Penn State Scandal Probe Continues as Team Plays Without Paterno

PHOTO: Penn States Shane McGregor takes a knee after his teams 17-14 loss to Nebraska in an NCAA college football game Nov. 12, 2011, in State College, Pa.
Share
Copy

As the investigation continues into the sex abuse scandal that rocked Penn State last week, the school's football team played its first game without legendary coach, Joe Paterno this weekend.

For the nearly 100,000 people who packed Beaver Stadium Saturday, it was the first football game in nearly half a century without Paterno.

It was about much more than football.

It was about healing after the arrest of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on child sex abuse charges, then the firing of Penn State President Graham Spanier and Paterno -- the winningest major college football coach in history.

After an emotional pre-game prayer involving all the players and coaches from both Penn State and visiting Big Ten rival Nebraska, the Nittany Lions fell behind 17-0 in the third quarter, and their comeback fell short, losing 17-14.

The moment of silence was held for the victims of alleged child sexual abuse.

At a news conference after the game, newly appointed Penn State President Rodney Erickson, who replaced Spanier, said he believed it was right to play and bring national attention to issue of sexual abuse.

He said the pre-game moment of silence "one of the most moving and genuine" shows of support he's seen.

Sandusky has been charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period. Two other university officials are facing perjury charges related to the case.

The mother of the first child to contact police alleges that her son was about 11, and enrolled in programs sponsored by Sandusky's Second Mile Foundation, when the molestation began.

Her son spent time alone with Sandusky, she said, and slept overnight in his basement.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said he believes there will be an investigation into the Sandusky charity, the Second Mile, and what exactly officials there knew.

Corbett was the attorney general who began investigating accused sexual predator Sandusky and sat down with "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour, who asked where the university goes from here.

"I think that you saw yesterday a very good outpouring of support for everyone. When those two teams came together and, really, that whole stadium came together with those two teams," he said.

When asked whether Paterno should have come out and actually talked to the students about what happened, Corbett said it wasn't for him to figure out what's going on in Paterno's mind.

"Certainly, he was under a great deal of pressure, a shock that he'd just been told that he was no longer the coach of Penn State," Corbett said. "And I think your question was one that you have to deliver to him."

Sandusky also faces possible charge in San Antonio, Texas, where he allegedly threatened to ship another of his alleged Pennsylvania victims back home after the boy rejected Sandusky's advances during 1999 Alamo Bowl.

While Paterno was not present at the game, his son Jay remained at his post as the quarterbacks coach.

"Once we got here and the juices started flowing I was focused and that is the way we have been trained," he said.

He delivered a letter with this message to before the game: "Dad, I wish you were here. We love you."

Penn State's Tumultuous Week

While riotous student protesters, angered by what they view as the scapegoating of Paterno, overturned one TV crew's vehicle this week and gathered in front of Paterno's home while other students have placed their focus elsewhere.

"The important thing is what happened to these kids... Some people are forgetting what this is really about," said Megan Lister, another student at Penn State, which attracted thousands to Friday night's candlelight vigil for the alleged victims. It replaced a planned pep rally.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...