Penn State

Paterno Protected Players

Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was so protective of his players that a school official once resigned in frustration when she tried to discipline them for poor behavior. The university’s standards and conducts officer, Vicky Triponey, resigned in 2007 after a meeting with Paterno to discuss the recent arrest of six football players for beating up other students. Two years earlier, she had written an email to then–Penn State president Graham Spanier complaining Paterno believed she had “no interest, (or business) holding our football players accountable to our community standards … and I think he was saying we should treat football players different from other students in this regard." Paterno’s history includes allowing a player to participate in a bowl game despite a sexual-assault charge that had led the school to expel him (the charge was later dropped).