Penn State Former Coach Joe Paterno Dies at 85; Sandusky Scandal Mars His Legacy
Posted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:14 AM PDT

jopaternoobit_200.jpgLOS ANGELES, California (X17online) - After 46 seasons as the football coach for Penn State, as the winningest coach for a college team, Joe Paterno died Sunday at 85.

The legendary coach's reputation was tarnished in his last months, when he was criticized for not going to law enforcement in 2002 when his then-graduate assistant came to him with news he'd seen assistant coach Jerry Sandusky allegedly sexually abusing young boys on campus.

Paterno had been hospitalized since Jan 13 for lung cancer treatment. That cancer was named as his cause of death. His family released this statement:

    "He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community."

Paterno was fired with only three games left in the seasons last November, when University struggled to deal with the Sandusky scandal. Penn State fans, in large part, supported Paterno and strongly disapproved of his exit.