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Joe Paterno Issues Statement On Jerry Sandusky Investigation

The ongoing investigation of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is a black mark for Penn State football. The program is in turmoil because of Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse charges and the perjury charges that Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President of business and finance Gary Schultz face for their parts in obstructing the original investigation.

PSU faithful have been waiting for Joe Paterno to speak about his program's current problems. Joe Pa released the following statement today to Penn Live:

"If true, the nature and amount of charges made are very shocking to me and all Penn Staters. While I did what I was supposed to with the one charge brought to my attention, like anyone else involved I can't help but be deeply saddened these matters are alleged to have occurred.

"Sue and I have devoted our lives to helping young people reach their potential. The fact that someone we thought we knew might have harmed young people to this extent is deeply troubling. If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers.

"As my grand jury testimony stated, I was informed in 2002 by an assistant coach that he had witnessed an incident in the shower of our locker room facility. It was obvious that the witness was distraught over what he saw, but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the Grand Jury report. Regardless, it was clear that the witness saw something inappropriate involving Mr. Sandusky. As Coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at that time, I referred the matter to university administrators.

"I understand that people are upset and angry, but let's be fair and let the legal process unfold. In the meantime I would ask all Penn Staters to continue to trust in what that name represents, continue to pursue their lives every day with high ideals and not let these events shake their beliefs nor who they are."

Based on his own testimony, Paterno was unaware of how serious the situation actually was and allowed the university to make the correct decision regarding a former employee. 

The hope is that this will be resolved quickly so the university and community can move forward. It will take some time for people to forgive the PSU administration for their part in this case but it will hopefully happen eventually.