On one hand, if he is in any way complicit to sheltering a monster (see The Sandusky Child Abuse scandal) then why in the world would the university allow him to be on the sidelines this Saturday… and for the rest of the football season?
And if he is not liable – legally or morally – in any manner, then why resign?
One thing which seems clear is that Joe Pa appears to be tone deaf to the severity of this atrocity. I mean why even head to football practice the other day when the news broke? Why not say something like, “Ya know what, I am 100% innocent of any and all allegations but still, since I recognize how heinous this crime is, I am going to show my compassion and understanding by putting football on the back-burner while more serious matters take precedence and sort themselves out a bit.”
After all, the abuse did happen under the umbrella of your football program, Joe – and no one in the history of college football has ever owned a bigger NCAA football umbrella than you, Mr. “Pa” – so take a moment, think about the victims and at least sit out a practice – or even a game or two – simply out of a sense of “doing the right thing”, huh?
That’s what I don’t get. If you are innocent of any and all charges and you sit out for a little bit, then all you did was the right thing while matters sorted themselves out. (And considering the type of crime we are talking about here, it’s hardly something one could consider an “exceptional, undue sacrifice” at all.)
And if things sort out in a way that doesn’t favor you – and goodness knows, we all hope they do not – then you do not deserve to be on the practice field for even one more snap.
But going on with “business as usual”? Especially when it seems that the number one concern by the athletic department was to protect the reputation of the athletic department.
You are an educator, Mr. Paterno. All college coaches are. And what is the lesson being taught by you right now? (Really, I just don’t understand how your actions translate in a positive ways for those sodomized young boys.) I mean look at this paragraph as taken from a news release written after you just had a chance to meet with your team.
Paterno met with his coaching staff and players for about 10-15 minutes in an auditorium of the football facility. Standing at a podium, he told them he was leaving and broke down in tears.
Players gave him a standing ovation when he walked out.
Junior quarterback Stephon Morris said some players also were nearly in tears as Paterno spoke.
“I still can’t believe it,” Morris said. “I’ve never seen Coach Paterno like that in my life.”
Asked what was the main message of Paterno’s talk, Morris said: “Beat Nebraska.”
“Beat Nebraska” is the main message these young men should take from this discussion? I’m dumbfounded.
And is there another “educator” in the land that would have the luxury of being able to return to work with such questions hanging over their head. There’s not a 7th grade social studies teacher in the country who’d be back teaching a lesson on the Bill of Rights if the school district where they worked was bathed in a similar stench. Is this a case of “above the law”? Certainly, by returning for the rest of the season, you are acting like it.
And Penn State, by allowing him to return, you are worse. Where’s your own moral compass in this whole thing. Don’t let Joe retire; let him clear his name and then invite him to coach until he’s 125 years old. But until his actions are scrutinized and cleared, why in the world are you allowing him back to “represent your university and lead your program”?
I just don’t get this whole Joe Paterno thing. As a parent, I am freaked. As an educator, I am freaked. As a citizen of this country, I am freaked. As a fan of college football, Joe Paterno, and sports in general, yep… I am freaked. Can someone please explain to me what is going on right now?