Franco Harris Defends Joe Paterno in Child Sex Abuse Scandal

Nov 13, 2011 2:20pm
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pittsburgh Steeler great Franco Harris, who played college ball at Penn State, today defended his former coach, Joe Paterno, who lost his job over the child sex abuse case that has rocked the university.

Harris was one of a stream of supporters who visited Paterno at his home in State College, Pa., today.

When he came out of the Paterno house, Harris said he doesn’t understand why Paterno is being portrayed the way he is, that he did what he should have done in the case.

Paterno told investigators that when a graduate student told him in 2002 that he had seen former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in the gym showers with a young boy, he in turn informed university officials.

Investigators say those officials never passed on the report to police to investigate.

Since Sandusky was arrested on Nov. 5, charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period.

Two university officials have also been arrested on perjury charges, and University President Graham Spanier and Paterno both lost their jobs.

The children Sandusky allegedly abused were all connected to his Second Mile charity, which was supposed to give at-risk children a chance to improve their lives through sports.

Harris, along with Cal Ripken Jr., Arnold Palmer and Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid have all been listed as honorary directors of the charity.

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