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Obama: Penn State Child Sex Abuse Allegations Are Outrageous If True

11/10/11 03:53 PM ET EST  AP

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama believes that if the allegations of child sex-abuse at Penn State are true, then "what happened is outrageous," his spokesman said Thursday.

Presidential press secretary Jay Carney said the White House would not get into the details of the decision by the university on Wednesday to fire longtime football coach Joe Paterno and to force the resignation of its long-serving president.

"But what I can say is that if the allegations of what happened up there prove true, what happened is outrageous," Carney said.

Carney was asked at his daily briefing if he thought Paterno, who has won more games than any other major college coach in a career that spanned more than four decades, deserved to be fired.

Paterno on Wednesday announced his retirement at the end of the season and was abruptly fired immediately by the school's board of trustees. Also ousted was Penn State President Graham Spanier as the board sought to limit the damage to the school's reputation from the scandal involving one of Paterno's former assistant coaches.

"The president's thoughts and prayers, and all our thoughts and prayers, are with the victims of the abuse and the family members of those victims," Carney said.

Paterno's firing sent angry students into the streets.

Paterno has expressed remorse for not having done more after he learned of the sex assault allegations.

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Filed by Nick Wing  |