Joe Paterno was held on a pedestal so high most thought it was impossible for him to fall off. After all, he coached Penn State for 45 years and was the face of the organization now and forever. He would live in lore well after his death by the university for all his accomplishments and the dignity in which he carried himself. What a long fall it is off that pedestal, right Joe?
Paterno is now stuck in the middle of a scandal in which no one could or should survive. A scandal that involves sex abuse, children and a blind eye. The mere writing of that sentence makes my stomach turn. Hopefully this is the last article I will have to write about this subject and you should have to read.
But here we are talking about the subject because it intertwines with sports. Sports, the one haven a troubled “At-Risk” child should have. Sports, where adults relive when they were innocent and life was pure. Sports, where we all wish we could do forever and achive glory. Sports, was used as a vehicle of abuse for former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky at Penn State.
For those of you who don’t know the allegations facing Sandusky let me inform you. Sandusky allegedly raped 8 young boys over a 15-year period at Penn State while guiding the youth under a non-profit organization for “At-Risk” children. Sandusky had access to Penn State and it’s facilities during the abuse. In 2002 a grad student witnessed Sundusky having sex with a boy in the shower and reported it to Paterno. Paterno then notified his superior, Tim Curley, and Sandusky was asked not to return to the campus but he did participate in Penn State sponsored satillite camps after the incident.
So how is Paterno “Morally Bankrupt”? He should have seen the prosecution of Paterno throught till the end, but he didn’t. Paterno should have made it his “Crusade” to see Sandusky put away for life. Further blocking Sandusky from ever having the opportunity to abuse again. But he didnt. In fact Paterno and Curley, who was arraigned Monday on charges of perjury and failing to report abuse to authorities, went on with their lives while Sandusky continued his life and abuse.
Paterno did tell his superiors about the abuse…. silent clap. But how would Paterno feel if it was his grandson, son or himself as a child that was being abused? How would he react? I doubt he would turn a blind eye. So why did he do it? Why let Sandusky live free to prey on innocent children? Ego and Legacy.
If Paterno stood up like a man and identified this demon then he would have to admit he was wrong about him. For the people with amnesia, Sandusky was long believed to be the heir apparent to Paterno. He used to be the defensive coordinator, played for Paterno and was a mainstay in the organization. So to admit he was wrong about Sandusky is to admit he was wrong, period, and when is the last time a coach done that?
Besides Paterno’s ego being bruised he may have felt the organization his tenure would forever be tarnished with the scandal. So he swept it under the rug and lived his life as a Penn State immortal while the young and innocent had to heal their wounds. His legacy couldnt take a beating and it was evident because he wouldn’t step down before the scandal.
So while Paterno and Curley celebrated Christmas, Easter and Penn State irreversible damage was done to the lives of eight children. I’m glad you had your eggnog Joe. I hope you enjoyed Easter Egg hunts with your grandchildren Joe. I hope it was all worth it because your closer to the end than the beginning and the Big Man upstairs might be a little upset with you after 84 years of experience you still couldn’t tell right from wrong. The worst part is the mistakes of these men will permanently harm the innocent kids involved. Think about that Joe in retirement.