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Posted on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 3:55 p.m.

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke will not 'make judgment' on child sex scandal at Penn State

By Kyle Meinke


Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky after being arraigned on sex abuse charges on Saturday, Nov. 5, in State College, Pa.

Andy Colwell | The Patriot-News

For the second day in a row, Michigan football coach Brady Hoke declined to comment on the brewing child sex-abuse scandal at Penn State.

"I'm not going to really address that," he said Tuesday during his weekly teleconference with reporters. "I said yesterday, it's an unfortunate situation, but it's not my place to make judgment on it, because I don't know the facts. My big concern is Michigan, this program and getting ready to play a very good Illinois team."

The No. 22 Wolverines (7-2, 3-2) travel to Champaign, Ill., for a game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on ABC. They are not scheduled to play this year against Penn State, which has come under fire for alleged sexual abuse by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys spanning a 15-year period, and multiple administrators -- even legendary head coach Joe Paterno — have been widely panned for failing to contact the police when they were informed in 2002 of an alleged rape of a young boy in a football facility shower.

Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business, and Tim Curley, the athletic director, were charged by a grand jury of perjury and failure to report to authorities, which is required by Pennsylvania state law.


Penn State president Graham Spanier and football coach Joe Paterno talk before the Iowa game on Oct. 8, 2011. file photo

Now, Penn State president Graham Spanier and Paterno have been excoriated for a failure to notify police or child services after learning that Sandusky allegedly was abusing children.

Sandusky continued to receive full access to school and football facilities, was seen with children and directed a football camp for boys on a Penn State satellite campus for six years after school officials were notified of his alleged sexual encounters with boys.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday afternoon the 84-year-old Paterno will not coach next season, and his exit already is being planned due to the scandal.

He has served 46 seasons as the Nittany Lions' head coach and last week passed Eddie Robinson as the all-time leader in Division I college football wins. Now, his career appears headed toward an abrupt and disgraceful conclusion.

Penn State canceled Paterno's weekly news conference minutes before it was scheduled to begin today, and Paterno did not appear on his weekly Big Ten conference call later in the day.

On Monday, Hoke seemed to have a hard time finding the right words to characterize the scandal, and eventually declined to comment.

"You know, well, believe me, that’s ... (long pause) ... I wouldn’t even know how to answer that question," Hoke said. "We’ve got Illinois to worry about.”

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:37 p.m.

Just think. In 1968, AD Don Cahnam offered the head football coaching job to Paterno. After he declined the offer, Cahanam hired Bo. Michigan really lucked out there. Imagine. Paterno could have brought Sandusky with him, and this tragedy would have happened here. We can thank God that we got Bo. I can only speculate what Bo would have done had Sandusky worked for him. Bo did not suffer fools well. He put up with no nonsense. I remember that he had the season tickets of a wealthy alumnus revoked who tried to intervene on behalf of a disciplined player. Bo had a sense of right and wrong, and God help you if you had to stand in front of him for a transgression. If you broke the law, you had better turn yourself into the police before Bo got you. We really lucked out when Paterno decided to stay at Penn State.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:48 p.m.

Amen! Bo and Woody, true men (although Woody wud be out of control at times).


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:57 p.m.

Hoke clearly did the right thing. He needs to keep an arm's length (or two) from an issue that involves another Big Ten school. But, Paterno should not be allowed to retire after the season like he announced. PSU needs to step up, act like adults, and do the right thing here - request Paterno's immediate resignation or fire him immediately. He showed extremely bad judgement in not pursuing the case with his "bosses" or the police and for allowing Sandusky's continued access to Penn State facilities after the 2002 incident.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

Why should there be any outrage concerning Penn State's role in this? I mean it's not like they worked out too much or stretched too much! That's the kind of thing that boils the NCAA.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

For those who presume to know the chain of events in the PSU scandal, some questions: Q1 -- When is it alleged Sandusky committed his first transgression? Q2 -- Who within PSU's administration discovered this and what was their reaction? Q3 -- If the chain of command was exercised, to what level did it go? Q4 -- Were law enforcement authorities notified? Q5 -- After the first awareness and notification, when did the second transgression occur? Q6 -- What was the response to that ... again, who notified who and to what level did the notification go? Q7 -- At any point during the earlier notification cycles, did law enforcement authorities investigate but find insufficient evidence to indict? I ask these questions because it gets to the very heart of the issue -- what *exactly* was known when. There is a presumption that the facts of this case are just clear-cut and the conclusion is obvious. But that's hindsight. But if a chain of events narrative is painted by someone who presumes to know the facts, then I might be persuaded to consider what they have to say. Provided they can back up their "facts" with supporting documentation.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:22 p.m.

Yes, indeed ... provides many of the details I've not heard in ANY of the reports I've read and seen on this story. Based on the Grand Jury report the most damning charges are against Curley and Schulz. Based on the Grand Jury report the issue with Paterno is that he failed to follow up with the action taken. He took the appropriate action reporting events to his superiors. Again ... the ball was dropped by Curley and Schulz. And it looks like they're in some serious trouble for felony perjury.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

The Grand Jury Indictment provides the answers and timelines to most of these questions. Did you read it? It's 23 pages, easily available online from the NYT, and very damning.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4:37 a.m.

Come on, Ann your spelling right! Especially in a headline. It's "judgment," NOT "judgEment!"

Thomas Strode

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

Either one is correct. "Judgement" is the more common spelling in Britain.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4:01 a.m.

What did the writer expect for Hoke to say? That he's happy that Penn State will suffer in recruiting in Pennsylvania and that we can gain some players? Maybe talk about how disgusting Sandusky's actions are and that he hopes he gets beat up constantly (or worse) in prison? Hoke gave the media friendly answer and it was actually a pretty logical answer. He's not here to pass judgement on anyone, his job is to be the coach and his job's not to give his views on news to the media unrelated to Michigan athletics. It is interesting to see Hoke comment on this story though, it's so shocking, disgusting and bizarre.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3 a.m.

I thought Mr Bacon Book was a TRUE STORY,and a Great Book.The Truth Hurts most of the time.What U of M people don't understand the Detroit Free Press can't stand anything U of M does,period.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

Seems to me , if the administrators...and Paterno included...had "made judgment" on the situation, and spent less time preparing for their next "big game"...Sandusky wouldn't have gotten away with what he got away with...for so long.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:19 a.m.

If someone wants to hurl insults at Jerry Sandusky - I can understand it. But why take it out on poor old JoePa? Joe is NOT the unholy perpetrator. Humiliating good and decent folks makes no sense at all. I seriously doubt Paterno truly understood the extreme situation going on (His main focus is always on college football) not trying to play the Kojak role.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.

It's more a question of incompetence more than being a good person. As a lifetime leader of men and PSU, he needed to do much more than just report the incident to his boss. Continuing to allow a person like Sandusky to have access to football facilities after the horrible 2002 incident was all on Paterno.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:52 a.m.

Seriously? Paterno runs Penn State. He's been told one of the coaches has been involved with inappropriate behavior of a minor child and he just "reports" it and then what, forgets about it? How do your forget about something like that? How do you allow this guy to continue having access to your athletic department when you know he's a creepy pedophile. Sorry... I'm not buying it. I just can't make sense of it at all.

jeff blue

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:41 a.m.

We agree that Joe Pa is a good guy. But, he knew some of what was going on and he should have taken more assertative action. Joe knows better.

jeff blue

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 12:29 a.m.

WOW, this is crazy; every single game in Big Ten game this Saturday favors the B10 "away team": NEB is favored by 3 over PSU in Unhappy Valley MICH is favored by 3 over the Biting Illini in Champaign, IL MSU is favored by 2 over Iowa in Iowa City NW is playing Rice -- out of the conference (NW is a big favorite, 16 pts over Rice) OSU is favored by 7 over PUR in West Lafayette, IN Wiscy is favored by 27 over Minny at Minnesota Indiana is off, I think Great chance for many upsets this weekend!!!!

jeff blue

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:39 a.m.

I saw 3 points in USA Today sports. We'll probably see some movement by Saturday, but I sure the favorites will still be favored. I agree that Illinios is a tough match-up for Michigan -- as they were in 2010. We are the better team this year, but we must prove this on the ROAD. Jeff

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 12:54 a.m.

The Toledo Blade listed UM as a 1 1/2 point favorite Tuesday morning. Where did the 3 points come from?????

Terry Star21

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

Noooooooooo Jeff, no upsets on your second listed team there - please !


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

to suggest that it is irresponsible to ask the question of a football coach is to suggest that the football coach isn't also a parent----and a caring human being. this isn't a question about football----answering the question doesn't take away from preparation from an upcoming football game--------it is a question that any thinking person should be able to answer. all coach hoke had to say (if he wished) was, 'i am a parent. i have very strong feelings.' end of story. certainly he has thought about it as we all have.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 10:51 p.m.

Difference of opinion. And no, I don't have much regard for reporters. Sports reporters, however, I have at least some regard for provided they stick to the topic of sports. Leave the questions unrelated to the sport off the table. If the reporter wants to get the real heart of the matter, ask Dave Brandon or Mary Sue Coleman what protective measures Michigan has in place to prevent such a thing from happening at Michigan.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 10:45 p.m.

mr AZ evidently you don't have much regard for reporters------the asnwer---- this isn't an 'oprah' question. it is a question that every sports fan in america (not much hyperbole) is talking about------and not just sports fans. this is a gigantic, horrific story that concerns anyone who is a parent or grandparent. there are some issues that can't be ducked. brady hoke was likely blindsided by the query and missed a chance to show his very human side. personally i wouldn't have been disappointed if he'd taken that opportunity.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 10:20 p.m.

Then why not fill the press conferences with questions about whatever tragic story happens to be in the papers that day? How about spending the football press conference time asking about what was discussed on "Oprah" or "The View?" But upon reflection I will retract my use of the word "irresponsible" -- poor choice of words. I'll retain "foolish." And I'll add "unprofessional." Beyond my choice of words, do you honestly think Hoke is so dumb as to answer this question? What possible upside is there for Hoke? Answer: none. The slightest rhetorical misstep and the time leading up to Illinois would be all about Hoke's comments. And if the allegations against Sandusky prove to be incomplete or incorrect, then any comments from Hoke would then be twisted to suggest he "rushed to judgment" or "acted rashly." Thankfully we don't have a coach as dumb as the reporters.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 10:04 p.m.

Brady Hoke should only be concerned with his football team's preparations for the IL game, then the NE game, then the OSU game, then recruits, then a bowl game.

say it plain

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 9:46 p.m.

We shouldn't be so shocked by this. This is what apparently happens sometimes in the "boys networks" that still exist in our society... The Catholic Church has had to deal with it, men trusted to *not* abuse power they have over the youth they come in contact with, and here is College Football, networks of men trusted not to abuse theirs. What happens when one of the 'powerful' does so?! Too often, in these authoritarian-type organizations....*nothing*. Cover ups, make it go away, pretend it's not happening. The victims are twice victimized--first by the disgusting disturbed creatures who do things like Sandusky is accused of doing... Then by the entire organization that conspires to silence them, and to allow yet further abuse to occur.

say it plain

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

I didn't say we shouldn't be *outraged*... I said we shouldn't be shocked... this kind of thing happened in the Catholic Church, another organization that is tight, orderly, and doesn't like to endure scandals. I think that they even claim to have some sort of moral compass guiding their actions, as well, right?! So, I find it repugnant, and horrifying, and totally besmirching of the 'character' of those involved in hiding the abuse and enabling the abuser... I just don't find it all that *surprising* (or, if you will, "shocking")...


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:44 a.m.

We shouldn't be shocked? It's not 1950, 60, 70, 80, or even the 90's! A young boy (he was 10!) is raped by some creep in authority and these supposedly "good" men of character try to cover it up? How does that not shock you with all we know about child abuse in this day and age? They were all COWARDS of the worst kind. My heart goes out to all the victims. It's just all so hard to understand...

Ron Granger

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 9:23 p.m.

I heard John U Bacon has already written a book on the scandal.

Terry Star21

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 12:36 a.m.

Good job Ron...he sold his soul for money doing a book where only 1 of 4 principles involved (sans Car, Martin & Coleman) commented, a fictional one sided joke. You are right on !

Stephen Landes

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 11:36 p.m.

Ron, I think your comment is really inappropriate. John is a good author and journalist -- no reason to drag him into this issue.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 9:14 p.m.

There is absolutely no reason Hoke should comment on this. And it is foolish and irresponsible for reporters to ask him.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

Lorraine is 100% right. About Hoke, he has the option to remind the reporters to ask themselves the same question and write about it.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:51 a.m.

Totally agree with you here.

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:16 a.m.

Sallyxyz..if you are really all that concerned, try this on for size. 1. Woody Hayes, hits Clemson's Chas Bauman, during a bowl game in 1978. Fired by osu. 2. Jim Tressel, hid information regarding players in the now famous tatoo gate, at THEosu, then lied to cover it up. 3. MSU coach Mark Dantonio promoted an atmsphere of thuggary aimed at opposing players, which was exposed by ESPN on national tv. In an attempt to snap the neck, of an opposing QB while he was helplessly pinned under a pile, after the play ended....and no action was taken by the university , or the league. 4. Joe Paterno, failed to disclose inapporiate behavior by a former DC. Just the latest troubling news coming from the big ten.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:03 a.m.

Reporters ask all kinds of questions all the time. No problem with that. It's the responses (or lack thereof) that are important. Hoke performed well in this situation. I'm sure all Big 10 coaches are being asked in their respective towns by the local media how they feel about the Paterno situation. This is a big event in NCAA college football.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 11:01 p.m.

Agree with you 150% Don. What in the world should or could Hoke even say? Just such a horrifying sad situation.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 9:44 p.m.

Reporters ask foolish and irresponsible questions as a means of gaining personal glory and fame. Plus, I doubt very much "the public" wants to know what Hoke thinks of this situation. And any member of "the public" that does want to ask that question is just as foolish and irresponsbile as the reporter who asks on their behalf. For heaven's sake, people, let the process unwind at Penn State absent any intrusion or speculation from other high profile coaches. It's in the best interest of everyone to keep such questions out of the press conference.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

Reporters ask the foolish and irresponsible questions their readers would ask if they could. "the public wants to know"


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

Paterno is done. Period...and this is going to happen FAST. If he thought, "reporting this to his superiors" was the extent of his "legal" obligation, he is toast. And it is irrefutable that after he did report it, his "superiors" never contacted law enforcement. That's pretty cut and dried. He had a choice to let this die and protect a former coach or go directly to the police despite the fact that he did what he was "legally obligated" to do. Good-bye Jo-Pa.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.

Bravo to Coach Hoke for doing the right thing, and not making any statements or judgments about the Penn State situation. He does have to focus on this week's game, and in spite of this distraction for his team because of all the news, Hoke is smart to stay out of the conversation about it. Truly sad way for Paterno to end a long career.

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:18 a.m.

Anyone else find it curious all this surfaces AFTER JoePA, passed Eddie Robinson's all time wins record....hmmm,. Just sayin'.

Ron Granger

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 8:54 p.m.

I can't believe Joe Pa is going out this way after such an amazing career. I just defies belief. Undermined. Soiled. Tarnished. Ruined.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

I think Brady Hoke's comment was perfect.

Ron Granger

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 8:18 p.m.

Just when you thought there was *nothing* that could possibly make Rich Rod's stint seem not so bad..... What a shocker this story has been.