Joe Paterno fired: Tom Bradley news conference highlights

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Tom Bradley, who was named interim head football coach at Penn State after Joe Paterno was fired Wednesday night, held his first news conference Thursday morning. Some highlights:

Bradley said Mike McQueary, the former graduate assistant who reported the 2002 Jerry Sandusky allegation to Paterno, will remain in his capacity as an assistant, but didn’t say where he’d be positioned in the stadium. He also declared Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden will take over as co-coordinators on defense.

“I take this job with very mixed emotions, due to the situation,” Bradley said.

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“I grieve for the victims. I grieve for the families … Our thoughts and our prayers are with them,” Bradley said.

Bradley says he called Joe Paterno on Wednesday night, but would not say what they talked about.

Bradley, who replaced Sandusky as defensive coordinator in 1999, repeatedly declined to answer any questions about Sandusky, noting that the investigation against him is ongoing.

‘The football part, we’ll get working on that right away,’ Bradley said, ‘For now, you should know our team’s thoughts and prayers are with those children and their families.’

He said that, despite the protests Wednesday night in State College, Pa., he is not concerned about the safety of his players at the game on Saturday. He does not think the events of the last week will distract them. “It’s a very resilient group,” he said.

When asked about his thoughts on Paterno, Bradley said: ‘Joe Paterno has meant more to me than anybody but my father.... Coach Paterno will go down in history as one of the greatest men -- most of you know him as a football coach -- I’ve had the privilege to work with him. He’s had a dynamic impact on so many, so many -- I’ll say again, so many -- people and players lives. I’m proud to say that I worked with him.’


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-- Houston Mitchell