Katie: Did Joe Paterno Know About the Jerry Sandusky Scandal at Penn?


The Katie Couric Show: Did Joe Paterno Do Enough During Penn State Scandal?

Katie Couric wanted to know what happened when Joe Paterno was fired and Sue said there wasn’t much to the story. He was simply told he was being fired because of what had happened with Jerry Sandusky, although, as Sue told Katie Couic earlier, neither of them had any idea of what Jerry Sandusky had done in the past.

Katie: Did Joe Paterno Know About the Jerry Sandusky Scandal at Penn?

Katie Couric talked with Sue Paterno about whether her husband, Joe Paterno, knew about the Penn State scandal and why her lawyers findings are correct. (Richard Paul Kane / Shutterstock.com)


She said all the coaches from the team came over that night and everyone knew they wanted to make the situation right and they all thought that may come in the form of former FBI director Louis Freeh’s report on what had happened. She was hoping her husband’s name would be cleared in the report but when Freeh said he found the president of Penn State, Joe Paterno and others of “callous and shocking disregard for child victims,” she was floored.

Sue said she was devastated by the report. “He did not know Joe,” she said. “This is a man I never knew.”

Katie Couric: Jerry Sandusky Freeh Report Follow Up

Sue Paterno was so distraught by the Freeh Report she commissioned her own report from her lawyer Wick Sollers. Sollers said he gathered experts in a number of fields, such as child abuse and profiling, and conducted his own thorough review of the report, which he claims was largely oversold to the media.


Sollers said the Freeh report was flawed because Freeh did not talk with any of the key people in the scandal, he didn’t have any subpoena power and a lot of the information in the report was based on anonymous sources. He also pointed out a number of the documents were not available because the university had undergone a technology change in 2004, essentially wiping away the emails and virtual documents from before that year.

Katie: First Jerry Sandusky Allegation in 1998

The first time Jerry Sandusky was reported as being inappropriate with young boys was in 1998. A mother had reported her son had been showering with Sandusky and she notified the university. Although Sue Paterno said her husband was never aware of the incident, an email from the athletic director tells a college administrator he talked with Paterno about the incident and he was fully aware of what happened.

Another incident surfaced in 2001 when another coach told Joe Paterno Sandusky was acting inappropriate with a another young boy. According to Sollers, Joe Paterno reported the incident to the right people and did everything he was obligated to do.

Katie Couric: Joe Paterno Vs Jerry Sandusky

But Katie Couric wanted to know why he didn’t do more. Why didn’t he confront Jerry Sandusky? Why didn’t he follow up with the allegations?

Sue Paterno said it was just Jerry with young children. She said he often worked out with the younger children and then he would shower with them, which seemed like something normal to her. She said they couldn’t believe the allegations when they came out because they never envisioned he would do such a thing.

Joe Paterno said he wished he had done more in 2001 with the hindsight he had learned in 2011.


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