Penn State AD apologizes for calling Joe Paterno tribute 'inappropriate'

Tuesday January 20th, 2015

Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour has apologized for criticizing the men's hockey team's tribute to Joe Paterno as "inappropriate and insensitive," Greg Pickel of reports.

After the NCAA restored 112 victories that were dropped amid the Jerry Sandusky scandal last week, the men's hockey team wore stickers on their helmets with the number 409, representing Paterno's updated win total.

On Monday, Barbour said the stickers were a mistake, but later she issued an apology for her comments while speaking on WBLF radio.

"First of all, I want to apologize for the tweet," Barbour told hosts Jerry Fisher, Travis Johnson, Tim Owen, and Jacob Kaucher. "This is far too important a subject to vet on a casual; or in social media. I'll use my own words. It was inappropriate and insensitive of me to do that from a tweet standpoint."

The vacated wins were among several sanctions the NCAA handed down after Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive coordinator, was convicted of 45 counts of sexual assault. The school was fined $60 million, given a four-year bowl ban and docked scholarships.

In July 2012, seven months after Paterno's death, the NCAA vacated 112 victories from 1998 through 2011 after an independent investigation determined that Paterno and three other Penn State officials helped conceal Sandusky's abuses. 

Penn State basketball players considered wearing t-shirts with the number on them before their game Saturday but decided against it. The team's sports information director told The Daily Collegian "we wanted to keep the focus on our team and our game."

- Dan Gartland & Paul Palladino

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