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Nike's Phil Knight Defends Joe Paterno During Memorial Service

Nike co-founder Phil Knight spoke at Joe Paterno's public memorial service on Thursday and defended Paterno's honor, claiming that it was not the former Penn State football coach's response to the Jerry Sandusky situation that was shameful, but the school's own investigation into the matter.

Knight said, "If there is a villain in this tragedy, it lies in that investigation, and not in Joe Paterno's response."

According to the Associated Press, Knight's comment brought the crowd of approximately 12,000 to its feet, including Paterno's widow, Sue, and Tom Bradley, who served as defensive coordinator under Paterno before being elevated to interim head coach once Paterno was fired on Nov. 9, 2011.

Knight said that Paterno has been his hero for a long time and remains so. He also wondered, "Who is the real trustee at Penn State University?"

To see Phil Knight's speech, click here.

For more Penn State coverage and the developing situation surrounding former coach Joe Paterno, visit our team page or our blog Black Shoe Diaries. Also visit Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire and SB Nation Pittsburgh.