Plans for Paterno to speak off-campus canceled

Posted: November 08, 2011

Penn State president Graham Spanier's decision to cancel Joe Paterno's news conference today might not mean that we don't hear from the coach.

His son, Scott, is said to be "working on" plans for an off-campus news conference for Paterno to address the Jerry Sandusky scandal that has enveloped the university and the region.

However, those plans were scuttled, the New York Times says. Paterno instead will head to practice, as usual.

Scott said it was a "very important distinction" that needed to be made that Spanier canceled the news conference, rather than Paterno. More than 100 reporters had been lined up since about 9 a.m. for the 12:20 availability.

Reporters outside the building were handed a statement on a plain white piece of paper from assistant athletic director Jeff Nelson.

"Due to the ongoing legal circumstances centered around the recent allegations and charges, we have determined that today's press conference cannot be held and will not be rescheduled," the statement said.

Paterno's appearance on the weekly Big Ten conference coaches call also was postponed.

Scott told the Associated Press that his father wanted to speak about the charges and also talk about Penn State's game against Nebraska.

Penn State ordinarily makes seven or eight players available to talk about the upcoming game. As of this morning, only one was scheduled.

Scott also disputed a New York Times report that said Joe Paterno could be out "within days or weeks." The report cited "two people briefed on conversations among the university's top officials."

He also said that Joe is expecting to coach Saturday's game against Nebraska.

The report said no timetable has been set with the Board of Trustees. The board is scheduled to meet in a private session Thursday and a public session Friday. Gov. Corbett is expected to attend.

On Twitter, Scott Paterno called the report "premature" and said there have been "no discussions" about retirement with Paterno.

He did not respond to a phone call from the Daily News.

The university also announced that Spanier has postponed an annual school fundraising dinner, originally scheduled for Wednesday, to honor him and his wife, English professor Sandra Spanier, because "our attention is so heavily focused right now on the troubling charges by the attorney general."

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