'Paterno' Biography Hits Shelves

Read excerpts from book detailing the final months of ex-PSU coach's life as he fell from grace as the Sandusky Scandal unfolded

By Dan Stamm
|  Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012  |  Updated 7:20 PM EDT
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Joe Paterno's biography hit the shelves on Tuesday. Author Joe Posnanski follows Paterno in the months leading up to and after the Jerry Sandusky Scandal. NBC10's John Clark reports.

NBC10 Philadelphia - John Clark

Joe Paterno's biography hit the shelves on Tuesday. Author Joe Posnanski follows Paterno in the months leading up to and after the Jerry Sandusky Scandal. NBC10's John Clark reports.

Simply titled Paterno the biography of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno hit store shelves Tuesday.

Joe Posnanski’s book follows Paterno in the months leading up to and after the Jerry Sandusky Scandal led to Paterno's firing.

NBC10 purchased a copy of the book at Target in Bala Cynwyd Tuesday afternoon. It wasn’t as easy to purchase a copy at the Penn State campus bookstore where copies of the new book sold out in just hours. How the book is received in other areas still isn't clear.

Posnanski started working on the book months before the Sandusky allegations of child-sex abuse surfaced and was given access to Paterno all the way up to his death in January.

An excerpt from Paterno:

This is the story of a man named Joe Paterno, who in his long life was called moral and immoral, decent and scheming, omniscient and a figurehead, hero and fraud, Saint Joe and the devil. A life, of course, cannot be reduced to a single word, but Joe Paterno had something bold and soaring in his personality that attracted extremes. That boldness compelled him to do remarkable and unprecedented things. That boldness also led people to say that, at the end, his failures destroyed whatever good he had done.

Posnanski claims the book gives Paterno’s point of view and reaction as decades of coaching at Penn State came to a quick end.

“I thought it was really important to put his words out there and let people decide for themselves,” Posnanski said Tuesday morning on Today.

According to the book Paterno told his son, “I didn't hear anything, why are you badgering me? What do i know about Jerry Sandusky? I've got Nebraska to think about, i can't worry about this.”

He never got to coach the Nittany Lions against the Cornhuskers. Paterno was fired just four days before the Nov. 12 game. He died two months later at 85 years old. Sandusky, Paterno’s former assistant, was later found guilty of 45 counts of abuse against 10 different children.

Excerpts from the book published by GQ include Paterno breaking down and crying the day after he was fired.

"My name," he told Jay, "I have spent my whole life trying to make that name mean something. And now it's gone."

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