STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Happy Valley was ideal for Joe Paterno, a place exactly where “JoePa” knew very best, where he not only won far more football games than any other key college coach, but won them the proper way: with integrity and sportsmanship. A spot exactly where character came very first, championships second.
Behind it all, however, was an ugly secret that ran counter to every thing the revered coach stood for.
Paterno, a sainted figure at Penn State for almost half a century but scarred forever by the youngster sex abuse scandal that brought his career to a beautiful finish, died Sunday at the age of 85.
His death came just more than two months soon after his son Scott announced on Nov. 18 that his father had been diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer. The cancer was identified throughout a adhere to-up check out for a bronchial illness. A handful of weeks later, Paterno broke his pelvis right after a fall but did not need surgery.
His family released a statement Sunday morning to announce his death: “His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled.”
“He died as he lived,” the statement said. “He fought hard till the finish, stayed positive, thought only of others and continuously reminded everybody of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions had been far reaching, but he by no means believed he had to leave this Pleased Valley to attain them. He was a man devoted to his loved ones, his university, his players and his community.”
Paterno built a program based on the credo of “Success with Honor,” and he located both. The man identified as “JoePa” won 409 games and took the Nittany Lions to 37 bowl games and two national championships. Far more than 250 of the players he coached went on to the NFL.
But in the middle of his 46th season, the legend was shattered. Paterno was engulfed in a youngster sex abuse scandal when a former trusted assistant, Jerry Sandusky, was accused of molesting ten boys more than a 15-year span, sometimes in the football developing.
Paterno at initial mentioned he was fooled. But outrage built swiftly when the state’s leading cop mentioned the coach hadn’t fulfilled a moral obligation to go to the authorities when a graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, told Paterno he saw Sandusky with a young boy in the showers of the football complicated in 2002.
At a preliminary hearing for the school officials, McQueary testified that he had observed Sandusky attacking the child with his hands about the boy’s waist but stated he wasn’t 100 percent confident it was intercourse. McQueary described Paterno as shocked and saddened and stated the coach told him he’d “done the proper factor” by reporting the encounter.
Paterno waited a day ahead of alerting school officials but by no means went to the police.
When the scandal erupted in November, Paterno stated he would retire following the 2011 season. He also stated he was “absolutely devastated” by the abuse case.
“This is a tragedy,” he stated. “It is one of the excellent sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had completed much more.”
(About:) This article was distributed by Syndicated Sports news wire and aggregation service, For more NFL news see: Paterno dead at 85 two months right after lung cancer diagnosis.