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Santorum saddened by Paterno’s death, calls his last few months a ‘tragic tale’

by Andrew Abramson | January 22nd, 2012

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvia native and Penn State University alum, said on Sunday that he was saddened by the death of Joe Paterno, calling his last few months ‘a tragic tale,’ as Paterno was fired amid the Jerry Sandusky child rape scandal.

“I said many, many times that one of the reasons Joe was hanging on to that position is because if he left, he’d die. Cancer, broke his hips, he had a lot of problems,” said Santorum at a press conference outside the Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach where he gave a sermon on Sunday.

“I knew Joe very well, and it was a very tragic tale, his last few months of his life. It’s tragic that a life so well lived and someone who had made such a great contribution to sports and to our culture would have the end of his life end in such a sad way. My prayers go to the school and his family. I know one of his sons very well; to the entire state of Pennsylvania, who I’m sure, like me, are saddened by these turns of events.”

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15 Responses to “Santorum saddened by Paterno’s death, calls his last few months a ‘tragic tale’”

  1. Frank Edwards Says:

    I do not understand all this mourning for Joe Paterno as if we have now conveniently forgotten then young boys raped by Sandusky while Paterno stood by and did nothing when clearly it wasn’t being addressed.

    By definition, Paterno is a BAD man – a selfish one only concerned about college football.

    I am sure there are many young boys who are only angry by Paterno’s non-reaction, which is absolutely 100% unforgiveable. And his Washington Post interview was ludicrous, taking no responsibility (and boy did the Post let him off easy).

    Football is just a game… grown men throwing a ball around. All nice and well. The systematic raping of young children, however, is a totally different playing field.

    If Paterno himself burning in hell, maybe finally he’ll realize his wrong.

  2. Frank Smith Says:

    Frank, have some class. Looks like you don’t have any.

    Also, do some research, you obviously have not done that either.

    RIP Joe Paterno.

  3. Gary Mann Says:

    To Frank Edwards: You are a small minded, pathetic excuse for a man. Maybe you need to learn how to read, check the GJ testimony, and see that Joe did what was required by law. But then, I am sure that someone as squeaky clean as yourself, wouldn’t understand that. I guess you really can live in a glass house.

  4. Frank Edwards Says:

    “Joe did what was required by law.”

    WOW. That’s the real measure of a man.

    He did what was required by law – and if everyone else around him failed, he holds no responsibility continuing to work with a man who is raping children.

    Nope, no duty to speak up… to scream at the top of his lungs “WTF is going on here, there’s a rapist on the loose”… to go to press, to make noise, to put the well-being of innocent children above that of a comparatively incredibly unimportant sports program.

    We’re not talking a minor violation, we’re not talking “gee, he’s not squeaky clean.”

    We’re talking a man who is, by his silence, RESPONSIBLE for the pain and suffering of many young children RAPED by his associate with him he continued to work.

    Yeah, I’m not “squeaky clean”–but I’m not downright filth either. And that’s exactly what Paterno is.

    Give me a break.

    As for Frank Smith, the only way to have class is not to forget all those young victims, which, it seems, those who are mourning this horrible coach’s passing seem to be throwing out of the window.

    Shame on them.

  5. PennStateFootballLover Says:

    Joe Paterno put the well-being of a sports program above that of innocent children….

    I have to agree, he may have been a “hero” but his true character was revealed with the Sandusky scandal….

    It’s no minor mistake….. It’s a choice he made that resulted in many children being harmed.

    In my book, that changes all, no matter what positive impact he may have had before as a coach…. For life is much bigger than a sports game – and on that playing field, he could have prevented many more children from being harmed – and he chose to protect the sports program instead.

    It makes me very sad.

  6. CurtRoss Says:

    I’m glad Paterno held on long enough to see his name besmirched­, losing the one thing he seemed to care more about more than children getting raped: his legacy.

  7. Gary Mann Says:

    Many people were given information about Sandusky. This included attorney generals, police officers, district attorneys, school officials, and parents. The list is long of those that knew, and did nothing at all. The only reason this was all put in Joe’s lap, he is a household name. If you aren’t a Penn Stater, you wouldn’t know who Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz, Tim Curley, or Mike McQueary are. So ESPN decided to put this whole horrible thing right on Joe. Joe reported to his superiors, including the head of the University Police Department. I am not saying Joe Paterno is a saint. All I am saying is this whole thing should be on Jerry Sandusky’s shoulders, not Joe’s. WE ARE . . . . PENN STATE

  8. Debbie Luckett Says:

    Rest in peace, Joe. The natives of the great state of Pennsylvania understand, and we honor you. You brought class and character to that school for many years, as long as I can remember, and you did all that you could do. Sandusky and McQuarry will be the ones to burn in hell, and appropriately. Lets hope another great man can come along and fill your shoes. And lets hope he understands the state of Pennsylvania and the university as well as you did. God bless your family in this difficult time

  9. Marianne Nichols Says:

    Joe Paterno is not a great man.

    He was a great football coach. But that’s irrelevant when he fails the test of being a man.

    A great man puts children above himself, his colleagues, his sports, his school.

    A great man would not have kept quiet.

    A great man couldn’t possibly even look at the face of a pedophile every day and keep his mouth shut. In fact, only a man of lesser character could stomach that situation and go on with his life.

    Sure, Gary Mann, is right that a lot of people failed in this situation.

    But no one is calling those other people “great men.”

    That’s the issue here.

  10. Gary Mann Says:

    I give up folks. You all have your opinions, and your minds are made up, dispite the facts. I rest in knowing that we have folks out there, like you, that will always do the right thing, never fail in your responsibilities, and always have the advantage of hind-sight. Bless you.

  11. Marianne Nichols Says:

    People do make mistakes. It’s part of being human.

    Knowingly letting a child rapist continue to rape is about as big a “mistake” the rape itself. This isn’t an issue of “always” doing the right thing. This is an issue of what one’s choice reveals about himself. Some choices are so big that they can hardly be sweeped away. Had Paterno chosen to ensure this rapist was put away by making noise about it until it was dealt with… and though this is a bit of hyperbole, had he taken a shotgun even and shot Sandusky between the eyes, only to be sent to jail himself… then he would be the so-called “hero” that some are making him out to be.

    Instead, he chose to protect a sports program. Call it a “mistake” if you want – but all those little raped boys, I am sure, would have a hard time thinking it a mere “mistake.”

    Also, “despite” is not spelled “dispite.” (That, however, constitutes a “mistake,” and for that you can be forgiven.)

  12. Jeanette O'Toole Says:

    Rick Santorum has class ; this case IS tragic … prayers for the soul of Joe Paterno, and prayers for his wife (how desperately sad and tortured she must be) and prayers for his whole family, and the families hurt by Sandusky. And, Joe, now that you’re a little closer to Christ in proximity, please “coach” the Silent Souls (you passed away on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade!) on getting more votes for Rick!

  13. Frank Edwards is completely ignorant Says:

    Frank Edwards is completely ignorant

  14. Mary Anne Walsh Says:

    I agree with those who say Paterno’s choice re: Sandusky outweighs anything he did beforehand. It’s the mark of a man in these decisions – and a great coach here has failed to be a great man.

    Not doing everything possible, even at cost to yourself, while kids are being raped by your colleague, is unforgivable.

  15. Dorothy Says:

    Frank Edwards, regardless of what the other bloggers write in response to your post, I am with you on this issue. Joe Paterno could have “and should have” done more, even if it was just keeping Sandusky away from those “children,” and making sure he was never alone with them.

    As a friend, he should have offered him an ultimatum….”come clean, get yourself the help you need or, I gotta do what I gotta do.” But “cover up” is what people do this days, now more than ever.

    There is no pleasure in learning of another person’s demise. In this case, at least he had an opportunity to answer to what he knew about the sexual assaults and his failed response to them. Anyway, it’s all over as far as he is concerned down here, just like the “outrage” about the raping of those children, his presence and existence has ceased. He left a tainted legacy… so sad.

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