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Records: Penn State axed public praise for Joe Paterno following football coach's death in 2012

Published On: Mar 26 2014 01:44:14 PM EDT
Joe Paterno

Newly released records show Penn State University planned to issue a statement honoring football coach Joe Paterno in the days after his death, then scrapped the idea amid the widening Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.

Excerpts from documents obtained by an alumnus who filed a Right-to-Know request were published late Tuesday by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

They show university President Rodney Erickson planned to issue a statement honoring Paterno after he died of cancer in January 2012 for teaching players to be "lifelong learners and engaged citizens."


The day after Erickson shared the statement with trustees, however, they were advised that it would not be released after all.

The records indicate university officials worked hard to control Penn State's message of unity amid the growing chaos of the scandal.