Associated Press

STORRS, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno
Auriemma was among those grappling Tuesday with the issue of
whether Penn State football coach Joe Paterno should be held
responsible for the scandal that has enveloped the football program
at that school.

Speaking to reporters after practice, Auriemma was asked if he
believed a head coach is responsible for everything that goes on in
his program. He said that the head coach often gets too much praise
when things go right and is held responsible when things go wrong,
“most of the times unfairly, but not always.”

“I think more importantly from my standpoint as a person, it’s
my personal opinion, it’s not, `Can you possibly know everything
that’s going on in your program?’ I don’t know. I don’t think so,”
he said. “But what do you do when you do know? I think that’s
where we are going to get judged. I think that is ultimately where
the judgment is going to be on us.”

There have been calls for coach Paterno’s resignation there
after the arrest of Jerry Sandusky, his former defensive
coordinator on two national championship teams in 1980s, on charges
of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years. His lawyer has said
Sandusky is innocent.

Pennsylvania state police Commissioner Frank Noonan said Monday
that Paterno fulfilled his legal requirement when he relayed to
university administrators that a graduate assistant had seen
Sandusky attacking a young boy in the team’s locker room shower in
2002. But the commissioner also questioned whether Paterno had a
moral responsibility to do more.

Auriemma said that is the real question for coaches.

“I have no idea how much a head coach is supposed to know, not
supposed to know, can possibly know,” he said. “I think the issue
is what happens when you know? That might be a bigger issue than,
`Are you supposed to know?”’

Auriemma grew up just outside Philadelphia and said he
understands the attachment the state of Pennsylvania has to Paterno
and his program.

“It’s probably not that much different than what UConn
basketball and I’m using that as men’s and women’s obviously, has
become in this state,” he said. “Except they’ve been doing it for
50, 60, 70 years at Penn State.”

“There’s just some names of coaches that seem to become the
institution, and when you’re a kid growing up in Pennsylvania
that’s what it is.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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