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Former Penn State Player Still Backs Paterno

Even with new e-mail evidence, Humphrey says football coach would never have covered up child abuse.

If anyone has perspective on scandals at Penn State University, it would be Maurice Humphrey, who was a football and basketball star at Berlin High School.

Humphrey earned a scholarship to Penn State and after a redshirt freshman year, the wide recever was one of the most effective weapons at Joe Paterno's disposal. He was tutored by Paterno's wife, Sue and regularly visited the Paterno house.

Humphrey, however, was arrested for assaulting a man in his ex-girlfriend's room at the end of his redshirt freshman year. He was suspended from the team and eventually was dismissed from the team for violating his parole for using a fake ID at a local bar.

Even after all of those problems, Humphrey remained loyal to Penn State and Paterno and Paterno remained loyal to Humphrey, helping him transfer to Kutztown State.

Humphrey has backed Paterno throughout the Jerry Sandusky child sex assault scandal and attended Paterno's funeral. This week, Louis Freeh, a former U.S. District Court Judge and FBI director, led an independent investigation to find out "who knew what and when" in the scandal around Jerry Sandusky's sexual crimes.

Freeh released a report on July 12 of the his findings, detailing discussions between former Penn State University president Graham Spanier and other top Penn State officials about what to do with allegations that Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, molested children on campus.

Freeh blamed all of the top officials at Penn State including Paterno.

"At first I didn't believe any of it," Humphrey said. "I knew Sandusky pretty well and didn't think was capable of anything ike this. I thought they were all lies at first. I've always known Jerry to be a nice guy even when I was going through my own trouble at PSU and went to jail and rehab he and his wife would write me letters, send me books. I just know him to be a nice guy. As far as Joe Paterno I dont think he was involved."

Humphrey said everyone made mistakes and he certainly doesn't condone anything that Sandusky did, but he said Paterno's personality would never let him cover these things up.

"I think Joe could have done more, he said it himself but the person who should have stopped it when he saw it happening was Red (Mike McCreary)," Humphrey said. "Everyone knows what I would have done if I had seen that. There isn't a man in this world besides Red that would seen that and left. He's a coward for that.

McCreary was a coach while Humphrey was playing but Sandusky had retired by that time. Humphrey played from 2001 to 2003.

"Yeah, when I got kicked out of school and off the team for the fight and then put in jail for a fake ID, it was my fault and nobody else," he said. "Penn State and the police made their choice and I just lived by it. Am I upset that these people who kicked me out could be behind all this, You know I am. They were so worried about what players were doing off the field when they had this guy in house damaging kids for life. It makes me sick to my stomach."

He says that even with the new e-mail evidence in the Freeh report, he still doesn't believe that Paterno could ever have been involved.

"I was watching this report but these are people talking have never sat at Joe's dinner table and had a conversation with him," he said. "People that know Joe would know if he really honestly knew this, I think he would have tried to physically fight Jerry Sandusky. That's just the kind of man Joe was.

We have all seen him on tape when he chased down the ref for blowing a call. Joe loves kids...loves kids. I dont think he was worried about his reputation. Joe wasn't coaching to be a legend. That was a title given to him by others. He was a coach because he loved football and loved Penn State. It's hard for me to believe that he covered it up. People are pointing the finger at Joe, what about Red?"

Humphrey said that when he got suspended for the last game of his redshirt fresman season, Sue Paterno called him dozens of times to make sure he was all right.

The former Redcoat remembers vividly his favorite football memory in his short career at PSU.

"I can remember Joe telling me during the Ohio State game, 'you have to win this for us.' He looked me right in the eyes and said its up to you. I caught five or six balls in a row in the second half. On the final play he was like 'we are passing it to Mo. Catch it and get out of bounds so we can kick it.' I told him 'OK done.' I caught the pass and got out of bounds. I was so happy but when I got to the sidelines he told me I could have pushed the route further. I told him there was only five seconds left and he said 'you're supposed to run a 4.3 40 aren't you, you could have pushed it further.' I had no answer."

The kick was missed and third-ranked Ohio State, a team with future NFL All-Pros Chris Gamble, A.J. Hawk, Will Smith, Santino Holmes and Micheal Jenkins won by two points.

"After the game (Ohio State Coach Jim) Tressel came up to me and said you're only a freshman?" Humphrey said. "Well, that sucks for us."

But Humphrey, who was playing with great players like Paul Posluszny, Larry Johnson, Tamba Ali and Mike Robinson, would never get to play against Ohio State again, however, because of his off the field troubles.

Humphrey also points out that PSU alum and NFL Hall of Famer Franco Harris also backs Paterno.

"Now don't get me wrong," said Humphrey, who is now an aspiring rapper under the name Maserati Mo. "I feel so badly for those kids because I was a foster kid. What happened was wrong and should have never happened. I dont want people to think I condone what happened at PSU because I don't at all.

"These are just more reports. Nobody really knows anything but Joe and he's gone. The only thing Jay and Scott (Paterno) are doing is protecting their father because he's not here to defend himself. I'm pretty sure most people would do that for their father." 

SPRINTCAR SPANK July 18, 2012 at 06:04 PM
MCQUEARY! Can't the lynch mob even get the principles names right? Idiots and sycophants.

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