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Joe Paterno Dies at 85

Joe Paterno Dies at 85

Longtime Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has died.

The 85-year-old coach passed away on Sunday (January 22) after fighting lung cancer.

“He died as he lived,” Joe‘s family said in a statement to the Associated Press. “He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community.”

Joe had been hospitalized since January 13 for observation; he was previously admitted for a week-long stay as he recovered from a broken pelvis.

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Credit: Justin K. Aller; Photos: Getty
Posted to: Joe Paterno, RIP

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  • ace11

    Well we all must go sometime…

    Sorry, can’t gather much sympathy for the man….He KNEW young boys were being sexually molested and did NOTHING to stop it

    and for many, many years….he was More concerned with HIS IMAGE

    then stopping it

    That just doesn’t sit right with me

  • [~Fug Face Man!ston~]

    No sympathy for him at all.

  • Manny

    May Paterno’s family find peace and comfort.
    I don’t hold any respect for Paterno and his actions. He got off easy IMO.
    His legacy has absolutely nothing to do with the college football field but with turning his back on the vulnerable with his lack of action and in his non-action enabling abuse on the most miserable level. His legacy is the torment those poor kids will carry and demons they will fight for the rest of their lives.

  • rach

    I agree that he could have done more, but considering he didn’t witness anything and the only he had to work with was a testimony from one person isn’t a lot to go on. If he had went to the cops, they would have laughed him right out of the station for having no proof. That being said, he could have checked into what was being done about it once he reported it. However, I think people need to at least respect the fact this man was someone else’s husband, father, son, and brother. Treat his death the way you would want people to treat yours. At least now the main focus can be on the man who rightfully deserves to be greeted by the devil, Sandusky.

  • Michele

    The hand of GOD!!! No sympathy for his passing or his family. He KNEW what as going on…as a PARENT he should have protected those children. Bet he didn’t let his kids stay with Sandusky.

  • Ellie

    Hopefully all the people that don’t report a crime get what they deserve.
    Li,e !ray Kate OLsen knew that Heath was a addict when he died but
    She did nothing about it! Ould of saved bhismlife. The school is
    Responsible for the crime when the red headed guy that did report It it did not go. Very far did it. When women is raped at the college they go through the same thing several woman get attacked but that is OK? That the schools hide that too.! People should go after the school! They did
    Mothing abbot it. Where’re the parents if the other man attacked these kids would have bruising! Did there doctor report it? No yeas later,
    Sojust don’t blamer Joe blamer the parents the holds doctor for not reporting it too! THE CHILDS DOCTOR should REPORT IT too.
    Let him be convicted too !

  • Manny

    I completely disagree with you. Police do not laugh something like that out of the station. And even if they had, Paterno could have held his head high knowing he had done everything in his power to protect that kid. Also, why would he allow it to continue? Knowing there was even the slightest possibility. Sorry. I can’t give him the respect I would give someone in my family since my family doesn’t consist of any enablers of child abuse.

  • rach

    @Manny: Clearly you’ve never been to the State College police station. If he had gone to the police station and nothing was done people would still criticize him for it. Nothing is ever enough when it comes to children. Sandusky should have been caught years before anything was even brought to Joe’s attention.

  • Manny

    But that’s the point. And whether there was opportunity to stop Sandusky before Paterno’s knowledge does not change the fact that when Paterno did know and he chose his football program over a vulnerable child rather than championing the victim. If you were in his shoes what would you have done? I wouldn’t rest until Sandusky was in the proper authorities hands and that child was getting all the help he could even if it turned my livelihood upside down. What is the price of a child???
    Paterno may have been one of college football’s great coaches but he was loser on the field of human decency IMO.

  • d


    Agree totally with you. He was a great coach, but unfortunately he put sports before human beings and now those that were abused have to deal with the abuse for the rest of their lives. He could have done more. And as to his walking into a police station? He was Joe Paterno for God’s sake. Of course the police would have listened to him.

  • stater

    coming from a current PENN STATE STUDENT, I find 1) the fact that this website posts nothing at ALL about college football shocks me that they would post this. Its cheap and filthy. 2) no matter the circumstances or whether you loved or hated him, or didn’t even know him until this scandal broke out, his legacy will always be tarnished. I don’t feel bad. I don’t share my opinions with the other 40k kids on campus that adore him. No reason for us to talk bad about the dead. move on. get over it. tomorrow is another day

  • GleeLover

    @Manny: “Paterno may have been one of college football’s great coaches but he was loser on the field of human decency IMO”

    That’s the best comment yet. No sympathy from me either as there is no excuse for covering up crimes done to children. I hope he fessed up to God before his death.

  • MaisyRL

    karma. whether you believe in god or the universe, or don’t…situations like these always make you wonder if there’s truth to it. JoePa had the most to lose. his fall from grace was the biggest. and at the end he got sick and passed away so quickly after his diagnosis, when the scandal came out. it’s a little insane. not sorry he’s gone but i wish his family well during this time.

  • Bella Coola

    Wow! That was fast.

  • Bella Coola

    @Michele: I agree. I especially find it ironic that his last name means “father” in Italian. That implies someone who should be protective, or should have been protective.

  • lisa


    Are you serious? If Joe Paterno had gone to the police to say a child was being molested, the police would have done something. Why? Joe was more famous, important, respected, and more powerful than anybody in the state of Penn. His untalented son was even elected as a goverment offical based on Joe’s name!

    Plus, Sandusky’s behavior was well known by Penn police. The truth is this: Penn’s football program and Paterno’s image was more important to Paterno than those kids. He passed the buck just like they all did because he didn’t want risk his name/program from being exposed.

    While I am sad he is gone, my heart goes out to those kids he (and others) failed to protect.

  • Sean

    I was hoping he’d live another 20 years so he live in regret for what he didn’t do to help those kids

  • Manny

    It wouldn’t have made a difference. He had already lived ten years with the knowledge and it didn’t curtail anything the man did or thought. Didn’t phase him in the least. Paterno was guilty of believing nothing could touch him or his legacy IMO.

  • LovePSU

    Joe Paterno was a great man. Flawed like the rest of us but much better in many ways. He gave so much to the university and thousands upon thousands of students. The scandal was not him. Yes, he could’ve done more but he did what he needed to. He’ll be remembered for all the good he did.

  • risa

    Joe why didn’ t stand up & stop the abuse. There are so many victims to this sad story.

  • I do not understand

    I am going to post before I read the comments here, because I have read the comments eleswhere that say, “God Bless you Joe Pa, He is at God’s side now coaching with Bear Bryant, RIP HJoe Pa, you will always be remembered as one of the best, Blessing to Joe Ps’ family and to the Unvi. of Penn State, the Nittany Lions family, the candledlight vigil and publice services will be…

    Coach Joesph Paterno was one of colleges best football coaches on the field. Because of the football program, under Paterno, Univ. of Pen State recieved lots of money from alumin, benefactors, corporations, etc.
    There is a statue honoring him there. The library is Joe and Sue Paterno Library. I am sure Univ of Penn state has a street/drive/cirlce anmed Paterno and other honors there.

    YES, this is true. All of this is true.
    BUT, under what has happened . Joe Paterno KNEW about Sandusky and DID nothing.JP told his superiors and they did nothing. Thing is Joe Paterno WAS a superior. He had lots of clout with Unvi.of Penn, being a board member, having a say-so in staffing of professors as dept. chairs.
    If Joe Pa said Sandusky was leaving the state of Penn., then so be it. It would have been so because Joe Pa said said!!!

    With all of the God Bless Joe Pa’s and his family, I think peolle should also say, God Bless the kids ‘ families and those kids.

    What I don’t understand about us asa society is that we have become ,”If it aint about me and mine, then I don’t give a good godd amn.”

    If one of these boys who were sexaully preyed on and sexually abused , all the way, intercourse, by Sandusky, would al these people be saying, Goo love’ya Joe Pa. You are with God now. We love you Joe Pa., etc.

  • Victims should report it not h

    Why do all the college basketball and football college pros get off from raping women! Eh! Do the coaches do anything about that! Hell no
    So the. Oysthatgot attacked why didn’ttneyteport it. With a rape kit in
    Gha d to the police! Like women have to do! Grow up Patenski is
    The rapist not him! It was the school who did nothing that red head
    Did report it. And nothing the school,hid it

  • I do not understand

    I agree with Lisa and otehrs in trying to explain this to rach.
    Joe P. knew. Lets sya he only knew when he knew, still, he did nothing. Passed the buck. Htey all up there passed the buck as to keep this secret. Protect the football program and money flow.

    Little unknown secret of those in collgeg sports, esp., those in cases where Paterno knew his staff for years, decades, is that the staff knows the in outs on each other.
    McQuerry got a great STFU posiition after he told the Penn State officiical.

    Paterno’s son was a coach with the team.

    See. Everybody is comfy and happy.
    We are not going to mess up this apple cart.

  • d

    @Victims should report it not h:

    Because the victims are children and easily intimidated and cowed. Adults should have enough sense to protect them. God forbid if one of your kids gets molested. Are you going to look at that 10 year old and say–if you wanna do something about your rapist then go down to the police station?

    You have to have posted one of the most ignorant comments I’ve read about the situation.

  • Manny

    I totally disagree with you. Joe Paterno was a great football coach. He was not a great man. He failed miserably as a decent human being. Joe had the power to make a difference and he didn’t.
    Edmund Burke said “…all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Do not allow evil to triumph. Do not do sit by and do nothing.”
    That is Joe Paterno’s legacy.

  • Manny

    ITAWY. Worse yet is that these kids didn’t have parents in their lives to pick up on the signs of abuse which makes this all the more distressing. These children needed someone to stand up for them. Joe Paterno could have walked on water for me if he would have said enough.
    The moment he found out about it he could have turned it all upside down and made a difference in millions of lives and not just that one child.
    Proving that human decency is more important than any football game or program is a much more far-reaching impactful legacy to leave than that of wins and losses on the football field.
    But alas Paterno was just a football coach, not a great man.