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Rendell: Joe Had To Go

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell says Joe Paterno had to go, but says the mistake that cost Paterno his job doesn't negate all the good done by the ousted Penn State football coach.

When asked if he thought Paterno had been treated fairly by Penn State's Board of Trustees, former Governor Ed Rendell said he ought to disqualify himself from answering the question because of the "close" friendship he developed with the former coach after the two men met while Rendell was mayor of Philadelphia.

"And then when I became governor, he was having some losing seasons in the beginning, and I would call him to buck his spirits up. When he saw me getting battered in the media, he would call me to buck my spirits up. And I think he's done an enormous amount of good."

But, Rendell says Paterno's ouster had to happen.

"I thought it was absolutely necessary. And again, I say that with heavy heart, because of all Joe's done. But I think the university has to make a clean break and even everyone associated with the program, I think, has to eventually be cleaned out and they have to start anew."

Rendell says Paterno's handling of the situation that ended his career turned out to be a "huge mistake," but he says it must be balanced by the good Paterno did.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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