Leave Your Thoughts on Paterno Here

With the death of Joe Paterno, we invite you to leave your respects for the former Penn State football coach via the comments box at the end of this post. BTN.com will display a sampling of the submissions. You can also leave your comments on the Big Ten Network’s Facebook page. Watch our video Remembering Joe Paterno now. Also, in this post, find Twitter reaction to Paterno’s death.

Former players react on Twitter:



Others react:

Michigan State head football coach Mark Dantonio:

“On behalf of my immediate family and the Michigan State football family, we express our deepest sympathy to Joe Paterno’s wife Sue, his five children and 17 grandchildren, as well as his extended family, the Penn State football family and the entire State College community.

“Joe dedicated his life to Penn State and college football. He had unparalleled success during his 46 seasons as the head coach at Penn State. Joe was a major player who helped revolutionize the game of college football. In his six-plus decades at Penn State, he influenced and impacted countless numbers of players and people at a championship level.

“Over the past five years, my wife and I have had the privilege of spending time with both Joe and his wife Sue. We appreciated and enjoyed the time spent at our various functions together and will forever remember him as a steward of our profession.”

Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer on Joe Paterno:

“I am deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Coach Joe Paterno. He was a man who I have deep respect for as a human being, as a husband and father, as a leader and as a football coach. I was very fortunate to have been able to develop a personal relationship with him, especially over the course of the last several years, and it is something that I will always cherish.

“My prayers and thoughts go out to his wife, Sue, and to their family, and also to the family he had at Penn State University. We have lost a remarkable person and someone who affected the lives of so many people in so many positive ways. His presence will be dearly missed. His legacy as a coach, as a winner and as a champion will carry on forever.”

Statement from Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez:

“Today is a sad day. Joe made a difference. He impacted a lot of people. He made a difference in a community, in a college and in college football. He was truly special and an icon. For someone to continue to do what he did through different generations and for such a long period of time and be effective was amazing. I’ve considered Joe a friend and a mentor. This is sad day for college football and the Penn State community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them and the Paterno family.”

Statement from Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema:

“Coach Paterno obviously did so many wonderful things for a number of years, not only with the success of his teams on the field but the number of lives he shaped. I hope people remember his lifetime achievements. From day one, when I joined the head coaching ranks and was fortunate enough to cross paths with him at coaches meetings and various functions, he was always very engaging and complimentary of the way we did things at Wisconsin and how we played. I enjoyed competing with him at every level. Our Badger football family sends our condolences and deepest sympathies to the Penn State community and the Paterno family.”


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (39 Comments)
Kyle Maichle on 1/22/2012 @ 10:36am EDT Said:

As a Badgers fan, there is no opposing head coach that I had the greatest respect for than Joe Paterno. On behalf of Badgers fans in the State of Wisconsin and across the nation, thoughts and prayers go to the Paterno Family.

Norma Bear on 1/22/2012 @ 10:42am EDT Said:

To Joe’s family, words cannot express the feelings my family has for the loss of your beloved Joe. I was lucky enough to have seen him coach and always thought he was a fascinating man. I wish I could have known him, he was a great man. May he rest in peace and may you find it comforting that others share in the pain you are feeling.

Earl Kurtz on 1/22/2012 @ 10:57am EDT Said:

Joe had an impact on more human beings than any of us could ever imagine. My respects to his family and may he rest in peace.

chris on 1/22/2012 @ 10:59am EDT Said:

Joe you will never be forgotten!! you were a amazing coach and you always knew how to prepare your team for each game. your life was amazing . my thoughts and prayers go out to your family!!

RHonda Fogal on 1/22/2012 @ 11:23am EDT Said:

We have lost one of the greatest people the world has had the privlege to have , and to watch how much love he gave not only to his players but to the world. JOEPA. YOU WILL BE SADELY MISSED BUT FOR EVER IN OUR HEARTS.tothe family of this marvelous man. god bless you and keep you strong.

Tom Sacco on 1/22/2012 @ 12:29pm EDT Said:

I’m 54. Been a PS (JOE) fan since I was 19. I’m through with college football beginning today. RIP Joe, say hi to my mom and dad.

aroznowski on 1/22/2012 @ 12:51pm EDT Said:

I am simply in disbelief. I can’t believe that this tragic day has finally come. RIP to the greatest head coach and one of the greatest people in the history of college football. You will always be missed and always be loved. Jim Delany and the Big Ten Conference, please do everybody one little favor. Restore the great Paterno name to the Big Ten championship trophy! Penn State, please take Michael Robinson’s advice. Rename Beaver Stadium “Joe Paterno Stadium”! I wish nothing but the best to the Paterno family, Paterno friends, Penn State family, my fellow members of the Big Ten family, and everyone else that has been touched and greatly influenced by Joe Paterno.

Richard Brown on 1/22/2012 @ 1:25pm EDT Said:

It’s a sad day today, with the passing of a legend,a great man,and a great lost to the nitney nation. Joe died of a broken heart and should have been treated better. We will miss you Joepa. God bless you and the Paterno family.

Melinda Ellman on 1/22/2012 @ 1:45pm EDT Said:

The Buckeye State will miss u dearly

Irwin Markus on 1/22/2012 @ 1:51pm EDT Said:

No person has ever had a bigger impact on a university, its students, its athletes, its town, and its alumni and supporters than Joe Paterno had on Penn State. It is unlikley that anyone ever will. Paterno will be missed and remembered fondly by millions.

Capt Jim on 1/22/2012 @ 1:55pm EDT Said:

DiNardo….no class
Joe’s legecy will be… “I should have done more”.
That the best you can do? Your sorry.

Joe Horning on 1/22/2012 @ 2:19pm EDT Said:

I am still in disbelief that the end of an era has come. Penn State football and all of college football has lost a GIANT. His love and loyalty to his University, family, players and community will never be seen again in college sports. His life was not about money. His was about making his players and those he touched better citizens of this country. He stressed to his players to play the game FOR THE GLORY OF PENN STATE and not for personal glory. JoePa – you will truly be missed. We love you and will never forget all that you have done for the Penn State Nation. Our condolences go out to SuePa and the whole Paternoster family. Remember – WE ARE! PENN STATE!! and always will be.

Dan Black on 1/22/2012 @ 2:35pm EDT Said:

Coach: Thanks for the opportunity to be a walk-on on your football squads. I am better for the experience.

Ellen Morris on 1/22/2012 @ 6:41pm EDT Said:

To the Paterno Family , My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Rest In Peace Joe Pa. I always carry you in my heart. You will never be forgotten.
Heaven just got the best coach ever.

Bob Melusky on 1/22/2012 @ 8:48pm EDT Said:

What a hatchet job. Donato should be ashamed of himself if the only thing he thinks of about Joe is the fact he said “he wished he had done more” what made him judge, jury and God. What a disgrace. Just shut your trap. If you just want to talk about the SANDUSKYscandal, dont’t call it a Joe Paterno remembrance. It looks more like a Joe Paterno lynching. You guys are horrible.

Keith Morris PSU '95 on 1/22/2012 @ 8:57pm EDT Said:

I just can not believe he is really gone. I sat crying watching the BTN special “Remembering Joe”. I can only hope to raise my children as he “raised” the young men on his teams. He makes me proud to be a Penn State Alum. Fight on State.

Richard Evans on 1/22/2012 @ 9:38pm EDT Said:

A diehard Illini fan who is very sad to hear of JoePa’s passing. My deepest and heartfelt condolances go out his family, extended family and to all who are a part of Penn State football.

Stephen Ziemba on 1/22/2012 @ 11:25pm EDT Said:

The end of an era is over. Joseph Vincent Paterno has succumbed to the insidious disease of cancer. Perhaps more tragically, he was subjected to the even more insidious condemnation of far too many in his final days. After a career of giving and mentoring, his life was unfairly encapsulated by one unfortunate misjudgment. The scandal that embroiled Penn State University is a tragic thing, for the (alleged) victims endured and continue to live with untold horrors. Paterno, because he was the most recognized face of Penn State, was also the recipient of a disproportionate amount of criticism. By his own admission, it was one of the great sorrows of his life. Hindsight is a luxury we can’t affect. We will never know why Sandusky’s presence never elicited additional actions on Paterno’s part, but his inactions in this matter are dwarfed by his intentional actions, time, and charity that positively impacted thousands of players, coaches, and those who entered his sphere of influence.

Paterno never asked for forgiveness, he never tried to make excuses, he merely explained his point of view and continued his fight against cancer with his trademark humility. He seemed genuinely sorry for his role in the scandal. It is redeeming to hear all of the nice things finally being said about him. The outpouring of support is touching and long overdue. I wish people would’ve come forward when he was still around to listen. Alas, the mob dictated the terms of Paterno’s final weeks. First, the Board of Trustees capitulated to the public outrage by dismissing him with a shabby explanation. If I recall correctly, the Vice Chairman of the Trustees merely said when asked about the firing, “it seemed like the proper thing to do”. In recent days, the Board offered an equally scant explanation. What is more outrageous about his firing was the manner in which it was executed – a cowardly phone call. He deserved better after all he’d done to put Penn State on the map, as an academic beacon and an environment where student athletes win “the right way”.

Paterno wasn’t just a football coach. Football was merely his stage. His primary vocation, which so evidently was his avocation, was the cultivation of young men into productive, honorable members of society – men who live by an unwavering code of conduct that translates into being good fathers, sons, and quality citizens. He donated millions of dollars to the university and would’ve given more but he insisted his salary remain lower than his coaching contemporaries, so that Penn State could reinvest the money into academic pursuits. He was Ivy League educated and preached the importance of education and integrity. Selflessness was a badge worn proudly.

Curiosity and righteousness were qualities he espoused in his players, and in the end was the target of those unburdened with these qualities. Judgment and self-righteousness were thrown around like poker chips in a casino. The mob fed the beast which led to his ousting which ultimately led to his hastened death. He was clearly heartbroken after losing the non-Sue Paterno love of his life. The university owes the Paterno family much more gratitude and a celebration of his life, achievements, and contributions. The indignity of it all is too much to express.

It pains me that I have to write of JoePa in the past tense. He has left an indelibly positive mark on my life. That Paterno should’ve done more regarding the scandal is probable, that he didn’t do more is regrettable, that we lost an icon, a humanitarian, and an educator of legendary proportions is undeniable. I can only hope to amount to a fraction of the man he was.

Success With Honor. R.I.P. JoePa. May you find the serenity that was so utterly lacking in your final days.

aroznowski on 1/22/2012 @ 11:44pm EDT Said:

I am simply in disbelief. I can’t believe that this tragic day has finally come. Joe Paterno is gone way too soon. He deserved another fifteen years and the length of life of John Wooden. This is the closest thing that I have ever known to the passion of Christ and is more tragic than an assassination of Barack Obama would be. Rest forever in peace, the greatest head coach and one of the greatest people in the history of college football. You will always be missed and always be loved. Jim Delany and the Big Ten Conference, please do everybody one little favor. Restore the great Paterno name to the Big Ten championship trophy! Penn State, please take Michael Robinson’s advice. Rename Beaver Stadium “Joe Paterno Stadium”! I wish nothing but the best to the Paterno family, Paterno friends, Penn State family, my fellow members of the Big Ten family, and everyone else that has been touched and greatly influenced by Joe Paterno. Screw the scandal! Joe Pa made a decision that he believed was right even though it proved to be mediocre in hindsight. The scandal should be no more than a paragraph in the novel of Joe Pa’s life. Joe Paterno was, is, and always will be Penn State.

Sam on 1/23/2012 @ 12:11am EDT Said:

‎”With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.” ~ Joe Paterno. That is his legacy. Allowing a sexual predator to prowl the sidelines & access the facility knowing what he knew is inexcuseable, and no graduation rate or library will remove that tarnish.

    Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer on 1/23/2012 @ 5:10pm EDT Said:

    I think many people feel the same way. But alums/friends of Penn State likely always will refuse to see it that way. Love is blind.

Daniela on 1/23/2012 @ 12:29am EDT Said:

My Deapest Heartfelt Condolences to Joe Paterno’s Family. “JoePa is the Greatest Head Coach Ever” He has Touched So Many Lives On And Off The Field! We will miss you! My only wish now is that they will rename the stadium Joe Paterno Stadium.
“Gone But Not Forgotten”
Rest In Peace JoePa!

    Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer on 1/23/2012 @ 5:12pm EDT Said:

    Thanks you! I couldn’t have said it better. Paterno did many, many great things. America lost a great citizin. Paterno wasn’t a god, he wasn’t a diety. He was a human who sometimes makes mistakes–just like you and I.

Brian on 1/23/2012 @ 12:47pm EDT Said:

A sad day is upon us! There are no words to express my sincere condolences to Sue, Jay, and the entire Paterno family. My family and I love Joe like so many others do. We will miss you, Joseph Vincent Paterno.

As a PSU alum, I know there will be a void in me the next time I visit campus. But, I know when I tell my children and grandchildren (someday) about JoePa, I will tell them stories about how he touched so many people’s lives, how he cared more about his players and coaches as people than anything else, and how much he loved Penn State. After all, how many other football coaches have their names on libraries?

In the last few months, we’ve all been witness to how one moment in time can affect all our lives. On this day, let’s not reflect on the negatives…let’s focus on the positives! What happened is tragic in so many ways and like many of you, I feel anger, disappointment, confusion, and sympathy all at once.

During this time, let our mourning turn to celebrate a great man for who he was … a legendary coach, fearless leader, a tireless educator, Penn State’s greatest ambassador, devoted friend, loving husband, father, and grandfather. There will never be another Joe Pa!

As with some of the others’ postings, I fully support two initiatives: Let’s get his name on the Big Ten Trophy….and….let’s get a petition started to name the football field “Paterno Field at Beaver Stadium”. I think Joe would agree that “its the name on the front of the jersey that matters most, not the one on the back”.

Goodbye old friend…you were taken from us way too soon…and you’ll never be forgotten! Fight on…JoePa…


Sean on 1/23/2012 @ 7:52pm EDT Said:

As with the countless people whose lives Coach Paterno affected, I am deeply saddened by his passing. My heart goes out to Sue, Their family and the Penn State family. I cannot think of any man whose life was more guided by loyalty, honor and family values and who lived by his quote,”A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” He inspired us all by upholding the values he instilled in us.
After watching the Big Ten Network’s show in rememberance of JoePa, I cannot feel anything but disgust, especially for Gerry DiNardo who claimed to be a long-time friend. His almost immediate relating to the Sandusky case and his admittance that he cared more about the perceived feelings of the alleged victims–Jerry Sandusky has not been convicted of anything–is a total disgrace. He also stated that that he thought the current era of media was far better than when JoePa started. The state of our current media is very clear in light of CBS’s airing of Paterno’s passing before he was gone. Grab a story off the web and run with it so you’ll be the first–forget checking sources and doing your homework. Just make the most attention getting headline so that your boss or supporting advertisers will notice you. If Gerry and the rest of the media that seem to lack the loyalty and disipline and the work ethic to do their jobs properly, I wouldn’t be writing these last paragraphs.
Coach Paterno was a third party to an incident told to him by a 28 year old adult about a party who was no longer a part of his staff and he reported it to his superiors, one of which was supposed to be in charge of the campus police. Mr. DiNardo and much of the media not only want us to believe that Joe somehow ran a coverup, they word their stories in a way to make the public believe that the football program was more important to Coach Paterno than the lives of these children. Mr. DiNardo-You should be ashamed of yourself along with the rest of the media you think is so much better. If you want to speak on national tv, do some real work, check your facts and put some honest values ahead of your paycheck. Maybe you don’t remember the Rashard Casey incident or how Coach handled Tom Bill–Do your homework. Joe Paterno had more moral fiber than any of us and we should aspire to let our “reach exceed our grasp.”


Brian Murphy on 1/23/2012 @ 8:41pm EDT Said:

Joe was a great man who helped his players on and off the field. He also was a dedicated husband father and grandfather. He will definitely be missed. I wish I had the chance to meet him. My thoughts go out to his wife Sue and the rest of his family. Rest in peace Joe.

SaraLynn Michael on 1/24/2012 @ 1:50am EDT Said:

Sending my love to the Paterno’s on the loss of their loved one. He was an amazing and strong man. He didn’t deserve to get what happened to him at the end of his life but he handled it with the same grace and style that he coached his boys with. R.I.P. Joe, the world was better for having you in it!

Sherri on 1/24/2012 @ 8:46pm EDT Said:

I am heartbroken for the Paterno family. I can only hope Joe’s last hours were peaceful. May his family find comfort in the memories they hold in their hearts. They were lucky to have had a man like him in their lives. He was a man of integrity who gave his whole life to Penn State and his family. He touched more lives than he could ever possibly know. RIP JoePa. We love you. His name should be returned to the Big Ten trophy. He earned it and nothing can take that away. Penn State’s board of trustees should be ashamed of how they handled the whole situation. They used Joe as a scapegoat with no consideration to hearsay laws. I can only hope they do something to rectify the harm they caused to a man who gave everything to their school. Not that it would ever be enough.

Dawn on 1/24/2012 @ 10:35pm EDT Said:

Rest in Peace Joe! I met him several times as a child when my brother played for him. Our family loved him. He was a kind and giving man. RIP Joe!!!

Maria on 1/25/2012 @ 1:33am EDT Said:

I was fortunate to be attending PSU from winter 1981 (most of you do not remember terms instead of semesters) until 1986. PSU was about football then but I was about going to a school with academic excellence that my parents could afford. I had siblings who attended but JoePa did not really mean a name to me until I was there (or really after) and to be honest I did not appreciate him nor was he the reason for my attendance. I was not there for football. I have since seen his accomplishments off the field. I am an avid fan and go to all bowl games to support PSU but I feel the need after all the pubilcity to say I went to PSU for a great education, not football, and I got it. I think Joe had a lot to do with that and I am very thankful. He was a little younger, not much, than my dad and I really cannot imagine explaining to my dad what McQueary told him that day. I am certainly biased but in remembering my dad, I believe Joe was out of his depth and without hearing more I cannot condemn his actions. I think you need to have a parent of that age (my dad was a little older) to see that you cannot explain what McQueary told him. Not giving excuses but I can see the difficulty. My mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimers since 2008 and she cannot understand it as long and Iast as much as I try to explain. She wants everyone to give Joe a break (not knowing him really at all), saying at your death you should have some peace and not be condemned for actions or lack there of. I agree, this is not the time. It was a different culture for that age and I do not think we can cross that barrier. My dad died at 89 in 2008 and I can tell you that he could not comprehend the “new world” as I explained it to him. Really not an excuse but more of an explanation for those of you dealing with my circumstance. Until you are there you can’t really get it. No excuses but you need to look at the time these folks lived in. I have trouble myself but I use a lot of websites to understand my culture as it related to my parents who are so much older than I. I will be the first to tell you, I do not appreciate or understand the depression era my parents lived and raised a family through but I know they shared the same belief as Joe that you make the best of who you are. None of us are perfect and I think we need to put it in perspective. Joe was honest and said he could have done more. How many of us in a lesser circumstances wish we acted differently. As they say hindsight is the best knowledge but too little too late. We need to look at ourselves. I think we all can do more in our everyday life and I hope this is a life lesson for all of us. Urban Meyer and Bobby Bowden’s interviews are really inspirational. They see the realities of being human. Let us all take a lesson and hope we do better.

Cindy Raybuck Wesso on 1/25/2012 @ 3:12pm EDT Said:

You need only look at the class shown by his children and grandchildren to appreciate the legacy we as the Penn State Community have so graciously been given. JoePa and the Paterno Family, we are greatful for the impact you have had on our university and community. Joe, may you rest in peace! We are PENN STATE!(1976)

Ellen Nelson on 1/25/2012 @ 4:02pm EDT Said:

Several years ago my cousin died of cancer. Just prior to his death, he received a phone call from Joe Paterno. He did not know Joe. He knew someone who knew someone, etc. Joe spoke to him for almost an hour. They spoke of football, life and even discussed
end of life. It was HUGE for my cousin. I am grateful for those acts of kindness that few knew of, but they were appreciated. Thanks, Joe!

No one of importance on 1/25/2012 @ 4:05pm EDT Said:

Just one of the many who has seen and heard the warmth and gentle kindness of Mr. Paterno thathe gave to his family, his players, the university and the community. Venture to say that Our Lord extended his hand and welcome him home as ne of His apostle’s for all his good deeds did while on earth. May Our Lord find him a house within His kingdom so Mr. Paterno can continue to watch over his cares. Thank you for those wonderful, tender and caring moments of your life.

No one of importance on 1/25/2012 @ 4:07pm EDT Said:

Just one of the many who has seen and heard the warmth and gentle kindness of Mr. Paterno thathe gave to his family, his players, the university and the community.

Venture to say that Our Lord extended His hand and welcome him home as one of His apostle’s for all his good deeds he did while on earth. May Our Lord find him a house within His kingdom so Mr. Paterno can continue to watch over his cares. Thank you for those wonderful, tender and caring moments of your life.

So sad on 1/25/2012 @ 5:29pm EDT Said:

I will miss JoePa and want his family to know my thoughts and prayers are with them. His legacy will live on in our hearts forever. God bless.

Amy Langham on 1/26/2012 @ 12:04pm EDT Said:

Our hearts are broken, our eyes are clean, but “knowing” you has made so many of us better people. Your impact on the world is immeasurable. It’s hard not to be bitter to all of those who wronged us (I say “us” because Penn State and Joe are our family), but we must take your lead once again and not be bitter.

You will be surely missed as a person and now viewed as an icon, idol and legend. We truly love you and what you have built; first a family, second a school and finally a football team.


Ellen Buckley on 1/27/2012 @ 2:57pm EDT Said:

Joe you were one classy guy. All three of my children attended Penn State & they were blessed to have you in their lives. There will never be anyone else like you. Sadly it is the end of an era. Your legacy however will go on forever.

Joey DiPaola on 6/23/2012 @ 6:24pm EDT Said:

I think Joe should be stripped of his titles and they should be given to the Great Bobby Bowden. Why has this not be discussed by the Media. He harbored a rapist. He knew, Penn State knew and know we all know. Bobby would have went to the police. Bobby has too much moral fiber that he has enough class not to bring it up. If Joe and his staff were stripped of those seasons, Bowden would have been ranked as the “Win Coach in College Football”! Penn State and Joe covered this up and those boys are scared for life! Shame on you Joe and Penn State!

John Davis on 7/26/2012 @ 3:33pm EDT Said:

Joe Paterno’s legacy is tarnished for all eternity. He will forever be known as a cover-up artist who cared more about publicity than the welfare of children. I hope the fans of Penn State will wake up and smell the coffee regarding who Paterno really was.