Joe Paterno's Son: My Dad Has Cancer

Jay Paterno speaks in his first interview since the Penn State scandal broke.
3:00 | 11/18/11

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Transcript for Joe Paterno's Son: My Dad Has Cancer
Tonight the Paterno family speaks out about the child abuse scandal that has ended this storied career. Of Penn State football coach Joseph Paterno and given rise to harsh new national scrutiny of college sports altogether. Paterno son Jay in his first sit down television interview since the scandal broke spoke just tonight with our sister network ESPN answering questions. About how he is 84 year old father's handling this crisis. And a new diagnosis. That he has cancer. It. In just two tumultuous. Tragic week Joseph Paterno -- had to fall from grace that is hard to believe. At 84 years old revered by sports fans across the nation. After coaching Penn State's football team for 46 years. In winning more games than any other major college coach he was fired last week. Joseph Paterno is no longer the head football coach. The effective immediately. Disgraced were allegedly not doing enough to stop what he was allegedly told was this sexual abuse of children. By Jerry sandusky one of his longtime assistants and now. Joseph Paterno is battling lung cancer when again compete it's him. Paterno son Jay who coaches with his father spoke to ESPN's Tom and all the tonight after the family released a statement saying that doctors believe Joseph Paterno lung cancer. Is treatable. And for the first time tonight Jay answered questions about scandals swirling around his father. Talk about what this tremendous fall from grace has felt like inside the Paterno fans -- the last two weeks been like for -- Critics are real and -- it's almost like the book Joseph I mean it's not I'm not a -- August has imagination. But Joseph went from having ever having nothing and it's not quite like that -- but I think to keep things in perspective wanted to do was send -- throughout all of us as we got a picture we keep focus on them. To victims of of of this whole tragedy. But he says his father. He's a father. He's -- grandfather and they have done so much. Effort for children and for young people my mom and dad both. Joseph Paterno stands accused not of a crime but of a different kind of moral failure he did not do enough to protect children. Allegedly being victimized by -- And there may be so many victims it seems. Jerry sandusky -- Penn State for decades under Paterno and in 1977 founded a charity for underprivileged kids called the second mile. Many of the reported victims were second mile children. It was an -- from the beginning. Deborah long's son Matt was placed in Foster care with sandusky. -- got in trouble. He says he was never molested but his mother believes otherwise. So it's a nightmare I mean. Nobody even wants to think it's -- and reduced it to -- you have to think about. Kids that are going to bed at night. You know with really fighting demons and certain innocence lost. And at its heart in its heart wrenching Jay Paterno spoke about the victims tonight but also staunchly defended his father. He argued that when assistant coach Mike -- query came to Joseph Paterno in 2002. And told the -- scenes and -- sexually assaulting a boy in the showers sandusky it already retired. He'd been gone for a couple years human retired so. He really wasn't part of that -- staffing. Penn State football brings in seventy million dollars a year at the university under Paterno all that money from the program has transformed. The school. And turned him into a living legend actually cast in bronze in front of the stadium. Tonight when asked how he feels about his father's name being removed from the Big Ten championship trophy. It was clear that Jay Paterno even in the midst of scandal is still focused on that game let's get -- when it put back on. And joining us now -- reporter who conducted that interview with Jay Paterno timer and all the from our sister network ESPN -- great work on this story throughout and tonight I want to ask you specifically after talking with Jay Paterno. Do you think he gets it you think that they're aware that Joseph Paterno his reputation. His legacy has been tarnished. I think that Jay and probably a lot of the paternal family feels as though. The way things look right now might change over time I think they understand certainly what this is done. To Joseph Paterno and how he's perceived right now and what it's done to Penn state university and its football program. But there is a persistent belief certainly among the paternal family that is more facts come to light. Things may not appear exactly as they do right now and perhaps may look more favorably. Upon Joseph Paterno. And that's a great point to facts had. Yet to emerge fully what's next for the paternal -- Joseph Paterno really needs to concentrate right now on his health and in talking to Jay in -- Others close with the family they say that the plan will be for Joseph to Begin radiation. This week most likely absolutely Tom -- all the in Columbus for the Penn State Ohio State game tomorrow. Thanks very much for joining.

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

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