Report: 2007 Paterno E-Mail Shows Influence On Disciplinary Issues

(CBS) Despite past claims from the late Joe Paterno that he did not use e-mail — and more recent claims by his family and representatives that he did not use e-mail –The Chronicle of Higher Education has found evidence to the contrary.

In a report Friday, The Chronicle of Higher Education released a discovered e-mail from 2007 that not only shows Paterno used e-mail, but also shows his influence on disciplinary issues that went beyond football team rules.

“I want to make sure everyone understands that the discipline of the players involved will be handled by me as soon as I am comfortable that I know all the facts,” said an April 7, 2007, e-mail, which was signed “Joe.”

The e-mail was sent to former school president Graham Spanier via an account registered to assistant coach Sandi Segursky. Vicky Triponey, a former vice president of student affairs, was copied on the e-mail. Her department was investigating and alleged attack by Penn State players, six of whom later faced criminal charges.

Triponey’s response to Spanier revealed a concern about Paterno’s past dealings with disciplinary issues:

“I assume he is talking about discipline relative to TEAM rules (note: he does not say that). Obviously discipline relative to the law is up to the police and the courts, and discipline relative to violations of the student code of conduct is the responsibility of Judicial Affairs.

“This has not always been clear with Coach Paterno so we might want to clarify that and encourage him to work with us to find the truth and handle this collaboratively with the police and the university,” she went on. “The challenge here is that the letter suggests that football should handle this and now Coach Paterno is also saying THEY will handle this and makes it look like the normal channels will be ignored for football players.

“Can you remind them of police and University responsibility?”

Spanier did not respond, according to the report.

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