Paterno Reportedly Approaches Prominent Defense Attorney in Wake of Sex Abuse Scandal

Fired Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has approached a prominent criminal defense lawyer in the wake of the Penn State sex abuse scandal, NBC reported Thursday night, citing unidentified sources.

The network reported that J. Sedgwick Sollers, who represented President George H.W. Bush in the Iran-Contra affair, was contacted by Paterno's advisers on Thursday.

Sollers declined to comment on the matter to NBC on Thursday night. NBC also reported Sollers and Paterno had not met and a formal retainer agreement had not been signed.

After 46 years at Penn State, the 84-year-old Paterno was fired Wednesday night with the school engulfed in an unprecedented scandal after the arrest of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on child sex abuse charges.

Although Paterno has not been charged, Pennsylvania state police Commissioner Frank Noonan has suggested he had a "moral responsibility" to contact police about potential sexual abuse involving children, after he became aware of allegations against Sandusky in 2002.

Penn State athletic director Tim Curley, 57, and vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz, 62, are facing charges of falsely misleading a grand jury and failure to notify child services of alleged abuse in connection with Sandusky's case.

Sandusky, Curley, and Schultz have all maintained their innocence.

A source close to Paterno told NBC that the iconic coach was also concerned about the possibility that civil lawsuits could be filed by Sandusky's alleged victims and their families.