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Paterno Coverage Analysis

Now that Joe Paterno has been memorialized in front of a crowd of thousands some people are looking at how the coach was treated in the media after the Jerry Sandusky Scandal broke.
UNIVERSITY PARK, CENTRE COUNTY - Now that Joe Paterno has been memorialized in front of a crowd of thousands some people are looking at how the coach was treated in the media after the Jerry Sandusky Scandal broke.

Lou Prato has covered Penn State sports for decades, written several books about Penn State Football, and was even the first director of the Penn State All Sports Museum. But he started covering the team as a reporter for the Collegian when Joe Paterno was just an Assistant Coach. He thinks there's more to this story than everyone knows. And he doesn't think Paterno was treated fairly during this process.

He says several people in the media, particularly the national media, made Paterno the villain instead of Sandusky in those early weeks. He said people made assumptions about guilt without enough information. He specifically pointed out the Sports Illustrated that featured Joe Paterno on the cover and only a small picture of Sandusky deeper inside.

With Paterno's passing much of the negative attention has shifted away from him. A Seton Hall Sports Poll in November showed 55% of people agreed with the Board of Trustees' decision to fire Paterno. This week only 42% agree.

Prato wants people to let the whole story come out, before they decide who's guilty of what. He says Joe was not a saint, but he was a lot closer than some of his critics in the media.
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