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Former Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno Dies

Multiple news agencies report that the longtime Penn State football coach died Sunday.

Venerable former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno died earlier today, multiple news agencies are reporting.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today. His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled," Paterno's family said in a statement, ABC News reported.

Penn State University released the following statement Sunday morning regarding Paterno's death:

"We grieve for the loss of Joe Paterno, a great man who made us a greater university. His dedication to ensuring his players were successful both on the field and in life is legendary and his commitment to education is unmatched in college football. His life, work and generosity will be remembered always.

"The university plans to honor him for his many contributions and to remember his remarkable life and legacy. We are all deeply saddened."

His death comes months after a  and

Paterno's death had been prematurely reported by some media outlets Saturday night.

For full coverage from ABC News, click here.

For coverage from ESPN, click here.

For coverage from the Post-Gazette, click here.

For coverage from CNN, click here.

For coverage from Huffington Post, click here.

Mike Jones (Editor) January 22, 2012 at 06:07 PM
How do you feel about the passing of JoePa? Share your thoughts here.
Roger January 22, 2012 at 07:07 PM
The news media should hang their head in shame for how they botched the news. Penn St has been in much turmoil and chaos in recent weeks, and the initial report (wrong), the retraction, then a new statement is in character with what else has happened in Happy Valley. Undoubtedly, the tumble of the first domino at the firing was just the beginning. Then the revelation of cancer, the accusations, the riots, the legal bickering, and whatever else that we don't know, had to take a heavy toll. There seemed to a real dichotomy at Penn State. In reality, it happens elsewhere, but Penn State personified the split. On one hand, the 'football machine' of college sports is so far out of hand, it has no restraint. On the other hand, so many young men came through JoePa's program and speak so highly of their experiences. I'm sure other men have had negative experiences, but the positive ones, both in terms of athletics and life-skills, are plentiful. Div I-A college sports has a life of its own, some good, but mostly bad. The money and notoriety are welcome offshoots, but the environment to foster corruption, bad behavior, and politics is very thick. While JoePA seemed to have so many positive inputs to the system, he also seemed to be hip-deep into the negative parts too. It may have been a trap he did not want, but had no way out. In other cases, coaches are not entrapped, but are eager to be swallowed up.
Mike Jones (Editor) January 22, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Certain "news" organizations should hang their heads, but not all of them botched this story. The AP did not run anything until it confirmed the news from two sources, unlike CBS Sportsline and Huffington Post, which both aggregated something from a student-run news website. It shows the danger of copying-and-pasting someone else's "work" without doing your own fact checking.
Roger January 23, 2012 at 01:56 AM
You are right, Mike. My brush was too broad with regard to the media. I understand the editor of the offending web site has "stepped aside." Thanks.
kelly petrosky January 23, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Well, RIP Jopa, but to me the fact that now penn State wants to honor him and do all of these amazing things in his honor is just hypocritical to me, they fired him due to the sandusky ordeal and defirmated his character but now they are stating different faccts? Hypocrtical? In my opinion yes, and Im sure many others....and last night ESPN kept running the ticker about jerry sandusky's comments about jopa's death, that was in poor taste, that man in no way should be brought up or allowed to speak in theis time of sadness out of respect for joes family, it sickens me that ESPN would keep running it, left a bad taste in my mouth....and if I were those protesters i would think twice because there are alot of sad and mad football players and students who will be attending that funeral as well, and if they let jerry sandusky attend I fear for his life.....that man caused all of this, poor Joe died of a broken heart, not lung cancer, and instead of having a bitter heart towards penn state, joe donated money from his hospital bed to the university even tho they destroyed his character......he was a one of a kind genuine, caring man!!!! RIP JOPA...<3
Mike Jones (Editor) January 23, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Roger... The editor's resignation letter and the website's explanation were interesting. They obviously messed up, but it was stunning to read from the editor say that he never thought their story would be picked up by the national media. In this day and age, even tweets are picked up by the national media, so it seems foolish for those students working on a website that was breaking news on the Sandusky story to not think their info would go viral. This WashPo column is a good explanation of why being first is now more important than being right... http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/post/joe-paterno-dies-on-sunday-not-saturday/2012/01/22/gIQATznwIQ_blog.html
JB January 24, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Oh, puh-lease!!! Let's not raise this guy's slimy true character beyond the level of the nearest gutter! He died before the authorities got a chance to put him on trial, and that's the end of his story. Period. If you have ever known the depth and breadth of a young man's pain who has been sexually victimized, you would understand how a person's promising young life can be suddenly turned into a never-ending nightmare! Shame on JoePa for his decision to look the other way. Goodbye and good riddance!
Mike Jones (Editor) January 24, 2012 at 03:35 AM
To call Joe Paterno a criminal is ridiculous. But I can't blame anyone who says he used poor judgment that was borderline immoral. However, it makes me wonder if I, or anyone else, would have done more. It's easy to Monday morning quarterback something like this. It's not as easy to do the right thing when you're in a very strange and uncomfortable position with a colleague you thought was a friend.
JB January 24, 2012 at 10:45 PM
"borderline immoral"???? Are you serious? You need to evaluate your mental commitment to doing the right thing, Mike. When presented with the facts about a situation in his chain of command, he failed to look into it. HIS COMMAND, Mike. It is not a borderline decision Mike, he was IN CHARGE! You obviously have never come into contact with, or gotten to know, a young man who has been molested... Their lives, if not their potential, has been forever stolen from them. Before you condemn my opinion as ridiculous, I suggest you interview a psychologist who treats these young men.. you will change your tune. Or is that too hard an article to undertake?
Mike Jones (Editor) January 25, 2012 at 01:57 AM
You are throwing in emotions that have nothing to do with my point. These men obviously will have problems for the rest of their lives. I don't dispute that or what a disgusting act this was. But was it criminal for the Centre County DA to refuse to pursue the case in 1998 even with Jerry Sandusky admit to showering with a young boy? Was it criminal for University police to close the case? Was it criminal for the state welfare worker to not "indicate" him as a potential child molester? You're laying all the blame at the feet of a football coach who thought he was handing the situation properly. He CLEARLY should have done more. But so should have the people who were in authority to investigate and arrest this monster.
JB January 26, 2012 at 02:44 AM
"you are throwing in emotions that have nothing to do with my point" shows EXACTLY that you miss the point: JoePa WAS in charge, and had the ultimate responsibility to follow that report to its prosecution, or dismissal... not look the other way, hoping it was not true, or that it would be forgotten. By failing to take positive, direct control of the situation, he deserves the blame. ALL the blame. So, don't tell me I'm being too harsh... as the parent of a young man who was molested and kept it inside for years, attempting to understand what happened, and why, and resolve it himself, unsuccessfully, I have seen firsthand the irreparable damage done. Joe deserves the blame, not a tearful memorial.
Mike Jones (Editor) January 26, 2012 at 01:46 PM
JB… The most disturbing part to me is that the mother whose son was molested in 1998 said investigators didn’t believe them at the time. If police had stopped the abuse back then, it never would have landed on Joe Paterno’s desk. I’m not absolving him of wrong-doing, but I don’t think he’s the only one to blame. If you care to read, here’s what I wrote right after all of this happened… http://chartiersvalley.patch.com/articles/penn-state-scandal-shows-lack-of-moral-courage
ED January 26, 2012 at 10:45 PM
The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.--William Shakespeare

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