Katie Couric Show: Jerry Sandusky Scandal at Penn State University
The Penn State football program prided itself on its prowess and squeaky clean record but that all came crashing down when Jerry Sandusky was arrested and convicted of abusing young boys. The former assistant coach was charged with 45 counts of illegal conduct, a scandal that would also be the demise of beloved Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. After the allegations surfaced, Paterno was forced to resign and allegations the coach did not do enough to help the children tarnished his reputation. His statue on the campus was taken down and his winning career was erased.
Mere weeks after he was fired and his reputation was ruined, Paterno was diagnosed with lung cancer. Two months later, Paterno lost his battle with cancer.
Katie Couric: Sue Paterno Speaks Out About Penn State Scandal
In an exclusive interview, Katie Couric talked with Sue Paterno, in her first interview since the death of her husband and the scandal. Although it has been over a year and a half since Joe Paterno passed, Sue Paterno said it is still hard to adjust to daily life without him. She said she was thankful for the family and the friends she has and all the people who wrote to her letting her know how much Joe Paterno meant to them.
Paterno was a legend at Penn State. He passed up numerous offers to coach in the NFL, his family donated over $5 million to the university and they helped raise millions more, yet his reputation was tarnished in less than a week. But it didn’t affect Joe, said Sue. They didn’t talk about the scandal or his career, they only focused on getting him better, finding the truth and figuring out how they can make everything better for the university.
Katie: Jerry Sandusky & Joe Paterno
Although Sandusky worked with Paterno for 31 years, Sue said she had no idea he was abusing children. She admitted she admired Sandusky for starting a foundation to help young children but said she hardly socialized with the man. After the allegations surfaced though, Sue said she became physically ill.
“Our life was all about children,” said Sue Paterno. “We were about the children and making them better, not hurting them. It is just vile.”
In an interview with Bob Costas, which Katie played on the show, Sandusky said he loved being around young people but he said he was not attracted to them. And Sue Paterno said she used to believe him when he said loved children. She said he would even play with her own children from time to time. She said she had no idea what he was doing.