Joe Paterno Cancer Diagnosis Revealed Amid Penn State Sex Scandal

Joe Paterno Sidelines Penn State - H 2011
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Joe Paterno Sidelines Penn State - H 2011

UPDATED: The Hall of Fame coach learned his prognosis following the controversial firing last week.

Shortly after becoming the target of a media firestorm last week, Joe Paterno, 84, also learned that he has a treatable form of lung cancer.

The legendary Penn State football coach was fired by the University’s board of trustees on Nov. 9, amid a child abuse sex scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Paterno was criticized for failing to properly report Sandusky, who has been charged with sexually abusing eight young boys.

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Paterno’s son released a statement to the AP on Friday, reading, “Last weekend, my father was diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer during a follow-up visit for a bronchial illness.”

“As everyone can appreciate, this is a deeply personal matter for my parents, and we simply ask that his privacy be respected as he proceeds with treatment,” the statement continued.

Paterno is currently undergoing treatment and is expected to make a full recovery. 

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The news of Paterno’s firing sent shockwaves through Hollywood, drawing mixed reactions among fans, pundits and stars. Ashton Kutcher, specifically, caused controversy with his uninformed reaction to the firing, in which he wrote, “I find it in poor taste.” The actor then retracted his statement and apologiized profusely to his followers, but ultimately decided to hand over his Twitter account to management following the comment.