Statement from Paterno family about NCAA sanctions

Joe Paterno’s family released a statement in response to the sanctions announced by the NCAA against Penn State on Monday. Read the whole statement in this post.

[ Penn State football family reacts on Twitter]

[VIDEO: Watch all of’s Penn State video segments]

Here’s the entire Paterno family statement:

“Sexual abuse is reprehensible, especially when it involves children, and no one starting with Joe Paterno condones or minimizes it. The horrific acts committed by Jerry Sandusky shock the conscience of every decent human being. How Sandusky was able to get away with his crimes for so long has yet to be fully understood, despite the claims and assertions of the Freeh report.

The release of the Freeh report has triggered an avalanche of vitriol, condemnation and posthumous punishment on Joe Paterno. The NCAA has now become the latest party to accept the report as the final word on the Sandusky scandal. The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator without any input from our family or those who knew him best.

That the President, the Athletic Director and the Board of Trustees accepted this unprecedented action by the NCAA without requiring a full due process hearing before the Committee on Infractions is an abdication of their responsibilities and a breach of their fiduciary duties to the University and the 500,000 alumni. Punishing past, present and future students of the University because of Sandusky’s crimes does not serve justice. This is not a fair or thoughtful action; it is a panicked response to the public’s understandable revulsion at what Sandusky did.

The point of due process is to protect against this sort of reflexive action. Joe Paterno was never interviewed by the University or the Freeh Group. His counsel has not been able to interview key witnesses as they are represented by counsel related to ongoing litigation. We have had no access to the records reviewed by the Freeh group. The NCAA never contacted our family or our legal counsel. And the fact that several parties have pending trials that could produce evidence and testimony relevant to this matter has been totally discounted.

Unfortunately all of these facts have been ignored by the NCAA, the Freeh Group and the University.”


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (12 Comments)
R~ on 7/23/2012 @ 2:42pm EDT Said:

Oh Please take your medicine like a man!

R~ on 7/23/2012 @ 2:43pm EDT Said:

Paterno is guilty of turning his back and movingon, know fully that the cimres were still going on!

Scott Koops on 7/23/2012 @ 2:48pm EDT Said:

They do not get it. The family speaks of ‘Joe’ as if he is alive. Well, he isn’t and the Paterno family is not going to be able to bully people like Joe was able to do in ‘Happy Valley’.

Ginny Meyer on 7/23/2012 @ 2:57pm EDT Said:

I feel sorry for Joe Paterno and his family but the fact remains that this abuse went on for far too long for noone to have known something and the only conclusion is that it was a cover up to protect the school and faculty. There is no excuse that could possibly be accepted.

J on 7/23/2012 @ 6:38pm EDT Said:

He protected his buddy and it seems hard for the family to realize or accept it.

Diane satalia on 7/23/2012 @ 9:09pm EDT Said:

Interesting what people believe. I have had the unpleasant task in my past to provide news releases and they have never been capable to report the facts in and accuarate and meaningful way. The Freeh report is about at the same level. Based on inaccuracies and rumors. It’s ashame that so many people are affected by hearsay information and how the fact that our country prides itself on due process and none of that is happening here. If the report is true, why haven’t numerous others been charged? No evidence, it can’t be proved. It’s pretty easy to blame a dead person who can’t defend himself. Obviously there was abuse and those involved have been or are being dealt with according to the law. My heart goes out to the victims.

T on 7/23/2012 @ 11:01pm EDT Said:

Are we now a society that no longer waits until DUE PROCESS is completed before moving forward with decisions and actions? As a society shall it be that sentences are handed out before knowing the full extent of a happening, crime, etc? As a recovering victim of sexual abuse, I am saddened that Due Process did not occur before rendering decisions that will affect thousands.

Big Ten fan on 7/24/2012 @ 1:30am EDT Said:

Due Process ? Look at the facts established during Sandusky’s trial. Penn State commissioned the Freeh Report and accepted it if the meetings or emails referred to are inaccurate wouldn’t someone be speaking out to save their name or rear end ? if the leaders of Penn state today didn’t believe the findings were true would they have accepted the sanctions ? If the accused ( Penn State) agree with the facts that is due process

JDB on 7/24/2012 @ 2:06pm EDT Said:

Responding to “Big Ten fan 7/24/2012 @1:30 am:
You do not understand that the Freeh report, although detailed, was not a legal document but a private investigation that boils down to an opinion. It was not fully encompassing, meaning that there were people involved that were never interviewed including the most important person who was not responsible for the decisions of the Administration and that was Paterno. This would mean although there was some evidence he was aware, it is still hearsay. We do not exactly know everything he said or what he was told. Paterno did not witness nor commit any crimes. He still is the only one to stand up and say “In hindsight, I should have done more”. Also, The President acted alone in excepting those terms of the sanctions without the input of the Trustees which does not mean it was an exception of guilty as charged from everyone at the University. This is not a legal case. Please do not assume or speak for people who cannot speak for themselves. I also agree that to be fair, due process and a large scale investigation is still necessary. Once again, too many victims in this and we need to stop creating more victims and allow the students and players get on with their lives without a guilty conscience because they did nothing wrong.

JDB on 7/24/2012 @ 2:59pm EDT Said:

The individuals who commented negatively on the Paterno statement need to re-evaluate their sense of justice, fairness and look at themselves in a mirror for their own motives. Coach Paterno never had his chance to give his side of the story. From many decades the players spoke for Coach Paterno’s character. You can’t fake that. Granted he was not a perfect man just like you and I. But In he was able to help those individuals and student athletes become successful and that comes from the heart. You need to remember, Paterno was never charged with these crimes, never saw these crimes and if you want to hold everyone to the highest possible moral standard. Why are you not asking questions to the eyewitnesses to these crimes on why they didn’t do more? No execuses. To my knowledge Paterno was still the only one to publicly admit “In hindsight I should have done more”. Everyone else involved ran away. Joe at least tried to provide his side but was not allowed by the University. Now we know why. A more in-depth investigation and due process is still warranted. I am withholding my judgement.

rpt on 7/26/2012 @ 4:37pm EDT Said:

Assignation by association! The NCAA now has become know as a truly arrogant organization of tugs who have no respect even for the do process outlined in their own bylaws. What ever the contract that exists between PennState or the Bigten conference and the NCAA ,that details the Mutually exclusive roles, responsibilities, authority and code of conduct for membership. My guess is they breached the contract and by so doing have voided the consent decree! You cannot enter into consent decree that violates contract law or the civil rights of others. The president nor the NCAA can enter into any side agreements that violates the membership agree ment or the NCAA articles of incorporation and by laws. I could not imagine any university entering into a membership of any association that allows an open ended clause that allows such an act contrary to all reasonable sense of do process.

They have violated intrastate commerce,voided or violated contracts implied or expressed with the athletes , the school and theBig Ten conference. And may have ventured into Rico law violations.

This is about as un-American as it gets! The state senators should be petitioned to hold hearings on Capitol Hill. Let’s get it all out on the table . maybe time for the FBI!

    a big ten fan on 7/26/2012 @ 9:39pm EDT Said:

    Time for the FBI and a more in-depth investigation ? NCAA and Big Ten are voluntary drop out or fight them and get a 4 year death penalty The culture at Penn State was out of control…worshipping a false god, use all the legal mumble jumble you want but 1 fact does not change The people in charge of Penn State Univ and the Penn state football program enabled and covered up a child molester, allowed him to use university facilities to further his sick desires . this was against moral laws and criminal laws to say in hinsdsight “i should of done more” does not erase the damage done to who knows how many victims…for what , a legacy ? ac ollege football program? it is this culture that the NCAA and Big Ten is sanctioning and the many comments i’ve read from Penn State people they still don’t get it – so hide behind legal tactics and bury your heads in the sand just like the Penn State Administration and heads of the football program did when allowing sandusky free reign over their facilities knowing what he was doing