Excerpts from the forthcoming book "Paterno," written by Joe Posnanski, who was a senior writer for Sports Illustrated when he began the biography project in the summer of 2011, were posted Wednesday on GQ magazine's Web site.
The highly successful Nittany Lions coach, who had been fired the night before in the wake of the bombshell sex abuse case of his long-time assistant, Jerry Sandusky, broke down and sobbed uncontrollably during a meeting with his coaches at his house, Posnanski wrote. He cried repeatedly throughout the day, including when former player Brandon Short visited.
"I don't know what I'm going to do with myself," Paterno is quoted as saying.
He told his son Jay, who had been one of his father's assistants, his reputation had been destroyed.
"My name," Posnanski quotes Paterno as saying, "I have spent my whole life trying to make that name mean something. And now it's gone."
That was in November. By January, Paterno would be dead of lung cancer.
More excerpts will be carried in the September issue of GQ, which comes out Monday. Posnanski's book will be in bookstores Tuesday.