Saturday, January 21, 2012

Joe Paterno Has Passed Away

UPDATE Sunday - 

Paterno passed away at 9:25 a.m. ET Sunday, and the official cause of death was metastic small cell carcinoma of the lung according to ProFootballTalk.

UPDATE 9:32pm from JoePa's other son on Twitter - 

MY INPUT: I feel bad for whoever at CBS Sports posted the story on their website. They were simply referencing what another outlet,, was reporting but because they are such a huge organization everyone trusted their word without knowing that it wasn't their reporters reporting the story if you get what I mean. 

I also can't put blame on, they checked their sources multiple times and got word from football players that JoePa had passed, but in journalism, it's always good to get the story first but it's even better to get the story right. 

I have a friend on Facebook who also got word from sources at Penn State who are neighbors of JoePa's that the story was true but I didn't want to report or post anything because they weren't my sources, you don't want to be wrong on a story as big as this. 

But because of my Facebook friend's earlier report, I felt's report, which broke 30 mins. after the FB report, was accurate. I apologize for any ill will caused by this. I'll keep you informed on all the latest details and we'll keep the Paterno family in our prayers. Everything happens in God's time not ours.

UPDATE 9:27pm from JoePa's son on Twitter - 

UPDATE 9:23pm from the HuffPo - 

spokesperson for the Paterno family has denied a report by CBS (and that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has died. CBS previously reported that the 85-year-old college-football legend had succumbed in his battle with lung cancer.

UPDATE 8:53pm - Here is the scene from Penn State courtesy of @KevinHornePSU, dozens have gone to pay tribute to him at his statue on campus according to are currently on winter break so there probably won't be many students. I had heard reports as early as 7:30 from some Facebook sources but I didn't want to report anything prematurely.

UPDATE 8:50pm - is reporting on their Twitter that JoePa has passed, R.I.P.

Here is the story from earlier:

I know that headline sounds terrible. But, it's what is reporting. Now, you may say I don't believe it until it's reported by the big dogs like ESPN or CNN, but at the same time small town newspapers have an upper hand on stories like this because unlike the big dogs, most of the journalists in small towns have close relationships and connections with people who are in the region that would know inside information because of the proximity everyone has to each other, so I do believe this story is true. Here's the latest:

Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is near death, a source close to the Paterno family told The Citizens' Voice. On Saturday afternoon, Paterno's wife, Sue, called close friends of the former coach to the State College hospital where Paterno has been undergoing treatment since Jan. 13 for complications from his fight against cancer. Paterno, 85, wanted to say a final goodbye, Sue said, according to the source.  
Those close friends included his longtime secretary. Members of Paterno's extended family were also summoned to the hospital. His son, former assistant coach Jay Paterno, cancelled an appearance in Reading, Pa., telling organizers 15 minutes before the scheduled start that he would not be able to make it because "his wife" was sick. One report said Paterno had been taken off a respirator Saturday morning. Another report said he had already received last rites. Thus far, neither report could be confirmed independently by the Voice

This may be the wrong time to bring up this topic but I still don't believe that he should have been fired. I understand he may have done wrong according to the law but I don't think anyone would know what to do in a situation like the one he was caught up in. He did what he thought was morally correct, not to protect Sandusky, but because he thought the best option was to alert the board of trustees and not the Police because his duty was to coach not to be involved in campus situations that go beyond football. Paterno probably didn't expect anything like that to happen to him during his coaching career so you can't blame him for not knowing the legal parameters on how to deal with this type of situation. If I was in the same position I would've probably done the same thing and let my boss know so that he could deal with the situation, and just as Paterno was, I would be willing to cooperate with the investigation.

And again, I feel so sorry for those kids that Sandusky abused and I hope Sandusky goes to jail for life but I just don't think Penn State handled JoePa's consequence fairly. Paterno and his wife helped refurbish the library at Penn State for all students, brought prestige to the university and became a symbol by putting education above athletics. After all those years of hard work and dedication, Penn State decided to fire him without giving him a chance to defend himself? And worse they did it through the phone, not face-to-face? That just doesn't sit right with me personally and I'm in utter disgust and sadness that his legacy, life and his coaching career had to end like this. Does Penn State and anyone else who blames him for what occurred really believe this man who had so much integrity and character decided to defend his "friend" over innocent kids based on his inability to contact the cops? I don't think so and I wish him and his family the best of luck.

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