Jerry Sandusky issues statement on Joe Paterno's death

Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, right, Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, right, poses with his defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. (Aug. 6, 1999) Photo Credit: AP

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Jerry Sandusky, the retired Penn State assistant coach who faces child sex abuse charges in a case that led to the firing of Joe Paterno, called the death of his former boss a sad loss Sunday.

"This is a sad day! Our family, Dottie and I would like to convey our deepest sympathy to Sue and her family," Sandusky said in a statement. "Nobody will be able to take away the memories we all shared of a great man, his family, and all the wonderful people who were a part of his life." Sandusky is awaiting trial on 52 criminal counts for what prosecutors say was sexual abuse of 10 children over 15 years. He denies the allegations.

Sandusky was Paterno's top assistant for years until he retired in 1999, and he said he remembered Paterno as a great man who met high standards in a difficult job.

"He maintained a high standard in a very difficult profession. Joe preached toughness, hard work and clean competition," Sandusky said. "Most importantly, he had the courage to practice what he preached."

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