Another scandal has rocked
collegiate sports, however, a legendary coach is in the middle of this scandal
and he needed to resign immediately or be fired, not allowed to retire at the
end of the season to get a record breaking win. Joe Paterno needs to step away
from coaching at Penn State now, plain and simple. The university dropped the
ball on this one so Coach Paterno can get that one win to pass Eddie Robinson.
Once again Penn State is putting football ahead of what is right. Paterno
failed in his duty to do what was right in a scandal that rivals the Boston
church scandal. He is college football’s equivalent to Cardinal Bernard Law.
In the past we saw legendary coach Bobby Bowden being forced out at Florida
State after a cheating scandal, which he may or may not have been directly
involved in. He knew about it and the president of the school forced him to
retire. All time winning basketball coach Bobby Knight was fired from Indiana
University after an incident where he berated a student whom he felt
disrespected him. Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach was fired because he
hazed a football player with an injury. Butch Davis (UNC) and Jim Tressel (OSU)
were fired because they lost control of their players getting benefits from
agents that in some respect the NCAA should be providing players. Lastly, Duke
Lacrosse coach resigned amid a scandal of his players raping a woman at a
party. The players were falsely accused, but the coach never got his job back.
All of those reasons to be terminated are somewhat valid and I don’t mean to
dismiss them as not serious. But these pale in comparison to what is going on
at Penn State. If the examples above stopped at the desk of the head coach and
he was ultimately held responsible, then the same needs to happen here. Paterno
not only lost control of an assistant coach who was sexually abusing children.
He knew about it. The fact that all Paterno did was give the name to his
superiors is not enough, he should have called the police. If he was waiting
for the school administration to do that, then he should have dropped the dime
when it was clear that was not going to happen. Joe Paterno failed miserably in
this regard and needs to be held accountable for that. Read the indictment and tell me that Paterno could not have done more
Facebook friends stated “I guess we have different opinions on what
“the right thing to do” is in this type of situation.” he
couldn’t have been more spot on. When the AD and VP of the school did not
report to authorities Paterno should have reported them as well. What Paterno
did was not only wrong, it was criminal and how he will stay away from
prosecution is beyond me. All Joe Pa had to do was pick up the phone and dial
Jerry Sandusky, the accused coach, used his standing as a Penn State official
to lure boys into his charitable foundation and prey on them. He would bring
them to Penn State Football facilities and then he would have them sleep at his
home. These were very vulnerable and underprivileged children he was dealing
with. When the students wanted to distant themselves from Sandusky he became
angry and confrontational. That is the work of a sick individual and anyone who
protected him by not reporting him should be ashamed. To protect the sanctity
of a football program over the innocence of an 11 year old boy is absolutely
sickening. This definitely explains why professional coaches have the “I
am better than the world” mentality. We have seen it all the top schools
and all the top coaches. Nebraska, Ohio State, Miami, Auburn, Louisville, UNC
and so on. Coaches are coronated as kings the moment they step into town and
they act that way.
Joe Paterno failed miserably. Not in coaching, not in managing, but in basic
human decency. Will the public respond to him being set free as they did with
Casey Anthony, probably not. Paterno didn’t commit the crime but he helped
Sandusky get away with it for 11 years. He did not have to see all the
incidences, he didn’t have to know about all of them. He knew about one and
that was far more than enough. There is no more respect heading towards Happy
Valley. The school needed to do “the right thing”. They should not
let him retire, they let Sandusky retire and he used his retirement benefits to
If Penn State wants to truly show
that football doesn’t come first, either forfeit the season or reject any bowl
invitations. They play one final home
game, this Saturday against Nebraska.
Play the game and take all the proceeds from the game and give it to the
victims that Sandusky violated. Then end
your season at Wisconsin on November 26.
It won’t do anything in the long run.
Joe Paterno should not get the media attention through the month of
December promoting his last game.