Penn State scandal: Assistant coach won't be at Saturday's game
Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary won't be at Penn State's last home game, citing "threats." Joe Paterno is seeking legal advice, according to reports.
State College, Penn.
Penn State University struggled to stem the damage on Thursday from a sex abuse scandal that ended the 46-year career of football coach Joe Paterno, one of the most revered U.S. sports figures.Skip to next paragraph
Paterno was fired late on Wednesday after it was revealed he was told in 2002 that his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky engaged in allegedly sexually inappropriate behavior with a young boy in a campus locker room. While Paterno told his boss, he did not call the police.
NBC News, citing sources, reported on Thursday night that Paterno had hired prominent Washington criminal defense lawyer J. Sedgwick Sollers. Paterno has not been charged with any crimes in the Sandusky case.
A spokesman for Sollers' firm, King and Spalding, could not confirm the report. But Scott Paterno, one of Paterno's sons, tweeted: "No lawyer has been retained."
Separately, the university's athletic department said that Mike McQueary, one of the football team's coaches and a central figure in the sex abuse scandal, would not take part in Saturday's game against the University of Nebraska. It cited "multiple threats" against him.
McQueary was a graduate assistant in 2002 when he saw Sandusky allegedly raping a young boy in the locker room showers. He reported the incident to his supervisors, including Paterno, but not to the police.
Police have plans to boost security at Penn State's final home football game on Saturday, although interim head coach Tom Bradley said he was not concerned about the safety of players.
"We are obviously in a very unprecedented situation," Bradley told a news conference on Thursday of the challenge facing him. "I am going to find a way to restore confidence and start a healing process with everybody."
Sandusky was charged on Saturday with sexually abusing eight young boys over more than a decade and former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former finance official Gary Schultz, were charged with failing to report an incident.
Sandusky, Curley and Schultz have all denied the charges.
Along with Paterno, Penn State University President Graham Spanier was also fired on Wednesday after 16 years in the job.
In a statement hours before he was sacked on Wednesday, Paterno announced he would resign and said, "With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."
He met his legal obligation by reporting the abuse allegation to Curley, legal experts said.
But he stands accused of moral failings for not calling police.
Paterno's fall from grace, weeks after becoming the winningest all-time coach in major U.S. college football, is taking various forms.
On Thursday, Pennsylvania's two U.S. senators, Republican Pat Toomey and Democratic Bob Casey, reversed their nomination for Paterno to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the nation's highest civilian honor.
"We hope the proper authorities will move forward with their investigation without delay," Toomey and Casey said in a joint statement.
Penn State's board of trustees will meet on Friday to appoint a special committee to investigate the events that lead up to the charges against Sandusky outlined by a grand jury. A press briefing is expected in the afternoon.
A ninth possible victim, now in his 20s, has since come forward and Pennsylvania police have set up a telephone hotline to receive information about the sexual abuse allegations.
"I'm still a big Penn State fan, but I wholeheartedly agree with the firing," said Paul Brosky, 40, of Horsham, Pennsylvania, wearing a Penn State shirt. He said Paterno should have reported the incident once he saw nothing was being done.