Paterno out, Bradley inJust because Joe Paterno is gone doesn’t mean the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State is over. The Nittany Lions started life without the 84-year-old Paterno on Thursday, introducing interim coach Tom Bradley while the board of trustees was just beginning its formal investigation.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Just because Joe Paterno is gone doesn’t mean the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State is over.
The Nittany Lions started life without the 84-year-old Paterno on Thursday, introducing interim coach Tom Bradley while the board of trustees was just beginning its formal investigation.
“We’re obviously in a very unprecedented situation,” said Bradley, who was Paterno’s lead assistant for the last 11 seasons. “I have to find a way to restore the confidence.”
Many questions remained unanswered — from how much Paterno actually knew to whether there will be any repercussions for assistant coach Mike McQueary, who told Paterno but not police about seeing former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in a shower with a young boy in 2002.
Paterno was fired Wednesday night, effective immediately, just hours after the coach had announced that he would retire at the end of the season.
Gov. Tom Corbett arrived Thursday in advance of Friday’s previously scheduled trustees meeting and told reporters that he supported the decision to oust college football’s winningest coach and university President Graham Spanier because they didn’t do enough to alert law enforcement authorities.
“Their actions caused me to not have confidence in their ability to continue to lead,” said Corbett, who is on the board.
Sandusky, Paterno’s former assistant and onetime heir apparent, has been charged with molesting eight boys over 15 years. In the week since the state grand jury released its report, athletic director Tim Curley has taken administrative leave and vice president Gary Schultz has retired.
“Certainly every Pennsylvanian who has any knowledge of this case, who has read the grand jury report, feels a sense of regret and a sorrow to also see careers end,” Corbett said. “But we must keep in mind that when it comes to the safety of children, there can be no margin of error, no hesitation to act.”
It was a hurried process.
“We do not yet know all the facts and there are many details that have to be worked out,” board vice chair John Surma in announcing the firings of Paterno and Spanier, one of the natiion’s longest-serving college presidents.
He said “change was necessary” and added: “To allow this process to continue was going to be damaging to the university.”
“We handled it the best way we could with the information we had and with the time that was available to us,” he added. “We were wanting to be decisive, but also wanting to be thorough.”