November 8, 2011 / 6:46 PM / 6 years ago

Penn State Cancels Joe Paterno Press Conference; Ouster Imminent?

4 Min Read

Joe Paterno's tenure at Penn State is coming to an end, according to a report in the New York Times.

Paterno, the coach with the most wins in college football history, has been the school's head coach for 46 years, but a sex-abuse scandal involving one of his former coaches has put his reputation, as well as that of his school, in jeopardy.

The case involves former coach Jeff Sandusky, who stands accused of sexually abusing eight boys over a period of 15 years and preying on other boys through a charity he founded. The police arrested Sandusky, who retired in 1999 after 30 years on Paterno’s staff, on Saturday.

Given Paterno's stature in the sports community, the incident has received extensive media coverage this week, though not quite as much as a certain sexual harassment scandal.

Earlier on Tuesday, Penn State canceled Paterno’s weekly press conference as the scandal threatened to dominate the subject of conversation.

Less than an hour before the presser was set to begin, Penn State spokesman Jeff Nelson handed a short statement to the media members waiting to enter, which read as follows:

"Due to the ongoing legal circumstances surrounding the recent allegations and charges, we have determined that today's press conference cannot be held and will not be rescheduled."

Scott Paterno, the son of the coach with the most wins in college football history, told the Associated Press that school President Graham Spanier made the decision.

A spokesperson for the school had previously said that Paterno would not be answering questions about the scandal, which has already placed Athletic Director Tim Curley on administrative leave and led Senior Vice president Gary Schultz to retire.

Both Curley and Schultz have been charged by the police with failing to report alleged incidents and lying to the state grand jury.

News outlets have begun to express their outrage, with some even calling for Paterno to resign.

The Patriot-News, the main newspaper in Pennsylvania’s capital of Harrisburg, devoted its entire front page to an editorial that said the school must not renew Paterno's contract at the end of the season.

ESPN's Michelle Beadle has been very outspoken on her Twitter account, posing tweets such as:

"I plead with all press covering Paterno today, NO FOOTBALL QUESTIONS. This is a moment when sports are irrelevant. Humanity>'protocol.'"

"Stunned by the amount of Paterno apologists on this topic. Moment words "child, "rape," and "shower" were spoken, 911 shoulda been called."

Meanwhile, the New York Times' Pete Thamel tweeted this from one of his sources: "Expert on Joe Pa's role: "If he believed the story he heard was credible, he had a moral obligation to do something more." Related Articles:  ESPN 3D to Televise 13 College Football Games This Season Gloria Allred Joins Herman Cain Sexual Harassment Fray, Presents Fourth Accuser

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