- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 8, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA. (AP) - Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had access to the team’s weight room as recently as last week, a person familiar with the situation said just hours before Joe Paterno was to give his first news conference since his former protege was charged with child sex abuse.

Paterno will be asked about what he knew and when about Sandusky, his former defensive coordinator and one-time heir apparent, who was indicted on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years.

Authorities have said that Paterno, who testified in the grand jury proceedings that led to the charges, is not a target of the investigation. But the state police commissioner has chastised him and other school officials for not doing enough to try to stop the suspected abuse.

A person familiar with Sandusky’s relationship with Penn State told The Associated Press that the former coach accused of sexually abusing eight children over a 15-year period, long maintained an office in the East Area Locker building which is across the street from the Penn State football team’s building, and was on campus as recently as week ago working out.

The university’s online director listed Sandusky, whom PSU officials said banned from campus over the weekend _ as an assistant professor emeritus of physical education in the Lasch building.

The grand jury investigating Sandusky found that he was given the office, a parking pass and other amenities as part of his 1999 retirement package.

Such details, along with a front-page call by The Patriot-News of Harrisburg for this season to be Paterno’s last, will make the news conference unlike any other for the famed coach.

“There are the obligations we all have to uphold the law. There are then the obligations we all have to do what is right,” the editorial board wrote about Penn State President Graham Spanier’s role in the sex abuse scandal, along with Paterno‘s.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in an editorial, called on Paterno and Penn State president Graham Spanier to both resign, too.

Pennsylvania state police Commissioner Frank Noonan said Monday in Harrisburg that Paterno fulfilled his legal requirement when he relayed to university administrators that a graduate assistant had seen Sandusky attacking a young boy in the team’s locker room shower in 2002. But the commissioner also questioned whether Paterno had a moral responsibility to do more.

“Somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child,” Noonan said.

“I think you have the moral responsibility, anyone. Not whether you’re a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral responsibility to call us.”

Others have also made calls for Paterno’s resignation.

“I don’t know his involvement, but I do think he could send a very strong message if he would step down and retire, or even make a public statement,” said Julie McGinn, a 23-year-old biology major at Penn State from Chicago.

The school issued a statement Monday night reminding media that the main focus of this week’s press conference was Saturday’s Senior Day game with Nebraska.

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