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    "Joe Paterno, whose tenure as the most successful coach in major college football
    history ended abruptly in November amid allegations that he failed to respond
    forcefully enough to a sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant, died
    Sunday, a family spokesman said. He was 85.

    The longtime Penn State head coach was diagnosed with what his family had
    called a treatable form of lung cancer shortly after the university's Board of
    Trustees voted to fire him.</p>

    He had been hospitalized in December after breaking his pelvis in a fall at
    his home and again in January for what his son called minor complications from
    his cancer treatments.</p>

    "It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away
    earlier today," the family statement said. "His loss leaves a void in our lives
    that will never be filled."</p>

    <a name="em1"></a>
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    <div id="videoContainerexpand15Media" class="mediaContainer"></div></div>Paterno, who was affectionately known as "JoePa" by generations of his
    players and football fans alike, was widely admired in football circles for what
    he called his "Grand Experiment" -- his expectation that big-time college
    football players could succeed on the field while upholding high academic and
    moral standards away from the gridiron.</div>

    Under his leadership, the Nittany Lions won two national championships, went
    undefeated five times and finished in the top 25 national rankings 35 times,
    according to his official Penn State biography.</p>

    At the same time, the program never fell under NCAA sanctions for major
    infractions while producing 13 Academic All-Americans since 2006. In 2009,
    according to the university, the Nittany Lions posted an 85% graduation

    "The acclaim for Joe Paterno has stemmed largely from the contrast between
    the high academic and moral standards he has tried to exemplify and the
    shameless conduct that often embarrasses and dishonors the college sport he
    cherishes," author Michael O'Brien wrote in a 1999 biography of Paterno, "No
    Ordinary Joe."</p>

    Paterno was born in 1926 in Brooklyn to second-generation Italian immigrants,
    according to O'Brien's book.</p>

    He attended Brown University, where he played quarterback and cornerback,
    according to another Penn State biography.</p>

    He coached at Penn State as an assistant from 1950 to 1965 and became head
    coach in 1966.</p>

    Decked out in his soon-to-become trademark thick glasses, white socks and
    sneakers, Paterno quickly became a memorable fixture on the football field,
    leading the Nittany Lions to undefeated seasons in 1968, 1969 and again in 1973
    and the first national championship of his tenure in 1982.</p>

    Named National Coach of the Year five times, Paterno was added to the College
    Football Hall of Fame in 2006, but his induction was delayed until 2007 because
    of injuries he suffered in a sideline collision.</p>

    He became the winningest coach in major college football history in 2011 with
    409 victories.</p>

    In addition to his exploits on the sidelines, Paterno had a significant
    impact on the university's academic programs.</p>

    Paterno and his wife, Suzanne, donated more than $4 million to the university
    over the years for faculty endowments, scholarships and building projects,
    according to the university.</p>

    "Penn State has been very good to both Sue and me," he said in 1998,
    according to his university biography.</p>

    Honored with glowing words of praise from players and presidents alike --
    President Ronald Reagan said Paterno never forgot that "he is a teacher who's
    preparing his students not just for the season, but for life," according to a
    university biography -- he received the National Football Foundation and College
    Football Hall of Fame Distinguished American Award in 1991.</p>

    In doing so, he became the first active coach to do so, according to the

    "What are coaches?" he said at the dinner celebrating his award, according to
    his university biography. "Number one, we're teachers and we're educators. We
    have the same obligation as all teachers at our institutions, expect we probably
    have more influence over our young people than anyone other than their
    families," he said.</p>

    It was his perceived failure to meet those obligations that led to his
    downfall as the only coach many Penn State football fans had ever known.</p>

    In October, state authorities charged two university officials with
    misleading investigators and failing to report alleged sexual abuse in 2002,
    after a Penn State assistant told a grand jury he saw former assistant coach
    Jerry Sandusky performing what appeared to be anal sex on a boy in a shower at
    the football complex.</p>

    The assistant reported it to Paterno the next day, who said he passed the
    report along to then-Athletic Director Tim Curley and another university
    executive, Gary Schultz.</p>

    Curley and Schultz left their positions shortly after the grand jury report
    was revealed. The next month, the university fired Paterno and Penn State
    President Graham Spanier.</p>

    At the time, he said in a statement released by his son, Scott Paterno, that
    he was "distraught" over the sex abuse scandal.</p>

    In an interview with the Washington Post published January 14, Paterno said
    that he felt inadequate to deal with the allegations.</p>

    "I didn't know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that
    might jeopardize what the university procedure was," the Post quoted him as
    saying. "So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I
    thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn't work out that

  • #2

    Gone too soon Joe. Prayers for his family.

    My his memory be eternal.


    • #3



      • #4
        Re: JOE PATERNO DIES AT 85

        RIP JoePa.


        • #5
          Re: JOE PATERNO DIES AT 85

          Condolences to the family and people whose lives he touched. You are a true legacy!</P>


          • #6
            Re: JOE PATERNO DIES AT 85

            Condolances and prayers to the Paterno and Pann State Families.

            What the press did to him was a disgrace.


            • #7
              Re: JOE PATERNO DIES AT 85

              Found out yesterday he had been admitted sometime in Jan.</P>

              Cancer is such terrible thing to see your loved ones go through. My Grandfather passed 3 years ago after a week and a half battle on his deathbed and the only consolation you can come up with is no more pain.</P>

              Rip Joe, no more pain.</P>
              my beer drinking team has a football problem