Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno hospitalized

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 13, 2012 5:48 PM
Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno hospitalized

(Reuters) - Legendary Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno, fired in the fallout from the school's child sex abuse scandal, was hospitalized on Friday for observation due to complications from lung cancer treatments, his family said in a statement.

Paterno, 85, has been undergoing a regimen of treatments since November for a treatable form of lung cancer, the statement said. He also fell in December and injured his pelvis, it added.

Paterno was sacked by Penn State in November for failing to tell police what he knew about child sex abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Also fired was university president Graham Spanier.

Sandusky faces 52 charges stemming from accusations by 10 men who say he molested them as juveniles over a 15-year period.

The 67-year-old Sandusky has maintained his innocence. No date has been set for his trial, and he is under house arrest.

Paterno was hospitalized on Friday after experiencing "minor complications" from his cancer treatments, the statement said.

"Although these issues have been challenging for Coach Paterno and his family, he has total confidence in his doctors and is determined to make a full recovery," the family said.

Paterno injured his arm and hip last August in an on-field collision with a player.

A member of the College Hall of Fame, Paterno was head coach of the Nittany Lions for 46 years. With 409 victories at Penn State, he won more games in big-time college football than any other coach in the sport's history.

Unrivaled for the longevity of his success, Paterno promoted the notion that football players could excel on the field and in the classroom. "Success with Honor" was the motto of his football program, which boasted high graduation rates among players.

(Reporting by James Kelleher and Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)