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.


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 Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

A banner raising ceremony will commemorate the achievement prior to the team’s season opener on November 9 against North Florida.

Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Forward Abdou Tsimbila Commits To Penn State Hoops

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

‘Rathskeller’ Name Subject Of Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

The complaint cites that the business has been sold throughout the years and is not tied to that specific location.

Finance Committee Recommends Tuition Freeze For In-State Undergraduate Students

If it is approved by a full-Board vote Friday, the committee’s budget plan will freeze in-state undergraduate tuition for the first time since 2015.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn State Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

A banner raising ceremony will commemorate the achievement prior to the team’s season opener on November 9 against North Florida.

Send this to a friend