances."

In this Aug. 6, 1999 file photo, the Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, right, poses with his then-defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky during Penn State Media Day at State College, Pa. ( AP Photo/Paul Vathis, File )
In this Aug. 6, 1999 file photo, the Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, right, poses with his then-defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky during Penn State Media Day at State College, Pa. ( AP Photo/Paul Vathis, File )

HARRISBURG - Gov. Corbett said Thursday that he had never condemned Joe Paterno for his actions regarding Jerry Sandusky and "never will," citing what he called the "unusual circumstances" surrounding what happened.

The Republican governor, in the middle of a reelection campaign, also told the Associated Press that he regrets that the Pennsylvania State University board decided to fire Paterno by phone rather than in person. The governor was a voting trustee when the scandal broke in November 2011.

"When they were talking about the whole thing, I said, 'You've got to remember the children,' " Corbett said. "Since that date, the only thing I have said about Joe Paterno is, I've quoted him. As he said, I wish he would have done more. I've not condemned, one way or the other, never have, never will. These are unusual circumstances."

Corbett said his recollection was that he did not take part in a voice vote on Paterno's firing. Other accounts said that the proposal to fire Paterno was made and that no board members objected. The report compiled for Penn State by former FBI Director Louis Freeh said trustees' recollections of Corbett's role in the discussion differed.

In 2001, assistant coach Mike McQueary contacted Paterno at his home to complain about Sandusky, then retired after decades as the school's top defensive coach, in the Penn State showers with a boy. Paterno in turn notified the athletic director, but the complaint did not result in a criminal investigation.

Mark Scolforo Associated Press
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