Tags: penn state | joe paterno | salute | outcry

Penn State's Joe Paterno Pregame Salute Stirs Outcry

Penn State's Joe Paterno Pregame Salute Stirs Outcry

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in 2007. (AP Photo/Pat Little)

By    |   Friday, 02 September 2016 10:36 AM

Penn State's Joe Paterno will be saluted prior to the kickoff of the Sept. 17 home football game and the planned gesture has stirred an outcry on social media because of his connection to the school's infamous child sexual abuse scandal.

An announcement of the salute was "nestled deep in a press release" about the football season's promotional calendar, said OnwardState.com. "The athletics department is officially calling it 'Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Coach Paterno's first game as Penn State head coach,' although it is not yet clear what all that will entail."

Paterno led Penn State's football program for 46 seasons, becoming the winningest Division I football coach in history, according to The New York Times. He was fired in November 2011 after his longtime defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested on child sexual abuses charges.

Sandusky was convicted in 2012 on 45 of 48 charges and is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence. Since then, news stories on the legal fallout from the case have mired Paterno more deeply in the scandal.

According to documents unsealed in May, one of Sandusky's victims said in 2012 that he confronted Paterno about Sandusky in 1976 – much earlier than other reports of Paterno's knowledge of the whole affair – but was swiftly turned away, said the Times.

Paterno died of lung cancer in January 2012. That same year, the NCAA hit Penn State with a $60 million sanction, a four-year football postseason ban and vacation of all wins dating to 1998 in connection with the Sandusky scandal, said ESPN.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook defended honoring Paterno, saying that while the coach had his flaws, he didn't believe Paterno knew about Sandusky beforehand and was "not a monster."

"Sorry, I don't believe it," Cook said about charges that Paterno turned a blind eye to Sandusky sexual assault allegations. "That isn't the Paterno I knew. That Paterno wasn't a monster. That Paterno was a good, decent man, although he certainly had flaws the way we all do."

Many on social media disagreed and the plan to honor Paterno was widely criticized.

 

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Penn State's Joe Paterno will be saluted prior to the kickoff of the Sept. 17 home football game and the planned gesture has stirred an outcry on social media because of his connection to the school's infamous child sexual abuse scandal.
penn state, joe paterno, salute, outcry
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2016-36-02
Friday, 02 September 2016 10:36 AM
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