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Jay Paterno tosses hat into state political ring

Jay Paterno AP

Depending how things shake out, another Paterno could be in a position of power in the state of Pennsylvania.

Jay Paterno, son of legendary Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, confirmed to the Patriot-News Thursday that he intends to run for the position of lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania.  The paper wrote that “[t]he confirmation came after Paterno said ‘someone found’ his unfinished campaign website Thursday morning and began sharing it.”

Paterno, provided he gets his name on the ballot as expected, will run as a Democrat in a field of six contenders.  At the moment, Paterno, who has never held public office, said his focus is on getting on the ballot first, with a public campaign coming thereafter.

A Penn State assistant under his late father for 17 years, Paterno was not retained in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child-sex scandal that cost his father his longtime head-coaching job with the Nittany Lions in November of 2011.  Rep. Governor Tom Corbett played a significant role in the elder Paterno’s ouster, but the younger Paterno said unseating the incumbent because of that role was not the driving force behind his candidacy.

“I’m running because I stand for something,” Jay Paterno said. “I’m not running against someone. I’m running because I stand for ideas, like education and creating jobs. I can’t make that any clearer. This is so much bigger than just one thing.”

Jay Paterno is part of a lawsuit the family filed against the NCAA seeking to have the sanctions levied against the Penn State football program nullified.  The lawsuit claims in part that “a number of assistant coaches, including Jay Paterno, were victims of defamation and because of that have not been able to find a job coaching football.”

The sanctions also included stripping Joe Paterno of 111 wins from 1998-2011, the timeline which was established as the period in which Sandusky, then a PSU assistant and now a convicted felon, raped several young boys, including at least one in the shower of the program’s football building.  At the time of his dismissal, Paterno was the winningest coach in FBS history; because of the sanctions, he now officially stands 12th.

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17 Responses to “Jay Paterno tosses hat into state political ring”
  1. daubs17 says: Feb 21, 2014 8:43 AM

    In all seriousness, how do democrats still exist? Really, how?

  2. tommy57 says: Feb 21, 2014 8:43 AM

    It’s somewhat interesting to me that any news report that contains the name “Paterno” also contains the name “Sandusky” even if the article, as this does, indicates that the Paterno in question had no relevance to Sandusky.

  3. tommy57 says: Feb 21, 2014 8:46 AM

    Daubs17 – I think it’s the GOP that needs to find it’s soul. They seem to be the ones searching for their meaning. Democrates have always leaned toward government intervention – no change there.

  4. tommy57 says: Feb 21, 2014 8:49 AM

    Jay running for office in a state-wide election may not be such a bad thing for the Paterno family. His results could be used as a barometer of the Paterno “Brand” in PA. If he does well, they’re perhaps forgiven. If not, they have some PR work to do.

  5. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 21, 2014 10:11 AM


    I hate to get into political discussions on here but quick hit and then I’m done.

    I agree with you 100%…(kind of) The Tea Party is destroying the GOP. They are pulling the party WAY to far to the right and costing the GOP votes in the middle.

    Whether you have ultra right wing principles or not, ignore the middle at your peril… the middle wins elections.

  6. imaduffer says: Feb 21, 2014 11:03 AM

    When you have a ton of money and no marketable skills you can always become a politician and it does not matter which side of the fence you are standing on.

  7. Deb says: Feb 21, 2014 11:14 AM

    At some point, it just became too much to keep reading about the Sandusky thing. Guess that’s how I missed the part about Penn State being required to forfeit 111 football games.

    Anyone who participated in covering up for Sandusky should have been fired and jailed. The school should have been forced to pay millions in compensation to the victims helping cover up for that maniac. Those punishments are valid. But forfeiting football games because an assistant coach was committing non-football-related felonies?

    Seems everyone involved in this situation either failed to act when it mattered or overreached after the fact.

  8. phillyphanatic77 says: Feb 21, 2014 12:00 PM

    Daubs17, that question shows just how much of a bubble you live in. The Republicans are the dying species, not the democrats. There are no true Republicans anymore. They’ve all been forced out. Ronald Reagan, Republican God (for some reason), would be a democrat today with the way the tea party has pulled EVERYTHING far far right. Congress has always been inefficient but ever since the Tea Baggers rose to power it’s been the worst in the history of our country (not saying Dems don’t deserve some blame, but the timeline is no coincidence). God ppl like Hannity have even admitted that Clinton wasn’t so bad just cuz they can’t handle being subordinate to a black guy with a muslim sounding name. If Paterno wants to run, more power to him, but getting anything done (even in state and local govt) has become next to impossible.

  9. stoicpaisano says: Feb 21, 2014 12:13 PM

    It’s somewhat interesting to me that any news report that contains the name “Paterno” also contains the name “Sandusky” even if the article, as this does, indicates that the Paterno in question had no relevance to Sandusky.


    Well, JayPa is running for LtGov because he is “not employable” as a football coach. That status is partly of his own doing because he thinks he’s King Shit and doesn’t realize he’s a living example of the Peter Principle.

    Sandusky is the reason JayPa doesn’t have a post at PSU — that’s probably unfair to JayPa. I don’t know if JayPa is too arrogant to take a lower position and work his way up or simply not self-aware as to how he attained his previous title, but these decisions are his own.

    Other than McQueary (WR), no other Paterno assistants have struggled that much:
    -Hall (OC/RB) and Anderson (OL) retired but are 70+
    -Bradley (DC) moved to a national TV gig
    -Vanderlinden (LB) kept his job under BOB before Franklin replaced him
    -Johnson (DL) kept his job then moved laterally but to a better OSU program
    -Kenney (OL/TE) is a head coach at WMU
    -Buggs (DB) took the same job at UConn and is now co-DC at Old Dominion

  10. mogogo1 says: Feb 21, 2014 12:18 PM

    Don’t we all recall the last time we were basically forced into running for public office when our unfinished campaign site was randomly discovered and shared?

  11. Deb says: Feb 21, 2014 1:09 PM

    @stoicpaisano …

    Well, JayPa is running for LtGov because he is “not employable” as a football coach. That status is partly of his own doing because he thinks he’s King Shit and doesn’t realize he’s a living example of the Peter Principle.

    Excellent observation. The children of famous coaches who’ve gone on to have successful careers of their own have done so because they’ve been willing to venture beyond their fathers’ wings and work their way up in other programs. Aside from the Sandusky situation, Jay’s father was a respected football coach who influenced generations of players and coaches. Other teams would give him a chance if he had the goods and was willing to do the grunt work.

  12. Ian's Rushtache says: Feb 21, 2014 1:10 PM

    I don’t care who, as long as someone gets Corbett out of office. Remember, as AG, Corbett refused to move forward with the Sandusky case because he was afraid it would negatively impact his goal to become governor.

    As for Jay, I personally think he has no shot.

  13. tommy57 says: Feb 21, 2014 3:27 PM

    8to80 nailed it.

  14. musketmaniac says: Feb 21, 2014 4:20 PM

    The paterno name is forever damaged. however jaypa could probably use his dad influence to raise a butt load of cash to lose an election.

  15. daubs17 says: Feb 21, 2014 9:20 PM

    How much of a bubble I live in? Gotcha, because you know me, you’ve met me I guess. Pardon yourself, but because I ask how there are still democrats in existence does not mean I support Republicans. I show up to work everyday to subsidize the various needs of the bums of this country that continue to give you the platform for your grandstanding. But lets not go a day in this country without people such as yourself unable to handle criticism of a political party without bringing up race.

    Thanks for the entertainment!

  16. nuclearwarfare says: Feb 22, 2014 11:19 AM


    There are a few things wrong with your statement. 1) You assume your taxes are being spent to support “the bums” of this country. That’s not true. If you make $50000 a year, you pay more money to corporate subsidies than to welfare. 2) Democrats are still around because not every person in the US is an anti-Obama fascist. 3) You came to a college football site to troll on politics, got schooled, then tried to save face and failed. Look up “internet troll” online because you’re doing it wrong.

  17. dkhhuey says: Feb 27, 2014 8:39 PM

    Let me guess – if he does get elected – how quick with he focus on cleaning up daddy’s name!

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