Barack Obama Issues Statement On Joe Paterno

President Barack Obama had a conversation with the family of Joe Paterno on Monday, the Associated Press reports, and he also spoke of his own meeting with Paterno.

The White House says the president spoke with Paterno’s wife, Sue, and son, Jay, on Monday to express his condolences.

The White House says the president recalled fond memories of when he first met Coach Paterno and said he and first lady Michelle Obama would keep the Paterno family in their prayers.

It might be a little surprising that Obama would do this, given the circumstances. Obama did not comment on Paterno’s death on Sunday, and one wonders if he might have been thinking of avoiding it entirely.

Paterno, of course, was fired from his job as Penn State’s head football coach for failing to do enough to stop Jerry Sandusky, who allegedly used the PSU football program in the sexual molestation of children. Paterno’s death came less than three months after his firing. He was the winningest coach in FBS history.

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