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Paterno: Sandusky Charges, If True, 'Are Very Shocking'; 'Let's Be Fair'

by on November 06, 2011 6:02 PM

Penn State's head football coach, Joe Paterno, released a statement Sunday in light of the sexual-abuse charges filed against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

In it, Paterno indicates that the charges -- "if true" -- are "very shocking to me and all Penn Staters."

"If this true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families," Paterno says in the statement, first released online by the Patriot-News. "They are in our prayers."

The 84-year-old head coach also says he understands people's anger, but calls on them to "be fair and let the legal process unfold."

Paterno, in the statement, also makes reference to his grand-jury testimony in the case. The full text of the statement is posted here.

Meanwhile, The Associated Press reported Sunday that Penn State has banned Sandusky from campus. The university also is covering legal expenses for athletics director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President and Business Gary Schultz, according to the AP.

Both Curley and Schultz are accused of perjuring themselves and of failure to report alleged sexual abuse. Penn State President Graham Spanier, however, has voiced confidence in both men; their lawyers have said they're innocent.

Also Sunday, Penn State released a public statement on its Facebook page. It reads: "We are disturbed and stunned by yesterday's news. Many have expressed their thoughts about this here on our wall, and as with all posts, as long as they follow page policies, they will stand. We understand the strong feelings many people wish to express, and we are listening. Right now there is much anger and speculation. The legal process is just getting under way, and there is much yet to be learned. We trust the legal process will add facts and clarity to the shocking allegations about the former assistant coach. We will provide updates as we have them."

Earlier coverage, including details of the allegations against Sandusky, is highlighted in the links below.

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