Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno was scheduled to make his first appearance before the media since this weekend's news that implicates a number of university officials in the cover up of a child sex abuse scandal.
His press conference, originally scheduled for 12:20 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, has been cancelled.
Penn State's PR department issued a media release last evening advising interested parties that Paterno would only be answering questions related to his football team's impending match up with Nebraska, and not anything regarding the alleged crimes of Jerry Sandusky, Tim Curley or Gary Schultz.
It's more than likely that the university realized—as the general public quickly did, and as the media so publicly taunted—that their request to keep things "strictly football" simply wasn't going to fly.
The official reason for the cancellation has not been released, and we are now hearing that it will not be rescheduled. He has also been "barred" by the university from participating in his Big 10 coaches' teleconference.
Scott Paterno—Joe's son—is telling the Associated Press that despite the university's Monday evening directive that the coach would only be answering questions on Nebraska, that Paterno was preparing at his home to deliver a statement and answer those questions he was asked.
Such an omission and plan to act against university's wishes may represent a breaking of ranks in State College.
If so, Paterno supporters may have some extra leverage in their argument that the coach is the same moral and principled person he always has been. That said, the cynics—who aren't necessarily wrong—may begin argue that rather than taking a stand, this could be a case of Paterno and his family recognizing and acting in accordance with their own self interest.
It's doubtful we'll ever know which is the case. But I'm sure we'll argue about it.