State College — As potential witnesses in the Jerry Sandusky trial, Sue Paterno and her son Jay Paterno won’t be publicly commenting while the legal case plays out.
The family’s attorney issued a statement Thursday saying they will not make public comments while the Sandusky trial is under way “unless something exceptional and unexpected develops that necessitates a response.”
During jury selection for the trial this week, Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola, said that Sue and Jay Paterno could be called as witnesses.
According to the statement issued by the family’s attorney, that was the first they had heard of that possibility.
“The Paternos had no advance notice of this development and have no idea if they will in fact be called to testify,” the statement says.
The statement from attorney Wick Sollers goes on to say that the family “has received repeated media requests for interviews.”
It points to late football coach Paterno’s own words in explaining the decision.
“Out of respect for the legal process, it is the family’s strong preference not to comment while the trial is under way. The only directive Joe Paterno gave to his family is that they should pursue the truth, while forcefully defending the honor and integrity of Penn State and the countless thousands of students, faculty, coaches and donors who have worked so hard over the years to build it into a world class institution. This is the course the family has carefully followed during this extraordinary process.
“Accordingly, while the trial is under way, the Paterno family will not make any further public comment unless something exceptional and unexpected develops that necessitates a response.”
Sandusky, who was a coach under Paterno until retiring at the end of the 1999 season, is facing charges for the alleged abuse of 10 boys. Joe Paterno had testified to the grand jury investigating Sandusky.
Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday.
Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648. Follower her on Twitter @AnneDanahy