User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Golf
Auto
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Vigil planned to remember Paterno 1 year later

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - From bumper stickers to signs posted by a few businesses to the occasional T-shirt, reminders of Joe Paterno sprinkle Happy Valley.

Advertisement
Most cues are subtle enough to make an outsider look twice. Like the decals with the outline of the bespectacled Paterno's distinctive face, or the shirt with the image of the longtime Penn State coach's trademark look of rolled-up khakis and sneakers.

A year after his death, Paterno and a reputation tarnished in the aftermath of the child sex abuse scandal involving retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky remain sensitive topics for groups of alumni, former players, staffers and community residents.

The Hall of Fame coach died of lung cancer on Jan. 22, 2012, at age 85. On Tuesday - exactly a year after his passing - community residents have organized a vigil at a downtown mural that includes a depiction of Paterno.

A family spokesman has said the Paternos would not take part, and remain in privacy.

Their supporters, though, spoke up at a recent meeting of the university's Board of Trustees.

Most critics are angered by how school leaders handled Paterno's ouster as coach and the explosive findings of the internal investigation led by former FBI director Louis Freeh that put part of the blame on Paterno.

Others say the school hasn't done enough to honor a 46-year career in which Paterno was known for focusing on academics and philanthropy as well as football.

``The university should lead the way and not sit in silence,'' said Ed Stine, 62, of Gaithersburg, Md., a member of the alumni watchdog group Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship. He was one at least one of at least four dozen audience members who applauded or praised speakers who paid tribute to Paterno at the meeting.

The man who built Penn State's program into one of college football's marquee brands was fired in November 2011, days after Sandusky's arrest on molestation and other charges. The trustees had said Paterno was ousted in part because he had a moral obligation to pass on to police outside the university a 2002 allegation of sexual assault by Sandusky that was relayed to Paterno by a graduate assistant.

Sandusky was convicted in June on dozens of criminal counts, crimes that authorities said occurred on and off campus. In July, Freeh accused Paterno and three former school administrators of concealing allegations against Sandusky to protect the school's image.

The NCAA took unprecedented action two weeks later in levying strict sanctions including a four-year bowl ban, strict scholarship cuts and a $60 million fine on the university. College sports' governing body also vacated 111 wins under Paterno, erasing what had been his major college record of 409 career victories.

Paterno's family has vehemently denied Freeh's conclusions and has maintained the coach would not take part in a cover-up. They have said they expect to release a response to Freeh's report in the near future.

The trustees have maintained over the past year that they intend to honor Paterno at some point. When asked last week, a couple trustees cited ongoing legal issues related to the scandal.

``There's going to be a time and a place to do that, and I don't think that's right now yet,'' trustees chairman Keith Masser said last week.

University leaders continue to navigate tricky issues as they try rebuild Penn State's image. In the eyes of some national columnists and other critics outside Pennsylvania or the Penn State community, Paterno's name has been forever soiled.

A survey of alumni conducted for the school by an external public relations firm found that more than eight in 10 alumni remained positive toward Penn State, though that's down from nine in 10 in 2009. The survey also found that ``recent events'' still had a negative impact overall on the feelings of alumni, though the impact was less pronounced in December than in the last survey taken in May.

About 75 percent of respondents also said the school should publicly recognize Paterno for his decades of service to the school, down from 87 percent in May. The survey of 1,172 alumni was taken online and over the telephone, with a margin of error that was 2.86 percent.

``We still have an overwhelming majority of people who say he should be honored,'' said trustee Anthony Lubrano, who has long voiced support for Paterno and his family. He joined the board last summer with the backing of alumni critical of trustees who fired Paterno.

``It's important for us to address if we're going to heal and move forward,'' Lubrano said.

At the least, the football program that appeared to be in peril after the sanctions has regained its footing under Paterno's successor, Bill O'Brien. The former New England Patriots offensive coordinator conducted a masterful job leading Penn State to an 8-4 season and keeping most of the team together following the penalties.

``It was pretty impressive,'' said Terry Pegula, a proud Penn State donor and the owner of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres. ``To be down there, in the middle of that, wasn't a good situation. Even the students were feeling bad. So Bill turned into the shining light in the whole thing. He had a lot of pressure on him and he did a heck of a job.''

Al Pacino has been signed to play Paterno in a movie about the late coach. Producer Edward R. Pressman said last week that Brian De Palma will direct ``Happy Valley,'' the tentative title of the film, based on Joe Posnanski's best-seller ``Paterno,'' which followed Paterno's final years as his career ended with the sex abuse scandal.

Since the season's end in late November, questions have been raised again about the sanctions and Freeh's report. Gov. Tom Corbett - a trustee by virtue of his elected office - has sued the NCAA in federal court to have the sanctions overturned.

Lubrano and longtime trustee Alvin Clemens, who was on the board in November 2011, drew applause when paying tribute to Paterno last week.

The tributes at the meeting were appropriate, said trustee Paul Suhey, captain of the 1979 football team and another November 2011 trustee. He hoped there would be ``a time when (the board) can honor Paterno more'' after addressing lingering problems from the scandal.

---

AP freelance writers Christina Gallagher and Mike Haim contributed to this report.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 8
Dobish: College Betting Recap - Week 8
SEC first to put 4 teams in top 5
TCU now highest-ranked Big 12 team
Schedule favors No. 2 FSU down stretch
Michigan State figures out balancing act
Cal WR Davis released from hospital
Nebraska's Pierson-El stars on offense too
UF could be pondering Muschamp's fate
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAAFB Hot Streaks
15-5 L20, 23-7 L4 Sat., +1,638 TY
11-5 L16 Picks, +1,758 This Year
6-2 Sat., 26-10 L36, +1,740 TY
5-1 Saturday, 17-8 Totals TY
11-2 Record L2 Saturdays
18-10 Record L4 Saturdays
17-9 L26 Picks, 20-10 L8 Saturdays
6-1 L7, 9-3 Guarantees TY
35-21 L56 Picks, +1,086 TY
7-1 Guarantees This Year
8-4 Last 12 NCAA Guarantees
10-4 L3 Saturdays, 17-8 L25 Picks
5-2 Last 7 NCAA FB Totals
NCAA FB College Football Expert Sports Picks
2014 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 1758
Dave Cokin + 1740
Kevin Rogers + 1638
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 380
Kevin Rogers + 355
Pat Hawkins + 315
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 69 %
The SportsBoss 65 %
Kevin Rogers 63 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 590
Scott Pritchard + 570
Chip Chirimbes + 380
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 977
Stephen Nover + 820
Tony Stoffo + 440
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 1280
Kevin Rogers + 1010
The SportsBoss + 560
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest