Penn State cites threats in keeping McQueary from coaching Saturday

Posted: November 10, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - For Penn State wide receiver Derek Moye, the fallout from the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the university affects the two coaches with whom he works the most.

Receivers coach Mike McQueary, a central figure in the scandal who said he witnessed an incident in the showers between former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and a 10-year-old boy, will not be at Saturday's game against Nebraska at Beaver Stadium.

Penn State officials made the announcement in a brief statement Thursday night: "Due to multiple threats made against Assistant Coach Mike McQueary, the University has decided it would be in the best interest of all for Assistant Coach McQueary not to be in attendance at Saturday's Nebraska game."

Then there is quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno, son of the now-former head coach of the Nittany Lions who will not have his father around for the first time in his 17 years on the staff.

Moye described his emotions, and those of his fellow receivers, as "very high right now."

"You can't really imagine what Mike's going through right now," Moye said after a team meeting led by interim head coach Tom Bradley. "He's definitely in a tough situation.

"Jay obviously . . . what his dad's going through, they're obviously really close. So I can't really imagine what either of those guys is going through. But at the end of the day, they're invested in us. They love us. They want us to do the best we can, and they're going to do the best they can to make that happen."

McQueary has not commented since he was identified as the graduate assistant who told Joe Paterno that he had seen Sandusky in the showers of the team's practice facility with the young boy in 2002. Paterno relayed the information to athletic director Tim Curley but did not follow up, a judgment that cost him the job he held for 46 seasons.

Earlier Thursday, the Allentown Morning Call quoted an unidentified member of the university's board of trustees as saying the board would ask that McQueary not be allowed on the field for Saturday's game. At the same time, however, he would retain his job. He has been at practice every day this week.

At his news conference Thursday, Bradley said, "Right now, Mike McQueary will be coaching on Saturday," adding that it would be "a game-time decision" whether he'd be in his customary place on the sideline or in the coaches' booth upstairs.

Meanwhile, Joe Paterno stayed in his home throughout Thursday. NBC News reported that he had hired a criminal attorney from Washington to represent him, but that report was refuted on Twitter by Scott Paterno, his son.

Players speaking after the team meeting Thursday at the Lasch Football Complex were saddened by the way Paterno was ousted.

"From what I know, he told his superiors [about the incident], followed the protocol, apparently, and he got kicked out doing what he was told," senior linebacker Nate Stupar said. "It is totally unfair to kick him to the curb like that.

"My heart's with him. My prayers are with him and his family. My heart's out for the victims of what happened. It's a terrible situation, but we have to keep moving forward."

Senior offensive tackle Quinn Barham, one of the team's cocaptains, said he was so angry that he couldn't speak after Paterno announced his retirement, effective at the end of the year. He was angrier after hearing of his head coach's firing, but Bradley told his team to keep its focus.

"We're going to play how he wanted us to play, whether he's here or not," Barham said. "We know he's going to be watching either way. He'll probably still be yelling at the TV if he sees somebody starting to mess up. But we're just going to play for him."


Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or jjuliano@phillynews.com.

 

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