Joe Paterno Dead at 85
Penn State confirms death of beloved former coach
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2012 9:28 AM CST
In this Oct. 22, 2011 file photo, Penn State coach Joe Paterno stands on the field before his team's NCAA college football game against Northwestern.   (AP Photo/Jim Prisching, File)

(Newser) – Joe Paterno, who racked up more wins than anyone else in major college football but was fired from Penn State amid a child sex abuse scandal, has died, his family confirmed this morning. He was 85. Paterno "died as he lived," read the statement. "He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been." Paterno's son Scott announced Nov. 18 that his father was being treated for lung cancer, which was diagnosed in mid-November during a follow-up visit for a bronchial illness.

The storied career of "JoePa" included 409 wins in 46 seasons and two national championships. But his reputation for success with honor was shattered when a former assistant was charged with molesting 10 boys during a 15-year span, including some in the Penn State athletic complex. Critics said Paterno should have done more to stop it. He was fired Nov. 9. In all, Paterno guided five teams to unbeaten, untied seasons. Click for the full text of the Paterno family statement.

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Jan 22, 2012 11:34 PM CST
I truly feel sorry for this death. However, the biggest thing that young people learn from sports remains leadership. Paterno fell down on the job here. By not doing his job when he found out that his assistant coach was raping young boys, he failed at the one thing he was supposedly known for. Leadership and team work is great when its in a college setting. However, Paterno had the opportunity to bring a situation to reality. He failed to do so. By knowingly covering up these incidents he showed a whole generation of leaders that it's ok to hide the crime of a co-worker as long as you can be a winner. Instead of taking the very tough and correct decision, he took the much easier way out. I do not wish to speak ill of the dead. But, the truth of this situation could have been solved 15 years ago. Paterno had great success. That is why its all the more tragic that he ends his days fired.
Jan 22, 2012 8:34 PM CST
Maybe some of the mourners can piss on his casket in respect. Will rapist pal Sandusky attend the services with a couple new "prospects"?
Jan 22, 2012 2:22 PM CST
bye. ... -not a sports fan here. Can't understand what all the hand-wringing is about - they sure don't have this much attention when one of the good university TEACHERS dies - sad really that so much attention is wasted on this guy.