Franco Harris Defends Paterno, Rips Trustees

(WSCR) Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back and Penn State alum Franco Harris didn’t mince words when asked his thoughts about the Board of Trustees’ decision to fire head coach Joe Paterno amid the swirling allegations of sexual abuse from former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

“I feel that the board made a bad decision in letting Joe Paterno go,” Harris said in a published report. “I’m very disappointed in their decision. I thought they showed no courage, not to back someone who really needed it at the time. They were saying the football program under Joe was at fault.

“They really wouldn’t give a reason. They’re linking the football program to the scandal and, possibly, the cover-up. That’s very disturbing to me. I think there should be no more connection to the football program, only in the case that it happened at the football building with an ex-coach. I’m still trying to find out who gave him access to the building, who signed that contract.”

Sandusky was arrested over the weekend and charged with 40 counts of sex abuse related to minors.

Harris also stood up for assistant coach Mike McQueary, who, according to the grand jury report, witnessed Sandusky raping a young boy in the Penn State showers and went to his father instead of the police.

“People make fun of the fact that Mike went to his father, like a little kid,” Harris said. “Because somebody went to a confidant, why is that childish? How Mike handled that situation, there is nothing I can comment on. People are different. Some people would have bashed [Sandusky’s] head in. Mike followed procedure. Because some people higher up didn’t do their job, he’s suffering the consequences.”

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