Former Penn State coach Paterno breaks pelvis, hospitalized

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 11, 2011 5:14 PM
Former Penn State coach Paterno breaks pelvis, hospitalized

(Reuters) - Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno fractured his pelvis after falling at his home on Saturday and was hospitalized, a source close to major college football's winningest coach said on Sunday.

Paterno, 84, was admitted to an undisclosed Pennsylvania hospital on Sunday morning and was in stable condition later in the day, the source said.

The fracture does not require surgery but Paterno will remain hospitalized to undergo a regimen of radiation and chemotherapy treatments for his previously diagnosed lung cancer, the source said.

"I have talked with him very recently and he is a determined fighter," the source told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity to protect the Paterno family's privacy. "He is trying to reassure the people around him as to his condition."

Paterno, the university's head football coach for 46 years, had previously fractured his pelvis when he was struck by one of his Nittany Lion football players during a preseason practice in August.

Paterno was fired last month after a child sexual abuse scandal involving Paterno's defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky rocked the Penn State campus. Sandusky faces 52 counts of child sexual abuse over accusations he abused 10 boys over a 15-year period. He maintains his innocence.

Paterno, who will turn 85 later in December, is not the target of the investigation. But school officials said the coach, who was told about a 2002 incident involving Sandusky and a boy in a Penn State locker room but did not report it to police, should have done more to prevent the alleged abuse.

Pennsylvania voters by a slim majority agreed with Paterno's firing, poll results released this month showed.

(Reporting by Eric Johnson; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)