Joe Paterno was fired late Wednesday night after 45 years as Penn State’s head football coach. Paterno’s firing was strictly for an off-field issue, one of the biggest college football sex scandals in history. Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee, who played for Paterno at Penn State from 2005-2009, spoke on the issue Wendesday.
“It’s just a sad situation up there,” Lee said. “Coach Paterno has had a fantastic career. I enjoyed very much playing for him and I enjoyed playing for Penn State. It was an unbelievable college experience.”
Lee didn’t just give Paterno his dues, though. The sexual abuse scandal was the true topic of discussion. Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was alleged to have sexually abused children, but kept his job under Paterno regardless. After being asked about the scandal, Lee didn’t hide feelings.
“When it comes to the whole situation it’s just shocking,” Lee said. “It’s extremely sad and you pray for the children and you pray for their families and you hope justice is done. Hopefully once justice is done, Penn State can move on and be the great university that it is. This really doesn’t represent our university. That’s not what we’re about and I think hopefully from this point on we can move on.”
Penn State students rioted in Happy Valley after the announcement of Paterno’s firing, one of the worst events in college athletics history. After years of committing his alleged crimes, Sandusky was finally charged with 40 counts of molesting boys from 1994 to 2009.
Lee is currently nursing a dislocated left wrist he suffered in the Cowboys’ 34-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles two weeks ago. On Wednesday, he practiced with a club-like cast in hopes of playing against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Cowboys have had trouble stopping the run in Lee’s absence, allowing two 100-yard rushers in the past two games. On Sunday, Dallas will need Lee’s run-stopping ability to slow Bills running back Fred Jackson, the NFL’s third-leading rusher who idolized Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith growing up.
Contact Jeric Griffin on Twitter @JericGriffin