PHILADELPHIA – Gov. Tom Corbett said Thursday that he wishes former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno had done more after telling university officials about child molestation accusations against one of his assistant coaches.
Corbett also said in an interview (http://bit.ly/wzsZ1u ) with WPVI-TV in Philadelphia that he and his fellow Penn State trustees were right to fire the legendary Paterno last fall even though the coach met his legal obligation to report the allegation against Jerry Sandusky.
"I wish he would have followed up after he made that report," Corbett said Thursday.
A graduate assistant told Paterno in March 2002 that he had witnessed Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in the university's athletic facilities. Paterno then relayed a version of that story to a Penn State administrator.
Sandusky later was charged with sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. He has maintained his innocence, acknowledging he showered with boys but saying he never molested them.
Paterno, who coached at Penn State for decades, said just before his firing in November that he wished he'd done more. He later described the abuse scandal as one of the great sorrows of his life. He died of lung cancer in January at age 85.
Corbett, a Republican, was involved in the Sandusky investigation as state attorney general before taking over as governor in January 2011. As governor, he sits on Penn State's board of trustees.
At a memorial service for Paterno, Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight defended the former coach, saying that "if there is a villain in this tragedy, it lies in that investigation and not in Joe Paterno's response."
Corbett told WPVI that he's not sure what Knight meant.
"If there's a villain in this, in my belief, it's the man who's been charged with the crimes against the victims," Corbett said.
Information from: WPVI-TV, http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi