The former Penn State coach’s health has taken a turn for the worse after minor complications from cancer treatments have turned more serious. Earlier reports that Paterno died were incorrect.
Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno enters a car after leaving his home to attend practice in State College, Pennsylvania, in this November 8, 2011 file photo. Paterno, fired in the fallout from the school's child sex abuse scandal, was hospitalized on January 13, 2012 for observation due to complications from lung cancer treatments, his family said in a statement.
(Reuters / PAT LITTLE)
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — A family spokesman says former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who is battling lung cancer, is in serious condition after experiencing health complications.
The 85-year-old Paterno has been in the hospital since Jan. 13 for observation for what his family had called minor complications from cancer treatments.
"Over the last few days Joe Paterno has experienced further health complications," spokesman Dan McGinn said in a brief statement Saturday to The Associated Press. "His doctors have now characterized his status as serious.
"His family will have no comment on the situation and asks that their privacy be respected during this difficult time," he said.
Paterno was diagnosed with cancer in November, days after getting ousted as head coach in the aftermath of the child sex abuse charges against former assistant Jerry Sandusky.