Onalaska man talks about time with Penn State football

LA CROSSE, Wis. — An Onalaska man who played football for Penn State under head coach Joe Paterno talks about his time with the team, and about the investigation into child abuse allegations against former coach Jerry Sandusky.

The university’s Board of Trustees announced late Wednesday that Paterno would no longer be the team’s head coach. That’s the latest fallout in the wake of a child abuse scandal involving Paterno’s former longtime assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky..


Tom Wilk was an offensive lineman for Penn State in the 1980’s. Wilk tells News 8’s Ryan Rodig that he is praying for the victims and their families after what has come out recently.

“Jerry was a guy who was hard not to like,” Wilks says. “I did some work for The Second Mile, which was (Sandusky’s) charity at the time. It was good at the time, but no one knew it would end up in tragedy.”

Wilk describes Paterno as a “player’s coach,” someone who always put his players first.

“He’s a great leader, great manager, super coach and big disciplinarian,” Wilk says. “I have nothing but good things to say about Joe, and even about Jerry. But, at that time, no one knew that any of this would happen.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.