Munchak supports Paterno, says legacy will survive scandal

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 6:30pm

Mike Munchak does not believe his experience at Penn State was unique in any way.

So the Tennessee Titans head coach figures he is not the only one who believes Joe Paterno’s legacy of service and dedication will survive the current scandal that has rocked that university and prompted Paterno’s announcement Wednesday that he plans to retire at the end of the season.

“I think I speak for everyone that’s gone there: he was a great coach to be around, I knew we were very important to him, not just as football players but as people,” Munchak said. “He made that very clear. I thought the way he handled the team, the way he motivated us. The stories he told were more about life and not just football. He was concerned for what you did after football, the school thing was legitimate — he did want guys to graduate.

“All the things you heard about him were exactly true. I don’t think that’s going to change for anybody.”

Paterno’s long-time defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested earlier this week and charged with numerous crimes as a result of alleged sexual activity with young boys over a period of years. Sandusky had access to the children through his charitable foundation for at-risk kids, The Second Mile.

College football’s winningest head coach, who has worked at Penn State for 61 years, has come under fire, but not criminal investigation, for the fact that he reported one alleged incident in 2002 to his superiors but not to law enforcement.

“To me, this whole thing has been a horrible situation,” Munchak said. “It’s been a tragedy that something like this can happen. I can’t imagine what the victims and the families have been through.

“… As far as how the university’s handling it and what Coach Paterno has decided to do, I think they know all the information. That’s information, I think, that only they’re aware of as to what did go on, and I think he’s probably doing what he needs to do.”

Munchak is the first person to have played under Paterno to become an NFL head coach. His staff includes special teams assistant Chet Parlavecchio, a linebacker at the university when Sandusky was defensive coordinator.

Titans linebacker Tim Shaw also played at Penn State and during his time there did work with The Second Mile even though Sandusky no longer was a member of the coaching staff.

“He was around, I knew him,” Shaw said. “… I think [The Second Mile] was a big, positive spot in Central Pennsylvania, for sure. There were always events going on to raise money for it, and there were, I think, a lot, a lot of kids who were helped and a lot, a lot who were impacted in a positive way, from what I saw.”

Clearly, though, there was much he and others did not see.

At this point, Sandusky has been charged with 40 criminal counts. He was arrested and freed on bond.

Paterno announced his decision in a statement in which he said he was ‘devastated’ by the developments in the case.

“I honestly can’t believe that now is the time [Paterno] chose to do it,” Shaw said. “There’s been a lot of opportunities, but for now to be the time … it’s just sad that he’s linking the two events together, I think.”

Munchak was confident that — with enough time — the two eventually would separate themselves.

“When you talk to Penn Staters, we all have the same story about our experience there, as far as what the place meant to us, the pride we have in that place, coach Paterno and the staff,” Munchak said. “So when you hear something like this, that there’s something going on on your campus, the shock is. ‘How could this have happened? How could this have been going on?’

“…I’m still proud of my university. I still think it’s a great place to go to school. Right now, it’s something that’s very unfortunate. It’s a tragedy that happened at Penn State.”

51 Comments on this post:

By: randrewfree on 11/9/11 at 7:47

By: bnakat on 11/10/11 at 12:51

Later last night we learned that the coach had been fired. He was said to have not taken enough action about what was reported to him in 2002. He had stated earlier in the day, prior to the termination, that he wished that he had done more at the time.

In time he will be remembered for the good he tried to instill in his players, along with his remarkable winning record. It is hoped that this failure will not always tarnish his image. As a coach and mentor he exuded class.

By: tomba1 on 11/10/11 at 4:47

Sorry munch, but your coach has now disclosed his true character. He stands ready to protect and cover for his troops to the bitter end regardless of the law, truth, conduct, and honesty; all values he and the school self-proclaimed for decades. Well, now the cover is blown and let the chips fall where they may, and may that be where they deserve to be, on the trash heap. They'll now go looking for another "joepa" but hopefully, for their sake, they won't find him. By the time this is all over with, they might not even be able to afford another "joepa".

By: applebyb on 11/10/11 at 6:50

Coach Munchak,
this was not a tragedy, this was a CRIME, a crime perpetrated by a Pederast. A CRIME committed at Least 9 times over 9 YEARS!!!! 9 YEARS!!!
Coach Paterno did not commit the crime, but he helped to protect his friend and the victims paid the price of his friendship.
Who cares about Coach Paterno's legacy? Do the victims care about Coach Paterno's legacy? Do the victims' family care about Paterno's legacy?? I rather doubt it...

By: gid on 11/10/11 at 7:31

Papa Joe did not witness anything, he was told something occurred and he reported this to the AD. IF the AD had done his job and called the police we would not be having this discussion.

By: limitup62 on 11/10/11 at 7:47

All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. Joe was told of the raping of a child. He reported it and continued to allow this man to rape innocent little boys for years. If Mancheck wants to stand beside some one who allowed this to go on without persuing it to justice, I have no desire to ever watch anything he does. I wonder if it was Mancheck's son that was being raped in the shower if he would still feel the same.

By: dargent7 on 11/10/11 at 7:48

I really find it hard to believe Paterno KNEW what Sandusky was doing to 8 year olds.
The assisstant who SAW Sandusky in the shower will be a great witness in having him serve 20 years in prison.
The other jackasses all lost their jobs.
I wonder what they knew this pedophile was doing.
Football is a man's game played by young men.
It's not a knitting circle where old gay men come to rape innocent boys.
That's what the Catholic church is for.

By: FLeFew on 11/10/11 at 7:50

From a proud French-American!

Apparently, the Titan's Coach does not "get it." Indeed, this is a crime against children and transcends (or, at least, it should) sports or athletics. Mr. Paterno putting the good of his Football Program ahead of the protection of young children (how many remains unknown) cannot be defended regardless of those athletes he mentored in the past. There is no scapegoat for Mr. Paterno, AD or anyone else. I do not know if he has grandchildren, but had one of them been molested under his "watch," what would his choice have been.

As a nation, we tend to worship at the altar of sports; Mr. Munchak's reaction underscores that.

By: Ingleweird on 11/10/11 at 8:11

Taking Munchak's reasoning to its logical conclusion...

Josef Stalin and Pol Pot did some bad things, but they successfully achieved their objectives, and we STILL talk about them today!

By: limitup62 on 11/10/11 at 8:39

To Ingleweird, So you're saying that all football programs are attempting to convert players into child rappists? Is this the logical conclusion you are coming to? Condon activity by peers and mentors to achieve a goal of child rape? So, doing bad things is okay, as long as you achieve your goal.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 8:45

Sorry, Munch...not with you. I never support people who allow child RAPE to occur on their watch.

Try again. And, screw the Titans if you support child RAPE.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 8:47

Munch's comments are sick. He should be ashamed.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 8:50

Paterno knew, and football was more important.

I guess Munch is more concerned about Paterno's legacy than the dozens of ruined lives that Paterno could have prevented.

By: slinkyd on 11/10/11 at 8:58

I'm surprised at how many people know more than the grand jury, who actually heard Paterno testify directly and chose not to indict him, although they did go after two others. I'm sure there will be civil suits as well and more will come out then, but we don't have all the facts yet. It's a good thing we have a justice system and not mob rule.

By: Radix on 11/10/11 at 9:04

Munchak is right on.

It takes courage not to give in to the mob mentality surrounding this scandal. We need to stand up for the falsely accused, or next time it may be you.

Tomba, Ingleweird, Jughead, limitup, etc obviously have not read the facts of the case. You can say Joe Paterno didn't do enough, but you can't say he didn't do anything. The facts don't support it. The men who did nothing were arrested (Shultz and Curley). Joe Paterno and Mike McQueary were cleared by the grand jury.

If you think you have more info than the grand jury, let me know, and I will arrange a deposition with the prosecutor. Otherwise, make sure you have the facts before you pile on.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 9:09

It's not a "scandal" folks, it's child RAPE. Rick Pitino had a "scandal."

And, those of you who say Paterno is...well..kinda innocent...are sick. He turned his head knowing that boys were being RAPED.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 9:12

@Radix---you are sick and twisted. The facts are clear. You may play semantics with the law, but NOBODY (except your disgusting butt) is buying that Paterno did what was right.


By: gid on 11/10/11 at 9:12

I read the Grand July report, it is only about 12 pages long, pages 7-9 mention Paterno. Paterno was told on a Saturday the scheduled a meeting with the AD and witness (who is still an asst. Coach at Penn State - he eyewitnessed it and is still employed) on Sunday. Paterno did what he was supposed to it to the AD and the AD should have done his job.

To all the ones who are glad Paterno is fired, where is your rage at the eyewitness who is STILL an Asst. Coach??

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 9:13

The Titans can have Munchak. Anyone who says anything less than "Paterno made a terrible mistake" is supporting what he did.

By: limitup62 on 11/10/11 at 9:19

Radix, Your comment: You can say Joe Paterno didn't do enough, but you can't say he didn't do anything? Grand Jury found him to have done nothing criminal, but what about moral or ethical? He was told of a specific crime. When he saw that nothing, nothing at all had been done, he had an obligation to those innocent victims to stand up, be counted and not let it be swept under the matt of "I did my part". "Let some one else take the responsibility". Funny how Mancheck spoke up for Paterno, but did not speak out against the crime. Show's his colors are yellow.

By: Radix on 11/10/11 at 9:21

Jughead said: "He turned his head knowing that boys were being RAPED."

You are accusing Paterno of a serious crime. Cite your evidence of this and I will forward it to the prosecutor. Remember, your imagination doesn't count. The law is funny in that they need actual facts.

By: Radix on 11/10/11 at 9:35


Do you have all facts? Shultz, the man Paterno and McQueary reported the incident to, is the head of the PSU University police. Was Paterno assured it would be handled? The incident in 2002 was described to Paterno as 'inappropriate horsing around'. Paterno may have been misled about how serious it was.

Did you know that Sandusky was reported for an off campus incident in 1998 and the DA dropped the case and Paterno forced him to retire shortly after anyway? (Thats right, Sandusky had not worked for Paterno since 1999). The problem is, he was an Assistant Professor Emeritus as part of his retirement package so he still had access to campus. Joe Paterno did not have authority to revoke that. Did you know the majority of the incidents took place in association with Sandusky's charity and not PSU?

My point is, there is a ton of blame to go around, and Paterno is WAY down at the bottom of that list, yet he is getting 99% of the attention. That is not justice, and does nothing to assure this doesn't happen again. It does not serve the victims. Why is no one even mentioning Sandusky's charity which seems like it was a front for finding victims? That is really far more creepy than anything that happened on campus.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 9:43

@Radix: Fact--retard---Paterno knew in 2002 that Sandusky committed RAPE of a 10-year-old boy.

What friggin more do you need? He did nothing except pass the buck. Then, allow a predator to continue finding prey on his dime.

Both of you are pukes.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 9:44

Support of Paterno is just plain creepy and sick.

By: slinkyd on 11/10/11 at 9:44

Why attack Munchak? He doesn't have any more information about the allegations than anyone else. Most of the people with strong opinions can't articulate them without getting a couple of the facts wrong anyway. It would be irresponsible for him to say any more than he did, which is that it's a tragedy and the university is handling it.

By: slinkyd on 11/10/11 at 9:53

Jughead, you prove my point. It has not been established that Paterno knew there was a rape. You state it is a fact but it has not been established as fact by a grand jury who heard his testimony directly, not second or thirdhand media reports.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 9:59

@slinkyd. You can play the "catch me if you can" game all day, but over 20 victims have now come forward.

Paterno was told by an eyewitness about the RAPE....and, he protected PSU instead of children.

Disgusting. And, Munch is a POS for "supporting" him.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 10:02

And, yes, the assistant is just as creepy and needs to go.

A school teacher would go to jail for not reporting abuse to authorities. Something about protecting the defenseless.....I guess an issue that is unimportant to a few of you on this forum.

Err on the side of protecting an institution, doncha know---don't worry about the kids.


By: dargent7 on 11/10/11 at 10:03

Boys: It's like Truman's plaque on this Oval Office desk: "The Buck Stops Here".
Paterno was the head coach. He knew, or should of known.
Now he's an old, senile man at 84. 12 yeas ago there's NO excuse.
He, like Woody Hayes and Bobby Knight, can all kiss my a**.
I will persoanlly kiss Bo Schembeckler's feet.

By: Radix on 11/10/11 at 10:07


I don't usually call names on here, but let's leave it at this; your grasp of reality and facts are extremely lacking.

If Paterno knew of a rape and did nothing, he would be charged, as that is a crime. Reporting it (or as you call it, 'passing the buck') is what you're supposed to do, and its exactly what he did. Joe is not the Sheriff in those parts. He doesn't have keys to the jail.

By: dva56 on 11/10/11 at 10:09

Sorry Munch but given the atrocious acts that happened to innocent children for years under Joe Pa's watch, my concern about his legacy runs somewhere between clipping my toe nails and trimming my nose hair.

By: Radix on 11/10/11 at 10:12


Most of the incidents happened off campus after Sandusky left the football program. Paterno is no more responsible than you are for those.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 10:35

@Radix: Your pretzel logic is the exact reason why numerous childrens' lives were ruined when they were RAPED.

JoPa should have called the police, period. You are a sick soul if you believe anything less.

I'm through with you.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 10:40

PR advice to Munch: "I am heartbroken that a man I knew as honorable and trustworthy has failed so miserably. There is no excuse for a person in authority not to protect children, and it is a shame that a man I admired had such a terrible lapse in judgment."

Munch--anything less is sad. I hope you revisit your "support" of this man. If not, this is one man who will never "support" the Titans again.

By: damons on 11/10/11 at 10:44

Correct me if i am wrong, but the term used to report Sandusky was that he was "horsing around". If i would report everyone to the police that was horsing around, there would be no one left in the world. They would all be in jail!

By: T-BONE on 11/10/11 at 10:47

Hey Munchak "wake-up"! Phootball coaches are not friggen GOD'S. "POPE" Joe Paterno is a "scum-bag" ...(standard fair for a Catholics "Cover it up"?)! But "THAT DON,T MATTER", he is a good PHOOTBALL coach! (So what! in the greater scream of things this means nothing!) NOTHING! Pope Paterno and the rest of his "merry" staff have done nothing but make millions of dollars exploiting "amateur" college players! Look at what his "loyal fools" are doing! Rioting in the street, like a bunch of crazy monkeys! These are the FANS? (FANATICS)? These are the same people that think being "loyal" to your team is the same thing as being patriotic to your country, and get "boners" when the "war birds" fly over! Football has become a sick obsessive sport in this country! Look at the fans! Their time would be better spent playing sports with their kids, and teaching them this..."It does not matter who wins or loses, it's how you play the "GAME"!

By: Radix on 11/10/11 at 11:10

Jughead are you now accusing me of something? Your moral relativity is astounding. You think the legal system should be based on your emotions? Wow... Again did you read anything? He did more than call them, Paterno met with the VP of the police on campus. But hey what good are facts in your little visceral paradigm?

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 11:36

@Radix: Your hero Sandusky is now being accused of pimping out boys to PSU donors, and that his departure from PSU was in exchange for a cover up.

Keep on believing, man...good for you. Don't worry about kids being RAPED.

I'm accusing you of being a disgusting person. Need more?

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 11:38

Munch needs to backtrack now, or his whole credibility is shot.

My guess is that he'll bolt the Titans for the PSU job, and fail miserably.

By: slinkyd on 11/10/11 at 12:47

So instead of talking about his direct experiences over 4 years and beyond, he should comment on something that he has no direct knowledge of? And if someone calls for due process and allowing the justice system to decide the facts, then that makes them indifferent to child rape? Your logic is dizzying. You clearly live within your own jug, Jughead.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 12:52

@slinkyd: See my PR comment above for what Munch SHOULD have said. Glorifying Paterno is sad, pathetic, and wrong.

ANd, that is what Munch did--glorify someone who stood watch while children were being RAPED.

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 1:13


By: dargent7 on 11/10/11 at 2:07

Radix: I know what you know. I read what you read.
The assisstant in 1998 saw Sandusky T-Boning the 8 year old in the college shower room.
That's hardly "off-campus".

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 2:26

@Radix: Read the dang Grand Jury report, and see if Sandusky and Paterno remain your heros. NUMEROUS victims in the PSU athletic facility.

It will disgust you, and I think you may change your manlove for JoPa.

By: dargent7 on 11/10/11 at 2:41

As a side bar, what is it with adult men?
They cannot find an outlet for their sexual urges with ( legal) women?
Have to rape and sodomize young boys?
Is it some DNA malfunction?
Who in the hell wants to screw some 8 year old in the anus?
That's in some way sexually exciting?
Jesus Christ, buy a Playboy, a Hustler, or go on-line.
Leave our children ALONE. Life's tough enough without having them to overcome this violation and your sickness years down the road.

By: dargent7 on 11/10/11 at 2:43

As a side bar, what is it with adult men?
They cannot find an outlet for their sexual urges with ( legal) women?
Have to rape and sodomize young boys?
Is it some DNA malfunction?
Who in the hell wants to screw some 8 year old in the anus?
That's in some way sexually exciting?
Jesus Christ, buy a Playboy, a Hustler, or go on-line.
Leave our children ALONE. Life's tough enough without having them to overcome this violation and your sickness years down the road.

By: FLeFew on 11/10/11 at 2:51

I do not understand the cowardess of a person who sees a child being raped and goes away!!! Nobody did enough ... especially the one who first witnessed the act.

Forget your own saftey, STOP THE RAPE!!!!

By: Jughead on 11/10/11 at 3:37

No surprise that Munch, Paterno, McQueary, and the rest of Happy Valley circle the wagons to deflect the child rape allegations. They all know that preserving a school football program trumps child safety.


By: Balo on 11/10/11 at 4:06

This is not about football or a football coach. It is about a man who failed to be a man and failed in the world of humanity.

As a football coach, Paterno was one of a few who excelled. As a man, he is a failure.

Based on your priorities, you decide which is the most important?

By: T-BONE on 11/10/11 at 5:03

."PHOOT-ball has become a sick obsessive disgusting sport in this country! People turn the "players" and coaches into some kind of phoney hero's, which they are NOT! They do nothing heroic. NOTHING! They are nothing more that overpaid mercenaries who have absolutely NO loyalty to anyone but themselves, their bank accounts and perhaps their "bail bondsmen"! They contribute nothing to humanity except for "entertainment" and most (not all) of them, never serve in the military. Nashville was a much better place before the damn Titans (Oilers), and Tex-ass Bud Adams ever came here! So stop making these people hero's...THEY ARE NOT!