In a Friday appearance on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski attacked Penn State’s handling of the departure of Joe Paterno as the school’s head football coach shortly after longtime PSU assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested and charged with dozens of crimes related to child sexual abuse on November 5, 2011.
While calling Penn State’s decision to quickly distance itself from Paterno “horrible” and a “real mistake”, Krzyzewski lauded Paterno for doing an “incredible job” at the school.
While Paterno was prevented from coaching out the 2011 season by Penn State after it was learned he had been told in 2001 of a “sexual” incident involving Sandusky and a young boy in the Penn State football showers by then-PSU graduate assistant Mike McQueary, Paterno was never fired by the school and subsequently received full pay and benefits.
Here is the full text of Krzyzewski’s comments on Penn State and Paterno during his Friday appearance on CNN:
“It was horrible, and I’ve respected coach Paterno my entire life and had a chance to get to know him really well in the last year of his life. I thought it was really not well done, in handling the situation. It’s a difficult situation to encounter.
“You had somebody who’s given six decades of service to the university and done such an incredible job. Somehow, you have to let, something has to play out and respect the fact that you’ve gone through all these experiences for six decades. It doesn’t just go out the window right at the end. I thought it was a real mistake by Penn State’s leadership.
“If that happened in my area, I would look to work with my athletic director and my president to have a solution. And if that solution meant that I would step down, I would do it in a way which would be part of the solution, not like you’re just thrown out.
“You have to understand that leadership, you may be asked to step down and that’s part of being a leader.”