Joe Paterno, Legendary Coach, in Serious Condition: Report

  on January 21 2012 9:17 PM
Joe Paterno
Former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno will be buried on Wednesday. He died on lung cancer on Sunday, at age 85. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, in his honor. REUTERS

CBS sports reported that legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno died Saturday night, but the news site has taken the story down. Now, it has a story with the headline: Reports of Joe Paterno's death refuted by family.

Penn State student website Onward State has reported that Penn State players were notified of longtime head coach Joe Paterno's passing via email, and CBSSports.com went on this report. Paterno, 85, had been receiving chemotherapy as part of his treatment for lung cancer.

However, Paterno family spokesperson Dan McGinn told a New York Times reporter that the report of Paterno's demise is absolutely not true, and Jay Paterno tweeted that his father continues to fight. Onward State has sincer etracted their report.

USA Today reported after the CBS correction that Paterno's son Scott said his father is indeed in serious condition but continues to fight.

Scott Paterno tweeted at about 9:20 p.m Eatern Time on Saturday responding to reports that his father had died saying: CBS report is wrong - Dad is alive but in serious condition. We continue to ask for your prayers and privacy during this time.

Reports earlier Saturday said Paterno was in serious, life-threatening condition. 

Said family spokesman Dan McGinn to The Associated Press: Over the last few days Joe Paterno has experienced further health complications. His doctors have now characterized his status as serious.

His family will have no comment on the situation and asks that their privacy be respected during this difficult time, he said.

Paterno has been in the hospital since Jan. 13. His family had said he was hospitalized for minor complications from cancer treatment. But on Saturday, a spokesman for the family said his status was serious.

Paterno was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2011. The diagnosis came just days after the Sandusky scandal erupted.

He also fell and broke his pelvis in 2011.

Born Joseph Vincent Joe Paterno on Dec. 21, 1926, the legendary Penn State coach holds the record for the most wins by an NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision coach. He won 409 games from 1966 through 2011, when he was terminated in the Sandusky sex abuse scandal. 

In his 46 years of coaching, Paterno had five undefeated teams, and he is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. 

Paterno is a native of Brooklyn and a Brown University graduate.

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