Katie: Joe Paterno’s Family on Jerry Sandusky & Penn State Scandal

Katie Couric: Joe Paterno a Strict Father

Katie Couric traveled to the home of Sue Paterno, where she met her children, Diana, Jay and Mary Kay Paterno. All the children said their father could be strict at times but he was also very fair. Everyone in the house knew never to lie to their father because losing his trust was the worst punishment they could ever get. And everyone had to be five minutes early to everything because his watch was always set five minutes fast. They called it Paterno Time.

Katie: Joe Paterno Statue Taken Down at Penn State

Katie: Joe Paterno's Family on Jerry Sandusky & Penn State Scandal

Katie talked with Sue Paterno and her family about what they thought about their father and whether they thought he could have done more at Penn State. (Richard Paul Kane / Shutterstock.com)

Diana told Katie Couric she adored her father and although it was hard to watch his statue get taken down on the campus, she said he would care more about having his family intact and his values upheld.

“His legacy is his family and the players he reached out to over the years,” said Diana Paterno.

Mary Kay Paterno said her father would have wanted everyone to have the tools to know how to identify what happened to these children. She wanted people to be more aware of what happened and to learn from the incident so no other child has to ever go through it again.

Katie Couric: Joe Paterno Legacy

Both of Joe Paterno’s daughters said they were not trying to restore their father’s name. They wanted to do what was right. They wanted to follow in their father’s footsteps of being the best they can be and being as honest as they can be as well.

In one of the last letters he wrote to his family, Joe Paterno said good could come from the scandal if people could learn from it, which is the reason the Paterno family has been trying to move forward and to help out any way they can. Jay Paterno said he wants to get connected with people who know more about the how to prevent these types of things from happening. He wants to move further down the line were he can help even more than he is now.

The Katie Couric Show: Should Penn State Have Done More?

Yet, as much as people are using their hindsight now, Katie Couric wanted to know if there was more that could have been done. Sue Paterno said it would be hard to know what Jerry Sandusky was like when even the professionals got him wrong. Sandusky adopted and fostered six children and even those social workers had no idea what kind of monster Sandusky was. Sue Paterno wanted to know how she was suppose to know when experts couldn’t even tell Sandusky was abusive.

Sue said if she was ever given the chance to speak with the children who were abused by Jerry Sandusky she would tell them she prays for them every day, numerous times, and she hopes they can find the help they need.

Katie: Was Joe Paterno Guilty?

Aaron Maybin, a former player under Joe Paterno, said everyone playing for Joe Paterno knew his values, they knew his heart and it was hard to watch other people judge a person they did not know. He said Paterno taught him everything he needed to know in life and the life lessons he handed down, Maybin will never forget.

Katie Couric: Who Was Joe Paterno?

Greg Buttle, who played under Paterno for four years in the 1970s, said he thought Paterno was not the guilty party, Sandusky was. He told Katie he knew Joe Paterno would have taken care of any issue had he known.

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About the author

After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Journalism and Anthropology, I managed a pizza place for a year, while freelancing for various newspapers in the area. Working every weekend in sauna like conditions, never being able to take a day off and being covered in flour is something I will not miss. I hope Recapo has air conditioning.

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