Roughly an hour before Coach Joe Paterno’s weekly news conference was to begin, word came down that the plug had been pulled. This comes as news media from far and wide raise questions in the wake of the sex abuse scandal surrounding former PSU coaching icon Jerry Sandusky. Paterno also missed Tuesday afternoon’s Big Ten coaches’ teleconference.
The statement from Penn State Athletics read: “Due to the on-going legal circumstances centered around the recent allegations and charges, we have determined that today’s press conference cannot be held and will not be re-scheduled.”
An earlier advisory from Penn State Athletics read: “Media planning to attend Tuesday’s Penn State Football weekly teleconference are advised that that primary focus of the teleconference is to answer questions related to Penn State’s Senior Day game with Nebraska this Saturday. Head coach Joe Paterno and any Penn State Football student-athletes in attendance will be answering questions about the Nebraska game, Penn State’s season thus far and other topics related to the current college football season.”
Word of Penn State’s woes has even spread to the White House. During a stop in suburban Philadelphia on Tuesday, President Barack Obama began his comments with an indirect reference to the PSU football program. “I was told not to mention football at all,” Obama said amid some laughter and a few groans from the audience. “So I’m not going to say anything about football while I’m here, because I know this is a sensitive subject.”
While the 84-year-old Joe Paterno is not a target in the ongoing grand jury probe of Jerry Sandusky’s sex abuse allegations, speculation of Paterno’s ouster has already begun. Just last month, Paterno became the winningest coach in Division I college football history. He’s been leading the renowned Penn State football program for 46 years.