OKLAHOMA CITY – Penn State University's athletic department has been turned upside down over the last few weeks, and former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer gave his thoughts on the situation Thursday.
Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has been arrested on charges of sexually assaulting several young boys. Athletic director Tim Curley was then arrested on perjury charges stemming from the same case and resigned his position at the school.
The most recent domino to fall was head coach Joe Paterno, who had been the coach at Penn State since 1966. Paterno announced his retirement earlier this week, but the school sped up that process by dismissing him from the program Wednesday.
Paterno and Switzer crossed paths several times during their coaching careers, and Paterno at one point said he would not retire and "leave college football to the Jackie Sherrills and Barry Switzers of the world."
Paterno later apologized for the comment and struck up a friendship with Switzer, and even wrote the introduction to Switzer's book. But Switzer had some pointed words about Paterno and the situation surrounding him at Penn State.
"Having been in this profession a long time and knowing how close coaching staffs are, I knew that this was a secret that was kept secret," Switzer told The Oklahoman. "Everyone on that staff had to have known; the ones who had been around a long time."
Paterno's involvement in the Sandusky scandal stretches back to 2002, when fellow staff member Mike McQueary allegedly told Paterno he witnessed inappropriate contact between Sandusky and a boy. Paterno said he reported that information to Curley, but did not tell anyone else.
McQueary remains a part of the Penn State program and originally was going to travel with the team for its game this weekend. But due to "several threats" made against McQueary, that will no longer happen. Assistant Tom Bradley will take over Paterno's duties on an interim basis.