Joe Paterno tribute ignites positive and negative passions – Los Angeles Times

Penn State marked the 50th anniversary of the late Joe Paterno’s first game as head football coach Saturday, introducing former players and displaying video tributes at the Nittany Lions’ game against Temple.

When images of the coach were shown on the stadium scoreboard during one video, the crowd roared. Rather than Paterno’s 409 career victories, the commemoration focused on the football program’s high graduation rate during his 46-year tenure, along with the accomplishments of his players.

Paterno was abruptly fired by Penn State in 2011 after Jerry Sandusky, his longtime defensive coordinator, was arrested and charged with sexually abusing children.

Sandusky was convicted and sentenced to at least 30 years in prison. Paterno died of lung cancer two months after his removal as coach. He was never charged in connection with the Sandusky cases, but court records indicate that at least one alleged victim said the coach had failed to take action after being told about his assistant’s behavior.


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