Job Gone, Legacy Destroyed…Joe-Pa Got Off Light

Posted: November 11, 2011 in NCAA
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been covering sports for more than 50 years and this has been the toughest week of my professional life. Of course I’m talking about the Penn State-Joe Paterno-Jerry Sandusky story.

This isn’t a knee jerk reaction. I’ve given it a lot of thought. There was the O.J. Simpson story; the death of Len Bias; the murder by a hired gun involving the Baylor basketball team. Maybe others, but none punched me in the gut, made me want to walk away from sports, more than what came to light at Penn State during the last week.

If one of the charges of sexually abusing young boys against Sandusky is true, the former Penn State assistant football coach should spend the remainder of his life in prison. I’d even vote for a worse punishment.

As for the firing of Paterno in his 46th year as the school’s head football coach, I 100 percent support the school’s board of trustees. Paterno retiring on his own terms would have been disgusting.

There are too many other people involved to name. They deserve severe punishment.

No matter what punishment is handed out, it won’t be enough in my opinion to offset the horrors the victims suffered and will continue to suffer for the remainder of their lives.

Getting back to Paterno, I have no sympathy for the man. Apparently he didn’t break any laws, but how could anyone be more morally corrupt? He lived a lie, at least for the last nine years. What about second chances someone asked me? The way I see it, he had thousands of chances to do the right thing. I’m talking about every day since 2002 when he was first told of an incident involving Sandusky and a child. Instead, he never pursued finding out the truth — based on what has been reported. He continued to be associated with Sandusky, even remain his friend. Meanwhile, more boys were victimized.

We all have lapses in judgment, but Paterno’s failure to act is inexcusable. He coached more victories than anyone in major college football history. He won many championships. He mentored and helped many young men, but his legacy will be that of a man who stood by and did little or nothing to help children in desperate need.

Now he has to live with that nightmare, and that doesn’t bother me one iota.


  1. Terri says:

    Why is everyone harping about JoePa and not about Sandusky…the guy adopted 6 kids…he fooled a lot of people! JoePa reported him the school covered it up! Why didn’t the man who saw the crime call the police? All JoePa had was hearsay he didn’t see anything.

  2. chraige says:

    What’s the one thing that can keep ANYONE from doing the right thing in this situation?
    Fear of those you love (or yourself) being harmed or killed. It’s just a thought.
    But I think this is MUCH bigger than Jo Pa and Sandusky. Too many people kept quiet.
    And somebody MADE them stay quiet. There are too many people that knew for there not to be a bigger, more sinister problem going on. Just the money the football program makes isn’t enough to keep that many people hush hush. Heck, if Jo Pa reports it to the authorities it won’t hurt the program at all and his dignity and reputation stays in tact.
    I have a feeling we’ve only scratched the surface and this could be one of the ugliest things we’ve ever seen, or ever will see in sports.

  3. Joel says:

    What a silly column, you along with the rest of the hypocritical reporters know nothing about what went on there, so my suggestion would be to shut-up until the facts come out. Besides who are you to judge another, are your morals beyond reproach. Please shut up already.

    This is from your artical.
    Instead, he never pursued finding out the truth — based on what has been reported.

    Your correct in saying based on what has been reported, so you need to shut up until what is factual comes out and not what the hypocritcal media reports. You have villified Joe based on what was reported, I can’t believe anybody reads your crap. I wish my friend never sent me this artical, I sure won’t be reading anymore.

  4. Frankie says:

    we must all fear evil men but there is one thing that we must fear most and that is the indifference of good men…

    we expected more from joepa. sadly reporting it to your immediate supervisor is not enough. if it was one of joepa’s grandkids being sexually abused do you think he would’ve just passed it along the chain of command…that’s what I thought. how can you not be hypocritiical when it comes to this case. if sandusky had killed someone joepa would still have a job but it wasn’t murder it was much much worse bc it involved innocent children

  5. MM says:

    Joel, you must in your early 20’s at best. Your immaturity shouts. The entire timeline, the entire grand jury report is out there for your review and digest. Once read, then comment. Simply put, you’re an idiot. Until YOU read the reports, don’t respond. Until you grow up, don’t respond.
    Please read…you might be enlightened, just a thought.

  6. […] of his accomplishments, of course, make the end of his career all the sadder. I’m in no way excusing him for his horrible lack of judgment during his last 10 years when he did little or nothing about the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s