Corbett: I’d lost confidence in Paterno, Spanier

Gov. Tom Corbett said Thursday that he supported moves by Penn

State’s board of trustees to force out famed football coach Joe

Paterno and president Graham Spanier, saying he’d lost confidence

in their leadership capacity.

Corbett, who is on the 32-member board along with 10

gubernatorial appointees, made the comments after a second day of

private meetings of Penn State trustees amid an unfolding child sex

abuse scandal involving the university.

Asked if he thought that Paterno and Spanier didn’t do enough to

alert law enforcement to protect the safety of children, Corbett

said he was disappointed in their actions.

”I support the board’s decision,” Corbett said. ”Their

actions caused me to not have confidence in their ability to

continue to lead.”

Corbett, the state’s former attorney general, wouldn’t answer

questions from reporters about any of the board’s internal

discussions in the wake of a grand jury report released Saturday

that said former football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky had

sexually assaulted multiple boys, including some on university

property. Sandusky has denied the allegations.

The trustees announced Wednesday night that Paterno, in his 46th

season coaching Penn State’s storied football team, would no longer

be coach and that Spanier would no longer be president.

”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.”

Scrutiny fell on Paterno and Spanier after the grand jury report

said a team graduate assistant was in the locker room on the night

of March 1, 2002, when he discovered what he said was a naked boy,

about 10 years old, being sexually abused by Sandusky.

Paterno and Spanier have said they weren’t told the exact

details of the incident or the seriousness of the matter, but the

Pennsylvania State Police commissioner, Frank Noonan, has suggested

they fell short of their moral responsibility to alert police.