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Sunday, November 13, 2011
Updated: June 3, 9:14 PM ET
Barack Obama weighs in on Penn State

Associated Press

KAPOLEI, Hawaii -- President Barack Obama says the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State has an important message for institutions far beyond college sports: that protecting children is more important than shielding institutions.

Obama has called the case, which ended the career of longtime head coach Joe Paterno, "heartbreaking." He and other school officials were faulted for not doing enough after allegations that one-time assistant coach Jerry Sandusky abused young boys.

At a news conference Sunday after the APEC summit in Hawaii, Obama said college athletic programs are fun and can be important. But he said the excitement they generate shouldn't get in the way of protecting vulnerable youngsters. And he says the lesson is that when people see something wrong, they have to "step up."