It was with “mixed emotions” that Tom Bradley decided to replace Joe Paterno, who was fired Wednesday night, as interim coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Bradley answered reporters’ questions for about 30 minutes, declining to say anything about the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal or what he and Paterno had discussed in a conversation.
Bradley did address the status of Mike McQueary, the wide receivers coach who witnessed Sandusky’s 2002 sexual assault on a young boy. McQueary is expected to coach Saturday, but it has not been decided whether he’ll work from the sideline or the booth.
The press conference, live:
Updated at 11:06 a.m.
Interim Penn State president Rodney Erickson introduces interim coach Tom Bradley, who opens the press conference by saying, “I grieve for the victims. I grieve for the families.”
“I take this job with mixed emotions...I’ve been asked to handle this and I told them I will do it last night and will proceed in the manner that Penn State expects.
“I spoke with the team last night and told them that the expections are the expectations. We are not going to waver from that.
“I have no reservations about taking this job.”
Bradley said he called Paterno Wednesday night at around 11, but declines to divulge what was said, saying, it’s “of a personal nature.”
Bradley was asked whether Mike McQueary, witness to Jerry Sandusky’s alleged assault in 2002 in the Penn State showers, will be coaching wide receivers Saturday and whether he’d be on the sideline or in the coaches’ box.
“Right now, Mike McQueary will be coaching Saturday and it will be a game-time decision where he is.”
Bradley declines to address those who’ve demanded that the entire staff be fied. “I’ve been asked to do a job and I’ll do a job.”
Bradley is repeatedly being asked questions about the Sandusky scandal and how much coaches were aware of. He says he cannot answer questions about that.
Bradley said he “is not worried about the safety of our players” after violence erupted after the firing of Paterno on Wednesday night.
Bradley briefly addresses whether coaches were aware that Sandusky had access to facilities.“I was aware that. This was taken to a higher authority.”
At the moment, Bradley said he is not certain whethr there are any plans to honor Paterno at Saturday’s game, the last home game of the season in Beaver Stadium.
Asked where Paterno should be Saturday, Bradley replied: “Coach Paterno meant more to me that anybody except my father, but I don’t want to get emotional.”
Bradley met with Jay Paterno, Penn State’s quarterbacks coach, and he will continue to coach. “I’m sure he has a heavy heart, great love for his father but he will be with the team.”
The last few years, Penn State coaches have had experience with Paterno being upstairs in the box, rather than on the field, because of injuries, so there’s some experience at coping with coaching without him.
“Coach Paterno will go down in history as one of the greatest men,” Bradley said. “I’ve had the honor to work with him, spend time with him. He’s had such a dynamic impact, I’ll say it again, on players and players’ lives....I’m proud to say I worked for him.”
Bradley was named to succeed Sandusky as defensive coordinator in 2000, something he said was a challenge — just as this job is.
“This one comes with very, very mixed emotions.”
Filed at 10:50 a.m.
In college football, there are no larger shoes a coach can step into.
But with the firing of Penn State’s Joe Paterno, the winningest major-college coach, Tom Bradley must do just that — immediately.
Bradley, 55, is the school’s long-time defensive coordinator and now the interim coach, starting with Saturday’s game in Happy Valley against Nebraska. He’ll addressing the media at 11 a.m. about the Penn State upheaval and the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Also, expect him to discuss the status of Mike McQueary, the team’s wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. McQueary is the graduate assistant who witnessed Sandusky assaulting a young boy in 2002.