Washington Post: Following 2002 Incident, Paterno Didn't Want to 'Jeopardize ... University Procedure'
January 14, 2012 5:15 PM
by Nate Mink
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Joe Paterno told The Washington Post he did not follow up on Mike McQueary's 2002 report of alleged sexual abuse beyond an initial call because the former head coach was worried doing so would violate university procedure.

“I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was,” Paterno was quoted as saying.

“So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.”

In a wide-ranging interview with The Post's Sally Jenkins, Paterno gave his first public remarks since the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal engulfed Penn State in November.

In the interview, Paterno insisted the 2002 incident in the Lasch football building showers was his first hint the former defensive coordinator may be a sexual predator.

According to the Post, Paterno conducted the interview with Jenkins over two days, first from a wheelchair Thursday at his kitchen table surrounded by family and then bedside at home. Later in the day, Paterno was admitted for observation because of complications from the chemotherapy he's undergone since being diagnosed with lung cancer. Paterno's family told the Post that Paterno was improving as of Saturday morning.

Other items of note from the interview, as reported by the Washington Post:

Prosecutors allege Sandusky, who was charged with more than 50 counts of sexual abuse, found and groomed his victims through The Second Mile. Sandusky has maintained his innocence.

In his interview with the Post, Paterno did not judge Sandusky, Curley or Schultz. “I think we got to wait and see what happens,” Paterno told the Post. “The courts are taking care of it, the legal system is taking care of it.”

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