UNIVERSITY PARK, CENTRE COUNTY - Penn State football players are throwing their support behind legendary football coach Joe Paterno. This comes one day after the Freeh report on Thursday revealed that Paterno covered up abuse by Jerry Sandusky.
Players spoke to reporters at the Lift for Life, kidney cancer fundraiser and competition.
Many impact players for the Nittany Lions say Paterno gave them a chance to play at the highest level in college football. Because of this, they're defending Paterno. Meantime, some players have a message for the victims of Jerry Sandusky.
"I have a lot of respect for Joe Paterno and what he did for the university and he might've made a mistake, but you know what, he's helped a lot of great men do a lot of great things for this university and beyond," said Mike Zordich, a Penn State fullback.
Some players say that they've read the Freeh report and have been paying attention to the Sandusky scandal. Others say they try not to pay much attention about the ongoing story, because it's a distraction to Penn State.
This year, the Lift for Life event featured offense versus defense. Usually players can be seen hauling huge weight.
The Freeh report details that Paterno knew of the 1998 incident involving Sandusky in a shower with a boy on Penn State's main campus. It also says Paterno hid the information along with top administrators at the time.
"Coach Paterno gave me the opportunity to play here, an opportunity a lot of coaches didn't so to that I owe my career to him," said Nittany Lion quarterback Matt McGloin, "you definitely have an opinion on it, but at the same time, I just keep it within myself or just talk about it amongst my teamates."
Craig Fitzgerald, the strength and conditioning coach for Penn State football said that he's not concerned about the Freeh report and instead, is focused on the team and upcoming season.
Sandusky was allowed to visit university campuses for more than a decade after the 1998 incident. Sandusky even had access to facilities on the University Park campus.
The investigations into Penn State Athletics continue with possible sanctions on the department. No players said Paterno's statue should be removed from Beaver Stadium.