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(CBS) Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno repeatedly fought with a Penn State official over the punishment of his players, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The newspaper acquired a 2005 e-mail from Vicky Triponey, the university’s former standards and conduct officer, to former Penn State President Graham Spanier and others that said Paterno believed she should have “no interest, (or business) holding our football players accountable to our community standards. The Coach is insistent he knows best how to discipline his players…and their status as a student when they commit violations of our standards should NOT be our concern…and I think he was saying we should treat football players different from other students in this regard.”
The report brings to light several incidents involving Penn State players over the last decade in which she claims she faced constant interference from coaches, Board members and others when determining proper punishment.
“Coach Paterno would rather we NOT inform the public when a football player is found responsible for committing a serious violation of the law and/or our student code,” she wrote in the e-mail, according to the report, “despite any moral or legal obligation to do so.”
At one point, Paterno even gave Spanier an ultimatum: fire Triponey or he would stop fund-raising for the school
Eventually, after a 2007 incident in which as many as 24 Penn State players broke into an off-campus apartment and started a brawl that resulted in criminal charges against six players, Triponey stepped down from her post citing “philosophical differences.” In the end, most of the charges were dropped as two players pleaded guilty to misdemeanors and none missed any games. Paterno punished the players by making them clean up for two hours after home games the following season.
After Triponey stepped down, the school changed the judicial-review process, limiting the school’s ability to end a student’s participation in school activities such a football.