IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys starting inside linebacker Sean Lee, who played football at Penn State, said Wednesday that it's sad to see his college coach, Joe Paterno, decide to retire at season's end but hopes the children who were alleged to have been sexually abuse by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky get justice.
"It's just a sad situation up there," Lee said after Cowboys practice Wednesday. "Coach Paterno has had a fantastic career. I enjoyed very much playing for him and I enjoyed playing for Penn State. It was an unbelievable college experience."
Paterno, 84, is retiring in the wake of a scandal involving the football program that saw Penn State's athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz charged with failing to notify authorities after an eyewitness reported a 2002 assault by Sandusky.
Paterno himself was told about an assault and contacted Curley. The coach was not charged with any crime by law enforcement officials.
Sandusky was charged over the weekend with 40 criminal counts of molesting eight young boys between 1994 and 2009 through his charitable foundation for at-risk youths, The Second Mile. He is free on bail and has a Dec. 7 court hearing.
"When it comes to the whole situation it's just shocking," Lee said. "It's extremely sad and you pray for the children and you pray for their families and you hope justice is done. Hopefully once justice is done, Penn State can move on and be the great university that it is. This really doesn't represent our university. That's not what we're about and I think hopefully from this point on we can move on."
Lee said he knew Sandusky but wouldn't comment further on the relationship. There are protests near and on the Penn State campus regarding the status of Paterno and whether he should step down prior to Saturday's home game against Nebraska.
"I'm not really going to speculate on that too much," Lee said. "I don't have too much of a comment on that. I just know that it's a tough situation up there right now. You feel for obviously the victims. Obviously, I talked to some of my teammates. They're trying to rally that team and trying to get that team on track through a tough situation."