The Nittany Lions started life without the 84-year-old Paterno on Thursday, introducing interim coach Tom Bradley while the board of trustees was just beginning its formal investigation.
“We’re obviously in a very unprecedented situation,” said Bradley, who was Paterno’s lead assistant for the last 11 seasons. “I have to find a way to restore the confidence.”
Many questions remained unanswered – from how much Paterno actually knew to whether there will be any repercussions for assistant coach Mike McQueary, who told Paterno but not police about seeing former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in a shower with a young boy in 2002.
The school said Thursday night that there had been “multiple threats” against McQueary, who is now the team’s receivers coach, and he would not attend Saturday’s home finale against Big Ten rival Nebraska “in the best interest of all.”
Paterno was fired Wednesday night, effective immediately, just hours after the coach had announced that he would retire at the end of the season. The Nittany Lions are 8-1.
Gov. Tom Corbett arrived Thursday in advance of today’s previously scheduled trustees meeting and said he supported the decision to oust college football’s winningest coach and university President Graham Spanier because they didn’t do enough to alert law enforcement authorities.
“Their actions caused me to not have confidence in their ability to continue to lead,” said Corbett, who is on the board.
Sandusky, Paterno’s former assistant and onetime heir apparent, has been charged with molesting eight boys over 15 years. In the week since the state grand jury released its report, athletic director Tim Curley has taken administrative leave and vice president Gary Schultz has retired.
“Certainly every Pennsylvanian who has any knowledge of this case, who has read the grand jury report, feels a sense of regret and a sorrow to also see careers end,” Corbett said. “But we must keep in mind that when it comes to the safety of children, there can be no margin of error, no hesitation to act.”