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joe paterno
jerry sandusky
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lighting candles
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Joe Paterno Is In Serious Condition: Reports Of Death Are Premature Says Family
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Joe Paterno is In Serious Condition: Reports Of Death Are Premature Says Family

News reports that Joe Paterno, the legendary former coach of the Nittany Lions has died are untrue, according to family members and the family's spokesman, Dan McGinn. Speaking to the media outside the Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, Pennsylvania, McGinn said that while Paterno did have some serious health complications from his lung cancer, his condition was listed as serious but he had not passed away. Paterno's son also tweeted that his father was still fighting. McGinn's statement concluded with asking for privacy and respect for the family during their difficult time.

Paterno, age eighty five, has been battling what was determined to be a treatable form of lung cancer when he slipped and fell in his home, breaking his pelvis. His worsening health led him to be admitted for treatment in the hospital. Paterno himself had said that he did not want extraordinary measures used to keep him alive. The family was weighing the decision of whether to remove the ventilator late Saturday night, even as news outlets were posting death notices.

The confusion seems to have stemmed from Onward State, a student run, online news organization that first ran a story that Paterno had died at the hospital early Saturday evening. Managing editor for that news outlet, Devon Edwards announced via letter that mistakes were made before stepping down from that position.

Students gathered on campus, huddling near the statue of Joe Paterno and lighting candles to reflect on the career of a man marred only at the end by one of the worst sex scandals to rock an American university. Paterno was fired in early November after his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky was indicted on numerous abuse of a minor charges. Penn State University officials felt that Paterno had not acted in the school's best interest and had not made sure that proper reporting had been done. Paterno, in one of his last interviews before his health declined, told reporters that he felt "inadequate" to deal with the scope of the allegations and that he had placed the responsibility in the hands of the University. In addition to Paterno, the University's President and several other high ranking officials were fired. Sandusky had left Penn State many years prior to the explosive charges that have been filed.

In his career that spanned forty six years, Paterno had taken the Nittany Lions to two national championships, went undefeated five different times and had finished in the top twenty five rankings thirty five times.


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