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Joe Paterno is the subject of a smear campaign, alleges family

Scott Hixson

Joe Paterno is at the center of a heated debate

The former Penn State coach’s family is objecting to the selective release of emails

Joe Paterno is having his name dragged through the mud with the selective release of emails relating to the sexual abuse investigation plaguing Penn State, alleges his family, who are calling on investigators to release all emails in the matter.

“The public should not have to try and piece together a story from a few records that have been selected in a calculated way to manipulate public opinion,” read the family’s statement.

Joe Paterno, the former Penn State head football coach who won more games than any other major college coach in history, was fired last November after university officials alleged he should have acted more forcefully when he became aware of the sexual abuse of children by his then-assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky.

Joe Paterno, who was never charged with a crime, died earlier this year at the age of 85.

Last month, Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of the 48 sex abuse charges. Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former finance official Gary Schultz have been charged with perjury and failing to alert authorities to one act of abuse in relation to the sex abuse scandal.

Former Penn State assistant coach and star witness in the Sandusky trial, Mike McQueary, testified that he had seen Sandusky abusing a boy in a locker room in 2001. According to McQueary, the incident was reported to both Joe Paterno and campus authorities but neither police nor child protective services were notified.

In an email written by athletic director Curley and provided to CNN, Curley seems to suggest that Joe Paterno urged him and his colleagues not to report the incident to the state Department of Welfare or the charity Sandusky founded, the Second Mile. 

“After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps,” read Curley’s email, according to CNN.

Joe Paterno’s family has said in a statement that the coach “abhorred the rush to judgment.”

“Releasing these emails in this way is not intended to inform the discussion but to smear former Penn State officials, including Joe Paterno,” read the family’s statement. “The truth is Joe Paterno reported the 2001 incident promptly and fully.”

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