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November 09, 2011

Connor saddened by Penn State scandal

Panthers linebacker Dan Connor was wearing a Outback Bowl sweatshirt on Wednesday – a memory of a more pleasant time for the Penn State family.

Connor, Penn State's all-time leading tackler, expressed disappointment and remorse over the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked his alma mater and prompted legendary coach Joe Paterno to announce his retirement, effective at the end of the season.

“It's sad. It's the end of an era. It's a tough situation,” Connor said. “You'd like to see Joe be able to go out on his own terms. I'm not sure whether it was on his own terms or not, or how it was done. It's sad.”

Connor said he didn't have enough details to comment on Paterno's handling of at least one of the cases involving former longtime Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with sexually abusing eight children.

Nor was Connor sure how the scandal would affect the legacy of college football's winningest coach.

“He's had however many years of running a class program and really built that place up. He is Penn State. When you tell anyone you go there, he's the first guy they ask about it,” Connor said. “It's hard to say if one thing could tarnish that. You don't even know what his involvement is.”

Connor, who did not play for Sandusky, had a hard time reading the 23-page grand jury report.

“It's just gut-wrenching stuff. It's hard. It was hard for me to get through it being a Penn State fan growing up and then going there and being proud to go there,” Connor said. “If that was going on, it was just ugly.”

--Joseph Person


Posted by Observer Sports on November 9, 2011 at 03:39 PM | Permalink


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