Joe Paterno Reportedly Knew of Child Abuse in 1976

Penn State v Alabama

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A couple weeks ago, Donald Trump shouted out former Penn State coach Joe Paterno at a rally in Pittsburgh. He puzzlingly asked the crowd if they were going to “bring that back” — well, today, Paterno returned to the headlines in the worst way possible.

Per, a court order from 1976 reveals that a child told Paterno that he was sexually abused by Jerry Sandusky:

The line in question states that one of Penn State’s insurers has claimed “in 1976, a child allegedly reported to PSU’s Head Coach Joseph Paterno that he (the child) was sexually molested by Sandusky.”

The order also cites separate references in 1987 and 1988 in which unnamed assistant coaches witnessed inappropriate contact between Sandusky and unidentified children, and a 1988 case that was supposedly referred to Penn State’s athletic director at the time.

This news, of course, shouldn’t be too shocking unless you’re a crazed Penn State loyalist hell bent on defending Paterno forever.

The Paterno’s family lawyer, Wick Sollers, released the following statement in response:

“Over the past four-and-a-half years Joe Paterno’s conduct has been scrutinized by an endless list of investigators and attorneys,” the Paterno family’s attorney, Wick Sollers, said in a statement.

“Through all of this review there has never been any evidence of inappropriate conduct by Coach Paterno. To the contrary, the evidence clearly shows he shared information with his superiors as appropriate.

“An allegation now about an alleged event 40 years ago, as represented by a single line in a court document regarding an insurance issue, with no corroborating evidence, does not change the facts. Joe Paterno did not, at any time, cover up conduct by Jerry Sandusky.”