U.S. News: The Fallout from the Penn State Scandal Continues

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

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Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno
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The Fallout from the Penn State Scandal Continues

by Jennie Wood

The fallout from the Penn State child molestation scandal continued int 2012. In late 2011, beloved Penn State head football coach, Joe Paterno, was fired for failing to take action after he was informed that his assistant, Jerry Sandusky, was accused of molesting several boys. Soon after, Paterno was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died just weeks later on January 22, 2012. When Paterno was fired, he held a career record 409 wins, 136 losses, and 3 ties.

In July 2012, an investigation concluded that many Penn State senior officials failed to protect Sandusky's victims, including Paterno and Graham B. Spanier, the university's longtime president. Like Paterno, Spainer was also fired over the scandal in late 2011. As a result of the investigation's findings, the NCAA came down hard on Penn State with stiff penalties, including a $60 million fine and a four-year post-season ban. The NCAA also took away all of Penn State' football wins from 1998 through 2011. Because of these sanctions, Paterno fell to the 12th winningest coach in history with a record of 298 wins.

The trial of Sandusky began on June 11, 2012. Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts of child abuse and sentenced in October to 30 to 60 years in prison. The sentencing guaranteed that Sandusky, 68, would die in prison. Sandusky denied the charges throughout his trial. The night before his sentencing, he said in a recorded statement, "They can take away my life, they can make me out as a monster, they can treat me as a monster, but they can't take away my heart. In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged, disgusting acts. My wife has been my only sex partner and that was after marriage."

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