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Memorial exposes anger over Paterno’s treatment
Similarly, Chris Marrone, whose playing career at Penn State was cut short by injuries, said Paterno molded him into a young man with “the strength to overcome any challenge, any adversity.”
Paterno was fired Nov. 9 after he was criticized for not going to police in 2002 when he was told that a former member of his coaching staff, Jerry Sandusky, had been seen sexually assaulting a boy in the showers. Sandusky was arrested in November and is awaiting trial on charges that he molested 10 boys over a 15-year span.
As the scandal erupted, Pennsylvania’s state police commissioner said Paterno may have met his legal duty but not his moral one. Penn State president Graham Spanier was also fired in the fallout.
Among those at the memorial was former athletic director Tim Curley, who is awaiting trial on charges he lied to the grand jury that investigated Sandusky.
About midway through the ceremony, Knight became the first speaker to explicitly address the scandal. He said the coach “gave full disclosure to his superiors, information that went up the chains to the head of the campus police and the president of the school. The matter was in the hands of a world-class university, and by a president with an outstanding national reputation.”
Lanny J. Davis, an attorney for the board, responded after the service by saying: “All the reasons for the board’s difficult and anguished decision _ made unanimously, including former football players and everyone who still loves Coach Paterno and his memory _ reached a decision which was heartfelt. All 32.”
“The facts speak for themselves” and include the grand jury testimony, he said.
After the memorial, Marrone said Knight was his “new hero” for expressing the “pent-up frustration” many people are feeling.
“I think the response that he got is indicative of how folks feel,” Marrone said.
Jay Paterno, who served under his father as quarterback coach, began his remarks by imitating his father’s raspy, high-pitched voice, telling the audience, “Sit down! Sit down!”
“Dad, you won,” Jay Paterno said he told him. “You did all you could do. You’ve done enough. We all love you. We won. You can go home now.”
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