PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Sue Paterno: “If the Experts Don’t Know, How Can We Know?”

Sue Paterno quickly went from excited to devastated last July when the Freeh report was released.

Originally looking forward to the findings in search of the truth, she told Katie Couric on “Katie” in a taped interview that her feelings quickly changed when she saw how Louis Freeh characterized her husband. “I was in a state of disbelief,” said Paterno. “He didn’t know Joe.”

The interview began with an emotional Paterno calling the past year “quite a challenge.” Later segments would feature family attorney Wick Sollers, children Diana, Mary Kay, and Jay Paterno, and former Penn State football players Aaron Maybin and Greg Buttle.

All parties defended the late Joe Paterno for his handling of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, but the most telling line came from Sue Paterno as she pointed out that the director of The Second Mile was a child psychologist and explained to Couric that Sandusky was allowed to adopt children.

“If the experts don’t know, how can we know?” said Paterno.

Earlier in the interview, Paterno told Couric that Sandusky had manipulated everyone around him and she even had to stop reading the November 2011 grand jury presentment because she felt physically ill.

Couric pressed Paterno and asked if her husband should have done more following the 2001 report from then graduate assistant Mike McQueary that Sandusky was in a Lasch Building shower with a young boy.

Paterno responded by saying that Sandusky was always spending time with children and her husband was unaware of what he was really doing.

“If he [Joe] learned what he learned in 2011 about 2001, yes he would have done more, but we didn’t have that benefit of hindsight,” she said.

While the widowed Paterno has not spoken to any of Sandusky’s victims, if given the opportunity, she would tell them that she is “praying for them and hopes they get the help they need.”

As the debate about Joe Paterno’s role in the scandal returns to the spotlight with the latest report and public relations blitz by the Paterno family, how does she want her husband to ultimately be remembered?

“He was real. Everything that he believed and taught, that’s who he was.”

About the Author

Drew Balis

Drew is a senior marketing major. This fall, he will be covering Penn State Football for Onward State. He is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and loves THON and Domonic Brown.


State College Links
More by Drew

McGloin Named NFL Rookie of the Week

The former Penn State record setting quarterback took home Pepsi Rookie of the Week honors following his impressive first NFL start that resulted in a 28-23 win for the Oakland Raiders on the road against the Houston Texans.

Will Adrian Amos Play Some Snaps at Linebacker?

Willis and Carson Talk Differences Between Butler and Roof


Penn State Baseball Routes Lafayette 8-1 In Allentown

The Nittany Lions’ offense exploded for eight runs in a much needed victory over Lafayette.

Report: Penn State Investigating Swimming Coaches After Allegations Of Bullying

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Loses To No. 1 Stony Brook 21-13

Tony Carr Signs With Octagon Basketball Agency

Penn State Baseball, Lion’s Pantry Join Forces To Help Fight Food Insecurity

Student Life

Country Rock Band Old Dominion To Visit BJC October 26

Death. Taxes. The Bryce Jordan Center booking country acts.

UPUA Finishes Spring Semester Strong

The Weird, Wacky, And Wonderful World Of Penn State Craigslist

Saquon Barkley Shows Some Skin On SI Cover

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 26, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Barkley is expected to be a top-five pick, and he and his most vehement supporters say there’s no reason he won’t go No. 1 overall.

Saquon Barkley’s College Career As Told By Five Games

Five games in particular give a clear glimpse of what Saquon Barkley meant to Penn State football.

To Our Favorite NFL Teams: Please Draft Saquon Barkley

Our staffers enjoyed rooting for Saquon Barkley so much that they can’t imagine not doing so in the NFL.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Please Argue Somewhere Else: James Turchick’s Senior Column

“In the four years since I arrived at 502 Packer Hall with my roommate Mason and no clue what we were doing, I’ve become comfortable with where I think Penn State is heading.”

Send this to a friend