Scandal puts Penn State football discipline in spotlight

Penn State interim head coach Tom Bradley answers questions during his weekly NCAA college football news conference on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011 in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)

November 23, 2011 6:13:21 AM PST
A Penn State administrator responsible for overseeing student discipline says former coach Joe Paterno did not have the authority to change his office's decisions when football players were sanctioned.

Joe Puzycki said last night in an email to The Associated Press that "we adjudicated athlete cases the same as we did any other student" - though Paterno was vocal in sharing his opinions.

The interactions outlined by Puzycki are in contrast to comments made by former student affairs vice president Vicki Triponey, to whom Puzycki once reported. Triponey said Paterno's players got in trouble more often than other students, and got special treatment compared to non-athletes.

Triponey resigned her post as the university's standards and conduct officer in 2007. She sent a 2005 email to then-president Graham Spanier and others in which she expressed her concerns about how Penn State handled discipline cases involving football players. The Wall Street Journal published excerpts from the email yesterday.