Interviews: 'Remembering Joe Paterno'

In the wake of Joe Paterno’s death, BTN aired a special presentation Sunday night: “Remembering Joe Paterno.” The hour-long show featured our crew discussing Paterno’s life and legacy and included interviews with some of the people in the college football community who knew the all-time winningest coach best. Watch Dave Revsine’s interview with legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson now and see several other interviews, including ones with Bobby Bowden, Urban Meyer and many others, in this post.

Read all of our Paterno coverage, including senior writer Tom Dienhart’s column. Also, leave your comments on our Facebook page or on this special condolences post, check out a photo gallery of memorials for Paterno and watch a rich collection of BTN video coverage of Paterno from his coaching days.

Former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden:

Former Penn State player D.J. Dozier:

Former Penn State player Kyle Brady:

Former Penn State player Kenny Jackson:

Voice of Penn State athletics Steve Jones:

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer:

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald:

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema:

And here is some great BTN Paterno video from his coaching days.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (36 Comments)
stefanie on 1/22/2012 @ 8:34pm EDT Said:

Love you Jo Pa keep an eye on everything up there!!! we Love you in NJ!!

Mark on 1/22/2012 @ 8:39pm EDT Said:

Your “special” on Joe Paterno is saddening. You are devoting far too much talking about “the scandal”. First, someone show your commentators what Joe said, not “I should have done more” as they continue to report, but “with hindsight, I wish I had done more”. It is terrible they can not report that correctly and use the incorrect quote to further the problem. Next, would anyone in that same crowd have the courage to answer what more Joe could have done – since they can not get a quote correct, it is obvious that they do not know that Joe reported things to the head of police on campus – a real police force. In that same vein – the chain of command Joe followed is the same as at most if not all educational institutions. It is there to protect the 99% of people that are wrongly accused of this terrible crime. As can be seen with the zeal you and the rest of the media continue to attack Joe Paterno there is a reason you need trained investigators to both catch the 1% and also to spare the 99%.

Stephen Spearing on 1/22/2012 @ 8:47pm EDT Said:

I don’t appreciate the tone of voice and choice of words of the announcer on tonights tribute to Joe Paterno. I don’t like how he keeps trying to incite discussion of the scandal … another injustice similar to the Boards “rush to judgement” created by the media craze. The BTN would be better without this gentleman. He and the other two horrible gentlemen (Jerry & Howard) need to go away just like the 32 members of the Penn State Board. JoPa did what he was to do – he told his supervisors and they did NOT handle it correctly. Joe did nothing wrong. The perpetrator whom I will NOT even state his horrible name was NOT part of Penn State at the time and was with The Second Mile. THEREFORE, as in any business the administrators and the business board and lawyers need to handle things of this nature. That is where the problem lies. The media needs to wake up to how business runs and NOT sensationalize and downgrade this GREAT person.

ESPN did a good job of attempting to right their wrong today. They realized the injustice that they were a part of and acted.The BTN could have taken a key from them.

This was to be a tribute JoPa NOT discussion of the scandal. The BTN once again messed.

Sorry that I turned this nasty program on.
GOD BLESS JoPa!!!!!!

Steve Spearing

Barb on 1/22/2012 @ 8:53pm EDT Said:

I was very disappointed at the BTN coverage. For a man to have the success, the love for his family and players and to give so much back to the university to not have the program focus on all he did do for millions of players/students and family of Penn state was sad. He did not do any wrong acts according to what we hear. He was accussed of not telling more people in authority. Let us keep in mind his age and the fact that that generation was raised with the tell your boss and follow the chain of command. Joe did that.
How sad that this plaqued him the last couple months of his life, sadder still that the commentators of a show on Papa Joe spent more time talking about the last 2 months instead of the last 50 years. How much of your salary do you give back gentlemen? How much volunteer time do you give to students and alumni?

Alex on 1/22/2012 @ 9:25pm EDT Said:

Your tribute to a great legend was utterly horrendous. 90% on the scandal. Are you kidding me?? What an shameful embarrassment. Can’t say anything nice….even on the day the man dies. Disgusting.

Brian Brown on 1/22/2012 @ 9:35pm EDT Said:

You confused “tribute” with “character assassination” by your roundtable hosts. You all should be ashamed.
I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to look worse than ESPN Congrats. You must be so proud.

Mark G on 1/22/2012 @ 9:40pm EDT Said:

Shameful if you consider this a “Remembrance”. You should have named it Paterno hero or villain?

Jeff Cox on 1/22/2012 @ 10:26pm EDT Said:

The Big Ten Network has been shameful in its coverage of Penn State since November and in a time where you had an opportunity to show class and memorialize one of the most influential men of our time, you failed miserably yet again. Gerry Dinardo should not be allowed to say the name Paterno again and should not ever step foot onto Penn State soil.

Joe Kuhn on 1/22/2012 @ 11:35pm EDT Said:

Well guys you did and AWFUL job I find it hard to believe our own network did a worse job on a JoePa tribute then the hatchet team from ESPN

Thanks for nothing BTN and please leave Dinardo go

ken on 1/23/2012 @ 1:06am EDT Said:

nice tribute denardo thank god you dont coach any more

Greg on 1/23/2012 @ 7:44am EDT Said:

The hour long “special” Remembering Joe Paterno” should be avoided. It would be better named “Lets talk about the scandal again.” The 15 minutes they didn’t obsess about the scandal was decent.

penn state alumnus on 1/23/2012 @ 8:26am EDT Said:

The show was nothing but a hateful diatribe by your commentators who showed no respect for a humanitarium.

Bill on 1/23/2012 @ 8:45am EDT Said:

That was NOT a tribute to Joe Paterno you did last night, it was a public trial!

    Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer on 1/23/2012 @ 5:07pm EDT Said:

    Why not analyze Paterno’s part in how his legacy has been tarnished? Had he done more back 2002, his legacy wuold have grown even bigger! It seems to me the image of the man so many of you remember Paterno as WOULD have done more! A great man of his moral character and values would NOT stand by and let child abuse take place. Am I missing something?

pete pentz on 1/23/2012 @ 11:39am EDT Said:

BTN and Gary DiNardo should be embarassed by GD’s comments about Coach Paterno. How can GD live with himself after trying to make the Sandusky’s alleged actions the focus of the “tribute?” GD has no guts or heart.

    Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer on 1/23/2012 @ 5:02pm EDT Said:

    No guts? No heart? I don’t think so. Just because a guy wins a bunch of football games, he gets a free pass when it comes to NOT DOING THE RIGHT THING when it comes to protecting innocent CHILDREN?????? Please, weep for the victims and their families. Paterno had a great life.

Christina on 1/23/2012 @ 12:54pm EDT Said:

I too was terribly disappointed by your so-called “tribute” to Joe Paterno last night. The definition of tribute, when used in this context, is as follows: “a gift, testimonial, compliment, or the like, given as due or in acknowledgment of gratitude or esteem. ”
If your commentators are not capable or qualified to give tribute, then perhaps they should have been doing something else last night. Everyone is conflicted about the Sandusky scandal; however, an undeniably good man died yesterday, and yesterday was not the time to endlessly rehash details or go on about your personal conflict. Mr. Denardo, this is not about you. JoePa was a good man, albeit perhaps not a perfect one. Who is perfect? The day that someone passes, should be a time to remember the good in a person. And being how much good was in JoePa, your so-called Testimonial should have been longer than an hour and should have been less about your analyst’s “conflicted feelings” and more about remembering someone who was probably a much better person than most of us.

    Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer on 1/23/2012 @ 4:55pm EDT Said:

    I think much time was spent hailing Paterno’s accomplishments. Yes, no one is perfect. But Paterno was involved in what probably is the biggest scandal ever to rock a college. We are talking about the alleged abuse of young people that Paterno had a chance to help put a stop to. Yes, he followed university protocal by telling his superiors, but even he admitted in hindsight that he could have done more. Instead, young people were continued to be abused. I have to think if Paterno was told one of the victims was related to him, he would have done a LOT more than just tell the A.D. and sit back and wait.

Matt McCahan on 1/23/2012 @ 1:19pm EDT Said:

What a shameful “so-called” tribute to Paterno last night. I can only echo the others on here – would you (someone) please get the “now infamous” quote correct. Joe heard about the allegations the same time as the rest of us and I’m sure was appalled – like the rest of us! In his Washington Post article, Paterno made it clear that he didn’t feel qualified to handle that type of situation, reported it to who he should have and then stayed out of it as he should have. Unfortunately, it seems that “allegedly” his superiors let him down. It would be nice for someone to accurately report that the “SANDUSKY” scandal has nothing to do with Joe Paterno or Penn State Football. If you want to tear down the Administration for not following through – then have at it! But, for God’s Sake, just get it right!! Anyway, the “tribute” was shameful. I honestly didn’t think a network could do worse reporting on this issue than ESPN – but yesterday, BTN “cleaned their clock”!!

Bob Cornell on 1/23/2012 @ 3:03pm EDT Said:

I agree with everybody else, I as very disappointed with the Big Ten Tribute “Remembering Joe Paterno”. The show was to preoccupied with the scandal than the great contributions that this extraordinary person [JoePa] blessed us with here on earth. Joe even thanked the Big Ten network for their contributions to promoting the Big Ten conference in a positive manner. I watched all of the ESPN coverage of reporting of Joe’s passing and even a network that has not been so kind to Joe Paterno [ESPN], was much more respectful of Joe’s passing by focusing more on his good contributions to college football and society as a whole by speaking with people who knew JoePA best like many of his former players (like Adam Taliaferro, Todd Blackledge, & Matt Millen) and analyst that have high respect and admiration for Joe Paterno (like Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit). Gary DiNardo is not someone who knew Joe Paterno best. All these interviews were positive and expressed how unfortunate and unfair with how Joe was treated that he died of a broken heart. Joe lived for college football, college football was his life, so when football was taken away from him, life was taken away from him. There was nothing that Joe did or didn’t do that warranted [in essence] a death sentence [taking football away from JoePa took his live away from him].

Lauren A on 1/23/2012 @ 3:20pm EDT Said:

This so called “tribute” was absolutely horrendous! You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Once again, another “classless” act by the BTN/media!

    Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer on 1/23/2012 @ 4:48pm EDT Said:

    Any coverage of Paterno’s passing had to discuss and deal with the ending. No doubt, Paterno is an American icon who did many great things. And those great things were disucssed in BTN’s coverage. But to ignore the horriffic end would have been to paint an imbalanced picture.

      Mark on 1/23/2012 @ 5:00pm EDT Said:

      Mr. Dienhart and the rest of BTN,

      What I think you fail to understand is that there are 2 themes to these comments: the inordinate portion devoted to the end of Joe’s career. Joe was 85 and this took up 3-4 months at the end. It should have been a footnote to a tribute. Secondly, do not call your program a tribute, when it is a further character assassination and discussion of the “scandal”. You fooled me into watching with the title, as you obviously did many other Penn Staters. Finally, I personally found even the way you addressed the scandal maddening – announcers are not able to even get quotes from Paterno correct (“in hindsight, I wish I had done more) in their discussion of the events, thus making them sound foolish and unprepared to go on air. I had thought ESPN to be the lowest of the low, but fooling people into thinking you were above them is in poor taste.

Coach on 1/23/2012 @ 3:26pm EDT Said:

What about the victims after 2002 that Joe turned his back on?

Jean Fleckenstein on 1/23/2012 @ 5:21pm EDT Said:

Howard, you can’t even quote Joe correctly. He NEVER said He “should” have done more. He said “I wish I had done more.” Big difference! If you’re going to quote the man, get it right! And what exactly was the “More” all of you sanctimonious media hacks keep saying he should have done? Since all of you seem to know, why don’t you enlighten the rest of us.

Dee on 1/23/2012 @ 5:45pm EDT Said:

BTN should be ashamed. Somehow this doesn’t surprise me though, since they can’t even get their facts and quotes correct. In hindsight, I wish that I had never turned on the BTN. Joe Paterno was a good and ethical man who lived his life as he asked others to live theirs. The fact that these so called journalists consider to malign him will using incorrect information is atrocious. Joe Paterno learned secondhand about an elleged atrocity and took it to his boss and the head of the police organization with jurisdiction. Yes, after reading the Grand Jury presentment, he wished he had done more. But, he was working in real time, not as a Monday morning quarterback. Then we have this very defensive Tom Dienhart guy who finds the need to keep telling us about the monster that was Joe Paterno. Jerrry Sandusky retireed in 1999, taking a retirement package offered to PA state employees after learning that the head coach was not leaving anytime soon (thereby opening up the positon). Blame the BOT for giving him the retirement contact that provided Professor Emeritus status and kept Joe or anyone from keeping him off campus even if they wanted to. For some reason, people think that Joe was all powerful, but guess what, he had bosses who controlled everything but his football program. If you want to blame someone, blame Governor Corbett who took three years to investigate these alleged atrocities and could have stopped the alleged molestations in 2008.

David Mooney on 1/23/2012 @ 8:23pm EDT Said:

I am becoming tired of the commentary of Denardo and Revsine. They have repeatedly convicted the guy. When Joe says , in hindsight he wished he had done more.–these are the same words he said to Capelletti during his Heisman season. Joe always thought one could do or give more. At least one voice has been fair. Thank you Howard.

Linda on 1/23/2012 @ 9:28pm EDT Said:

Your program on Joe Paterno last night could not be called a “tribute” or “remembrance.” You played with people’s emotions at a time of grieving to promote your own agenda. Mr. Dienhart, you and your staff can try to rationalize this piece of cheap journalism all you want, but you have alienated viewers. We won’t be watching any longer.

Ed on 1/24/2012 @ 7:07am EDT Said:

Mr, Dienhart,
How can you call this report balanced? Since when did BTN become TMZ sports? Here was a chance to do some good work and promote good will to one of your largest fan bases. BTN consistently takes the time to show Penn State in a negative light. From Classic College Football that goes out of its way to show PSU losses to this incredibly biased “tribute”. Please, Mr Senior writer, look up the word tribute in the dictionary. It includes one’s entire life. If you were really balanced in this tribute, you sanctimonius egotistical blowhard, then in a 60 minute show you would have spent 5 minutes on the scandal, AND your shills, oops i mean announcers wouldnt have spewed such one sided opinions and just have done what they should. Report the event.

Carrie on 1/24/2012 @ 8:40am EDT Said:

Mr Dienhart & BTN, I think maybe you should look at the situation from people who grew up watching this great man. If this was your father or grandfather or even someone you idolized, who made this mistake, would you love them any less? Did he make a mistake? Yes, but can you honestly say that in your life you never looked back at a situation where you wish you had handled things differently? You are human, and as Bob Marley has been quoted saying “…before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean.” Should this tribute had touched on the ending, maybe, at the end for a very brief moment, but you should have focused on the 61 years of great things he did and I’m sure that would have taken up more than your hour you allowed for airtime to run this so called “special”. And as media, I thought you were suppose to be neutral? You should be ashamed of yourself. Yes, you can feel the way you do, and no one is saying your opinion is wrong, but on a site where you are suppose to be supporting and honoring a man who did so much for football and for the Big 10 in which you are employeed, keep those feelings to yourself!!!

Joe Cardamone on 1/24/2012 @ 9:31am EDT Said:

Tom Dienhart: “Any coverage of Paterno’s passing had to discuss and deal with the ending. No doubt, Paterno is an American icon who did many great things. And those great things were disucssed in BTN’s coverage. But to ignore the horriffic end would have been to paint an imbalanced picture.”

Sorry, Tom. Your network painted an imbalanced picture of the man, like it or not. I’m not saying the “horriffic end” should not have been discussed, but you devoted too much time to it. Don’t bother defending it. Simply apologize, do a proper tribute to a great man that just past away, and move on. There are too many good stories to count of the man and his family. If you actually took the time to put together the full story, you would realize how foolish your network looked.

Ed Pawlak on 1/24/2012 @ 9:35am EDT Said:

BTN & ESPN both convicted JoePa before any of the facts are known. We still don’t know what McQueary actually said . Joe said it wasn’t specific but something sexual in nature and he didn’t feel comfortable so he reported it up the chain. While he said he wished he did more wouldn’t anyone feel that way Even aA watchman on the Titanic named Hog or Hoog said he wished he’d have done more.
What about the other folks who knew – the victims mother , the HS coach and principal – none of them flagged it. Reports are that all previous investigattions by the AG lacked evidence to procedure so maybe just maybe 2002 was a similar accusation.
99% of his life was exemplary he made 1 mistake. If Sandusky or Curly & Schultz don’t get convicted will BTN have the integrity to admit your wrong.
Your fumbled the ball on this one.

Denise Green on 1/24/2012 @ 12:14pm EDT Said:

If you truly wanted to be balanced, only 15 seconds of a one hour program should have been devoted to the scandal.

JoAnn on 1/24/2012 @ 8:51pm EDT Said:

Wow–glad I missed it.
BTN, it is the media who has profited from this –from putting Joe PAterno’s face on it–wrongly.
Joe PAterno did what h thought he should do. Then, at the end, h told the truth about what happened.
If you want to indict someone, try the PSU Board of Trustees, or the now governor of the Commonwealth of PA who knew about this thre years ago and did NOTHING to stop the real perp-Jerry Sandusky.
RIP JOE-you were the best.

Mark on 1/26/2012 @ 9:49am EDT Said:

I watched much of the coverage about Joe’s passing on both networks ( BTN & ESPN ) and was like many others disappointed by the amount of coverage of the scandal and not on Joe’s life. He had a profound affect on thousands, if not millions, of people. His generosity and what he did for those around him is legendary.
Did he make a mistake? Sort of. He did what he was legally supposed to do; could he and should he have done more. Probably. But who among us can say that they should not have done something different in their lives. Not a one of us, and if you say something different, you are only kidding yourself. Life happens people. You do things and your life keeps on moving on whether you want it to or not. That is may have happened to Joe. He meant to follow up on the situtation, but life happened and he simply forgot about it. I know things like that happen to me and I am not in my mid 70’s as Joe was at the time.
The one who should have followed up was Mike McQueary. He is the person who supposedly witnessed the act. In a court of law, Joe could testify to NOTHING, everything that he could say is heresay, which as you should know is not admissable.
I think Joe was just the scapegoat for this whole ordeal and the media ( and the Board of Trustees ) should all be ashamed of themselves. They crucified a great man before all the facts are in, and yes I say are, because thing are still coming out on this whole “scandal”.
Remember this is the USA where you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Obviously, the media has forgotten this fact.
Rest in peace JoePa. You will be missed.
WE ARE……..PENN STATE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lonnie on 1/26/2012 @ 9:57pm EDT Said:


Joe did pretty much what you, me, or anyone else in this situation would do……followed protocol. It is an utter joke how you people keep going after this without knowing the facts. The sanctimonious lynch mob is already starting to back down in that polls indicate (people are actually doing polls on this stuff) that now we are at 42% versus 55% of people who think that Joe should even have been fired. Now what is it that would change people’s opinions on something like this? Short memory? No….facts are coming out along with people not listening to the lynch mob and realizing that Joe couldnt do diddly about Sandusky being on campus with professor emeritus status…only the president and the BOT can take that away. Have we heard that one from any of the major outlets?? No. Why? It would settle the story….cant get ratings that way. If you people actually researched this entire thing like Sally Jenkins of the Post…you might have a different opinion…Again, that doesnt get ratings. You guys all talk about the kids…..if they mattered to you, you would get to the real facts as to where the ball was dropped. But hey, you know as well as I do that the way to get ratings is to get the big name. Here….I will give you some hints and then maybe you will do your job…..Follow the money and look at the names other than Paterno. Do the kids a real service and get the story right. Oh, another clue…..if you really want to be a true and professional journalist and do that research you will also find that this had nothing to do with covering PSU football.