The real reason Joe Paterno was fired

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The real reason Joe Paterno was fired

From Comcast SportsNet
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State trustees, faced with continued alumni and student criticism for firing football coach Joe Paterno, on Monday released a statement intended to underscore their rationale for his ouster: "failure of leadership" for his actions following a reported sex assault involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky. The board found that while Paterno fulfilled a legal obligation to tell his superiors that an employee claimed Sandusky abused a young boy in a shower, it said Paterno should have done more. "We determined that his decision to do his minimum legal duty and not to do more to follow up constituted a failure of leadership by Coach Paterno," the trustees wrote. The trustees report comes after months of criticism from Penn State alumni over Paterno's firing in November. The Hall of Fame coach died in January after a brief bout with lung cancer. In their statement, the trustees said they had been asked by the Penn State community to "state clearly" the reasons for Paterno's dismissal and the removal of the university president. The board had previously offered its rationale for removing Paterno and President Graham Spanier. But Trustee Keith Eckel said Monday the board decided to issue another statement now because alumni had continued to ask questions. "Many people have indicated that they did not understand, and this is our last attempt to try to make it as clear as possible," Eckel told The Associated Press. "And people are welcome to agree or disagree with us." Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year span. He has denied the allegations. Then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary's claim that he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy inside a football building on the university campus is one of 10 such allegations brought by the state attorney general's office. The first round of charges against Sandusky was filed Nov. 5, four days before Paterno was fired and Spanier was forced to resign. The board also apologized for the decision to fire Paterno by phone late that night -- a decision that drew the ire of many of the coach's supporters. "We saw no better alternative," the trustees wrote. "Because Coach Paterno's home was surrounded by media representatives, photographers and others, we did not believe there was a dignified, private and secure way to send Board representatives to meet with him there." The trustees said they planned to apologize to Paterno for the way he was being dismissed but the coach ended the call before the message could be delivered. Phone messages left for Spanier and the Paterno family were not immediately returned. The board also said it decided not to wait until the next morning, saying it feared leaks would have Paterno learning his fate before an official announcement. The coach missed the team's final three regular season games. Bitterness over Paterno's removal has turned up in many forms, from online postings to a note placed next to Paterno's statue at the football stadium blaming the trustees for his death. A newspaper headline that read "FIRED" was crossed out and made to read, "Killed by Trustees." The trustees said they had intended to name Paterno head coach emeritus in honor of his contributions to the university. The board said additional options are under review but no decisions will be reached until after independent counsel and former FBI director Louis Freeh issues a final report on a special investigation into the school's handling of the allegations. The board said the removal of Spanier was also a result of a "failure of leadership" that included insufficiently informing the board of his knowledge of the 2002 allegation. Spanier also made public statements that were not authorized or contrary to the board's instructions, the trustees said. In one statement following the charges against Sandusky, Spanier expressed his "complete confidence" in a pair of university administrators, athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president Gary Schultz, who were charged with perjury and failure to report suspected abuse. Spanier requested a vote of confidence from the board on Nov. 9 but was fired that night. Curley is on administrative leave and Schultz retired after being charged. Both maintain their innocence. Also Monday, a judge heard arguments but opted not to rule immediately on how much information Sandusky should get in advance of his trial on child sex abuse charges. Judge John Cleland gave no indication when he'd rule on the arguments concerning the "bill of particulars" about the 10 purported victims that the attorney general's office provided Sandusky's attorney two weeks ago. Defense attorney Joe Amendola requested more specific information about where and when alleged crimes occurred and the names of people who were present or nearby. He has said that information may help him develop his defense. The attorney general's office says Amendola is overstating the lack of specificity in the materials already provided to him. Sandusky did not attend the hearing.

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

SEATTLE — A missing necktie led to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton getting benched for one series on Sunday night.

Ron Rivera didn't expect it to last just one play.

Carolina's miserable night was capped by a 40-7 loss to Seattle following the most awkward of starts. With Newton being punished for not having a necktie for the team flight to Seattle, the Panthers' starting QB watched backup Derek Anderson throw an interception on the first play of the game.

The turnover only led to a field goal for Seattle, but it was the start of an otherwise forgettable performance by the Panthers that provided another blow to the dwindling playoff hopes of the reigning NFC champions.

Newton missed just one play, but was also just 14-of-32 passing for 182 yards and one touchdown. After pulling within 10-7 in the second quarter, Carolina let Seattle score the final 30 points.

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

BOX SCORE

SEATTLE -- Thomas Rawls ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, Tyler Lockett took a reverse 75 yards for a score to open the second half and the Seattle Seahawks routed the Carolina Panthers 40-7 on Sunday night.

Another prime-time game in Seattle was clouded with odd story lines right from the outset when Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was benched for the first play, only to watch backup Derek Anderson throw an interception . It was the start of miserable night for Carolina (4-8) and a laugher that moved Seattle (8-3-1) one step closer to the NFC West title.

Rawls and the run game set the tone for Seattle, gashing the second-best run defense in the NFL for 240 yards. Carolina entered the week giving up less than 80 yards per game on the ground.

Rawls finished with 106 yards on 15 carries, quiet in the second half after briefly being checked for a concussion. He was just the second 100-yard rusher for a run game that has lagged most of the season. Rawls' 8-yard run gave Seattle an early 10-0 lead and his 45-yard sprint early in the second quarter pushed it to 17-7.

Russell Wilson was 26 of 36 for 277 yards and a 1-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Graham in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks rolled up a season-high 534 yards and kept a three-game lead over Arizona in the division with four remaining.

Seattle safety Earl Thomas broke a bone in his lower left leg during a first-half collision with teammate Kam Chancellor while trying to intercept Newton's pass. Thomas hobbled off the field putting no weight on the leg and X-rays revealed a "cracked tibia," coach Pete Carroll told Seattle's radio broadcast.

On the play after Thomas' injury, Newton hit Ted Ginn Jr. on a 55-yard touchdown pass to pull the Panthers to 10-7. It would be the only highlight for Carolina.

Rawls immediately answered, darting through the Carolina defense for the 45-yard touchdown run and a 17-7 lead. Steven Hauschka added two more field goals before halftime and Lockett raced 75 yards on a reverse on the first play of the second half. In less than 10 minutes of game time, Seattle extended the lead to 30-7.

Newton's benching was for a dress code violation, according to the NBC broadcast and the single play he missed could not have gone worse. Anderson rolled out to throw a pass to Mike Tolbert. It bounced off Tolbert's hands and into the arms of Mike Morgan, a disastrous result for that only added to questions about coach Ron Rivera's intention with the punishment.

Newton finished 14 of 32 for 182 yards.

LOPSIDED RESULT

It was seventh meeting in the past five years between the Seahawks and Panthers, playoffs included. It was the first time of the seven the game was decided by more than 14 points. Five of the previous six were decided by seven points or less. The biggest win during the stretch was Seattle's 31-17 win in the 2014 playoffs.

BATTERED PANTHERS

Carolina's injury list grew again.

The Panthers were already without starters Kurt Coleman and Luke Kuechly (concussions), and defensive end Mario Addison (foot) on defense, and right tackle Daryl Williams (ankle) on offense. Carolina then lost cornerback Daryl Worley and linebacker David Mayo to concussions against the Seahawks.

THOMAS TWEETS

One of the most emotional players on Seattle's roster, Thomas hinted at retirement in a tweet sent just before halftime.

"This game has been so good to me no regrets. A lot is running through my mind including retirement thanks for all the prayers," Thomas tweeted from the Seattle locker room.

Thomas missed the first game of his career last week at Tampa Bay due to a hamstring injury.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Carolina returns home and hosts San Diego.

Seahawks: Seattle travels to Green Bay.