Paterno and legacy

I don’t want to hear about Joe Paterno’s legacy. I don’t want to hear about what a great coach he’s been; about the young men he’s helped; about the legacy he’s left at State College and Todd Blackledge and Chuck Fusina and Blair Thomas and on and on and on. I don’t want to hear any of it.

If we are going to blame a president for a poor economy and a CEO for mediocre profits and a camp counselor for a bad summer, how do we not blame a head football coach—especially a head football coach with this much power and sway—for what goes on with the people he hired?

Does this make Joe Paterno the devil? No. A bad man? No. What it does make him is, in part, responsible. Were he not the head football coach at Penn State, Jerry Sandusky never holds a position of authority. Had Jerry Sandusky never held a position of authority, well, this never happens. Not in State College, at least.

We’ve seen these sorts of situations before, and they never end well. Never. Much of this happened under Joe Paterno’s watch; by a man he endorsed and supported and befriended and employed.

Legacy? To hell with legacy. Penn State must relieve Joe Paterno of his position.


7 thoughts on “Paterno and legacy”

  1. i live within 30 miles of campus, and i couldn’t agree more. but it’s not just joe who has to go – the sense of secrecy surrounding the program has to be eliminated. that means every enabler – from u. president spanier all the way to the ball boys has to go – now.

    and that annoying slogan – “God must be a Penn State fan – why else would he make the sky blue and white?” can disapper forever..

  2. I liked the Mets book and the Cowboys book. I used to enjoy your work for page 2, as well. I have no interest in Walter Payton, but I’ll buy the book eventually, just because I am a fan of your work. That said, I subscribe to a feed of your blog, because I love your emotional and immediate reactions to events like this. I often disagree with them, but they always seem honestly-felt, uncontrived. Which is all a long preface to my saying I disagree with you here. The only thing we know right now is that when confronted with evidence of the crimes, Paterno immediately reported the evidence to his bosses. (Which is all the graduate assistant did as well. Why no one — starting with the GA — took it to the police is a question that must be addressed.) I think ultimately Paterno will have to go, just for the optics, but I don’t see evidence of misconduct on his part right how worthy of an immediate dismissal. Decisions made in the heat of the moment are too often wrong. Give it time for the evidence to come out.

  3. I have two grips with this whole thing.
    #1 If you see some guy raping a 10 year old in the shower step in and DO SOMETHING!
    #2 If I am Joe and I report it to my superiors FOLLOW UP.

    This whole thing stinks, and Joe just needs to go home and think about it for the rest of his life.
    He needs to be fired so it is always on his mind.

  4. If you know anything about Penn State, you know that Joe Paterno had no superiors to report to.

    This is a guy who told President Spanier and AD Tim Curley to get off of his lawn when they approached him about retiring years ago.

    Now all of the sudden a GA reported a boy being raped in the shower to him, and THEN he decides to take it up the chain of command he never adhered to?

    C’mon folks. You have to call bullshit on that one.

  5. I disagreed with Jeff off the bat here too. Then I sat back and unfortunately, thought way too much about it. Everyone involved needs to have reason to think about it for the rest of their lives. Fire them. Indict them. Whatever. Make it sting. But my big problem is w/ the GA. Listen, I’m not a tough guy, I’m no saint or hero. Just a regular guy who, if he saw a 10 year old boy being raped, would immediately, without a second of thought, intervene in anyway necessary. That GA needs to spend his life with a million pounds of guilt. He didn’t rape a boy but he allowed a boy to be raped.

    1. Obviously, my biggest problem is with the awful asshole who actually did the raping. I think that went without saying but this is the internet, so just in case.

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