Hansen Unplugged: The call Joe Paterno didn't make

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by DALE HANSEN

WFAA

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 3:05 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 13 at 6:17 PM

There's not a lot of happy people in Happy Valley, Pennsylvania tonight.

Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is accused of sexually molesting at least eight little boys (and probably more) because of what Penn State officials didn't do... and it includes the legendary Joe Paterno himself.

Paterno was told in 2002 that Sandusky was in a shower with a 10-year-old boy. Paterno reported it to university officials; they're accused of covering it up; nobody called police; and Paterno never said another word.

Penn State vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley are facing charges, accused of lying to a grand jury and failing to report the abuse.

Paterno is not a suspect, and says he did what he was supposed to do. But did he really?

You're told that your 58-year-old former coach is having sex in a shower with a 10-year-old boy.

You tell the athletic director.

And you don't ever mention it again.

State officials say Paterno had a moral responsibility at the very least to notify police, but he didn't make that call.

And Sandusky is accused of continuing the abuse for several more years... with several more boys.

Lawyers for the three men being charged say they're innocent, and Paterno's not being charged with any crime. But he's been coaching at Penn State for 46 years. They're 8-1 this year; he's won a record 409 games and two national championships.

He'll always be remembered for all of that.

And he'll always be remembered for that one phone call he didn't make, too.

Happy Valley is not a happy place tonight.

E-mail dhansen@wfaa.com

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