The attorneys arguing the child sexual abuse trial of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky have four days to figure out how to sway a jury heavy with connections to the school.
Seven women and five men will hear opening statements Monday in the sweeping case that rocked the university and led to the ouster of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno.
On the list of potential witnesses, along with the young men who have accused Sandusky, are Paterno's widow and son; and assistant coach Mike McQueary, who said he saw Sandusky naked in a team shower with a boy more than a decade ago and reported it to Paterno.
A family spokesman says Sue and Jay Paterno were not told that they're on the list of possible witnesses.
A statement released Thursday reads:
"Over the last few days, numerous reporters have inquired about the news that Sue Paterno and Jay Paterno have been listed as possible witnesses in the upcoming trial of Jerry Sandusky. The Paternos had no advance notice of this development and have no idea if they will in fact be called to testify.
The family has also received repeated media requests for interviews. Out of respect for the legal process, it is the family's strong preference not to comment while the trial is underway. The only directive Joe Paterno gave to his family is that they should pursue the truth, while forcefully defending the honor and integrity of Penn State and the countless thousands of students, faculty, coaches and donors who have worked so hard over the years to build it into a world class institution. This is the course the family has carefully followed during this extraordinary process.
Accordingly, while the trial is underway, the Paterno family will not make any further public comment unless something exceptional and unexpected develops that necessitates a response."
Opening statements by prosecutors and defense lawyers will be made on Monday. The trial is expected to last several weeks.