Penn State to honor disgraced coach Paterno

The Penn State Nittany Lions will celebrate the 50th anniversary of former head football coach Joe Paterno’s first game at the program during their contest against the Temple Owls on Sept. 17.

The school confirmed the anniversary celebration in a press release Thursday, per’s Josh Moyer.

Moyer noted a spokesperson did not provide specific details of the celebration and that Penn State will make more information public Sept. 15.

Penn State hired Paterno before the 1966 season. He led the Nittany Lions to a 5-5 mark in his initial year, with his first victory being a 15-7 win over Maryland on Sept. 17, 1966.

From 1966 to 2011, Paterno led the Nittany Lions to a 409-136-3 record and two national championships (1982, 1986).

In November 2011, Penn State fired Paterno as a result of the child sexual abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, who worked with the program as a graduate assistant in 1966 and an assistant coach from 1969 to 1999. 

The NCAA originally vacated 111 of Paterno’s wins, dating back to 1998, following the July 2012 release of the Freeh Report regarding the scandal. But the victories were restored to his record in January 2015 as part of a settlement with Penn State.

Paterno died Jan. 22, 2012, at the age of 85. His 409 career victories are the most in major college football history.

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