Penn State Scandal

Football coach Joe Paterno accused of failing to address alleged sexual abuse.
5:24 | 11/08/11

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Transcript for Penn State Scandal
They say it's not the crime that creates trouble it's the cover up but sometimes it's both as with -- had a -- epidemic in the Catholic church and attempt to hide it. And now a narrower but deeply troubling scandal -- a distinguished American University. What kind of person -- was about the abuse of children. And does not do everything to stop it well tonight fingers are pointing at a man millions long considered a symbol of decency. Here's ABC's Dan Harris. Tonight an extraordinary show of support for Joseph Paterno the embattled Penn State led to his house and mobbed by hundreds of students. Linking arms chanting and singing. -- -- Okay where Penn State an entirely new. I'm proud of well yeah. And that Joseph Paterno he's fighting for his job tonight is an epic reversal of fortune for a man who built Penn State. Into a national brand. Charging to victory under the -- of success would honor a man now possibly about to be cast decide. By the very institution he transformed. All for what he did or did not do when alerted to child sex abuse in a case that has parents all over America asking. Could my child be abused without anybody ever telling me. This out that started with this man Jerry's and -- -- return -- top defensive coach considered a possible heir apparent. A community -- who founded a charity to work with at risk kids a position prosecutors now say -- -- -- used as a hunting ground. For vulnerable victims -- young boy's -- Tell -- people. Trying. Motivate them -- According to prosecutors Penn State appears to have had multiple opportunities. To stop San dusty. Like when two boys came forward in 1998 to -- -- ask you had fondled them in the team showers. Campus police even eavesdropped on a conversation between San -- And one boy's mother a -- that mother recently described it to a local newspaper reporter Sarah -- He admitted taking a shower he admitted to some extent something -- happens I'm. He asked her for forgiveness. That I know I probably won't get it from you anything that I -- -- -- But send -- he was never charged and then in 2002 a junior staffer on the team this man Michael Cleary. Said he saw -- and -- sexually assaulting a ten year old boy. In the team showers -- took it to Joseph Paterno and Paterno took it to a pair of college administrators. However those administrators never told police. And neither did Paterno. Meanwhile Jerry send -- allegedly went on abusing. In less people are directly confronted. With something many times they won't report it because they want to protect their world. San -- was only brought down when a fifteen year old boy spoke out. It's remarkable you took a very brave person like them on spitzer's very Travers time because he would stand up to this giant this football guide well. Two college administrators who failed to notify police have now been arrested and charged prosecutors say Paterno is in the clear. But even though he may not be hauled in front of a court of law this is a man who for -- -- famously stressed ethics. Building Penn State's small football program. Into a colossus without one -- -- How living legend to whom they -- erected a monument here. But many people now say Paterno failed to live up to his own standards. In this case. Today just minutes before Paterno his first news conference since the scandal -- about to start it was suddenly canceled at today's press conference cannot be held. And will not be rescheduled. Doesn't have any responsibility. About them. But then we learned that Paterno actually wanted to speak and that he was furious in fact that it was canceled. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- How will try to do some solution can't kids can look. His son denying reports in the New York Times that his father is about to be fired -- there's been no contact about anything to do it anybody stepping down. That's -- -- -- early this thought you meanwhile a former Paterno player Matt Millen broke down on ESPN. I get mad. And it's. If we can't protect our kids. We as a society are pathetic. Tonight it -- at Penn State students for -- rallying in front of Joseph Paterno -- home. They've moved on to -- They definitely don't code of ethics. It could come back then maybe -- did something wrong -- and that's something we're -- have to accept or had to live with. It as they -- members of the Penn state board of press. -- were meeting to discuss the fate of Joseph Paterno. ABC news has learned a decision about whether Paterno will get to keep his job could be made in the next 24 to 48 hour. And Nightline this is Dan Harris in state college Pennsylvania.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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