The Ticket

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum supports firing friend Joe Paterno

The Ticket

View photo

.

Santorum (Nati Harnik/AP)

Former Pennsylvania senator and Pennsylvania State University alum Rick Santorum on Wednesday night offered full support for Penn State's decision to fire football coach Joe Paterno, a man he counts as a friend.

"He said it himself," Santorum said of Paterno following Wednesday night's Republican debate at Oakland University in Michigan. "'He should have done more,' and the fact that he didn't is a tragedy that allowed other tragedies to continue and the horrific things that this monster did that the university, including Joe, did not have the wisdom to step up and do something [about]."

Paterno and other officials are accused of not responding significantly and in a timely manner to allegations assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted a young boy in the shower on campus.

Santorum said he has been "distraught" over the controversy, especially given that he had "close ties" to Paterno, whom he called a "friend."

But Santorum said continuing the status quo wouldn't have made sense.

"To go out there on the field on Saturday would have been a very, very difficult thing for everybody," Santorum said. "I think you're going to see a lot of other people fired too, not just Joe Paterno."

"There's no explanation for allowing that to occur," he said of the scandal.

More popular Yahoo! News stories:

Want more of our best political stories? Visit The Ticket or connect with us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

View Comments