Congressman Withdraws Support For Paterno Award

Earlier today, Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., sent a letter to the White House, withdrawing his support for the recommendation of former Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In it, he tells the President, "It is with a heavy heart that I respectfully withdraw my support for Mr. Paterno's nomination. As a proud Penn State alumnus, I believe the nomination at this time only serves as a distraction from the most important issue - supporting the victims, their families and our community."

Paterno was ousted this week after 46 years leading the Nittany Lions over reports that he did not tell police that his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, had been accused of molesting children. The claims of abuse span 15 years and at least eight alleged victims so far, all part of a charity for at-risk children run by Sandusky that often used the Penn State facilities.

Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey, a Democrat, and Pat Toomey, a Republican, on Thursday both rescinded their request that the Obama administration consider the former coach for the award.

Thompson's office did not respond to a request from FOX News to detail the actions the congressman is taking to ensure justice for the alleged victims.

Thompson, a graduate of Penn State, currently represents Pennsylvania's fifth district, which includes the town of State College, home to the university.

Fox News' Chad Pergam contributed to this report.