O'Brien Expected To Carry "Leadership" Duties

Former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will be entrusted to establish a culture of responsible leadership in light of report indicating Joe Paterno failed to do so. Penn State report explains reason for Joe Pa's dismissal.

"Failure of leadership" led to Paterno firing - report
The Sports Xchange

Joe Paterno's "failure of leadership" was the cause for his firing as football coach at Penn State, according to a report released on Monday by the university's board of trustees.

Paterno, who died on January 22 at the age of 85, was fired on November 9 along with university president Graham Spanier. The board of trustees released its report Monday in response to requests from "members of the Penn State community, including students, faculty, staff and alumni to state clearly its reasons for the difficult decisions that were made unanimously on the evening of Nov. 9, 2011."

The report states that the board decided to fire Paterno due to his handling of the information he was presented concerning alleged child sex abuse by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky in a Penn State facility. Paterno reported the information to then-athletic director Tim Curley, but did not pursue the matter further.

"We determined that his decision to do his minimum legal duty and not to do more to follow up constituted a failure of leadership by Coach Paterno," the report stated.

As for the controversial decision to fire Paterno by telephone rather than in person, the report states that the board "saw no better alternative. Because Coach Paterno's home was surrounded by media representatives, photographers and others, we did not believe there was a dignified, private and secure way to send Board representatives to meet with him there."

According to the report, Spanier remains a tenured professor at Penn State. Paterno also remained a tenured faculty member through the continuation of his employment contract, even after his removal as coach.

"We share the grief of the entire Penn State family at the passing of Coach Paterno," the report reads. "We also continue to respect and appreciate Dr. Spanier's and Coach Paterno's lasting contributions to Penn State. We especially honor the great legacy of Coach Paterno in making his football program a model for his emphasis on academic as well as athletic performance and for his generous support of Penn State through the years."

Paterno is the only coach in the history of the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision to reach 400 victories. His replacement, Bill O'Brien, was hired on January 6 after five seasons on the coaching staff of the New England Patriots


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