Former Nittany Lion Reacts to JoePa’s Column
A column released online Wednesday may be the only way we will know just how former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno felt about the child sex abuse scandal rocking the university.
His family confirmed the column was written by Paterno shortly before his death with the intention of having it published as an editorial.
Former football player Ray Alberigi said listening to it now, there`s no denying these are Joe-Pa`s words.
“If you knew Joe Paterno right, once you got there as a freshman you knew after about two weeks being with him that you were there to get an education, get a diploma, football was second,” said Alberigi.
Paterno wrote this column after former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with molesting boys.
Paterno lashes out at those who accused Penn State`s football program as being partly to blame for allowing the crimes to happen.
Paterno wrote: “Over and over again I have heard such ignorant comments like Penn State will no longer be a `football factory` and we are going to `start` focusing on integrity in athletics. These statements are simply unsupported by the five decades of evidence to the contrary.”
Alberigi said he feels Paterno and the program he ran for 46 years were made scapegoats by university officials.
“I feel they did,” said Alberigi. “When they didn`t let him finish out his career, three games, just broke my heart.”
Thursday morning, a report on how the university handled the scandal is expected to be made public.
The report’s release comes as the Board of Trustees is in the Scranton-area for a public meeting here at Penn State Worthington Scranton Campus in Dunmore.
Attorneys for the board said the trustees could have a response to the report sometime Thursday.
Still Alberigi said this column is Paterno`s way to defend both his beloved school and team, even in death.
“Joe was a fighter, from the first day I met him he was a fighter right to the end,” said Albergi.