With the cancelling of Joe Paterno’s weekly press conference on Tuesday, the New York Times reported that PSU is planning his exit in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky arrest on multiple counts of molesting children.
The Nittany Lions are the only undefeated team in the Big Ten and they host Nebraska on Saturday, but really, no one cares. In what was looking to be a redemptive season for JoePa – proof that he could still coach, compete and win on a relevant level – came news that could spell the end of his career. Let no one mistake the true tragedy here is that young boys were assaulted by a sexual predator – one who no one attempted to stop, despite numerous red flags. Yes, the boys are the real victims, but like all disasters there is additional collateral damage.
For a man who set records for wins, who seemingly walked the talk of putting the student first in student-athlete, who never hesitated to mete out discipline for even the star players, Joe Paterno failed to protect kids. He and all the other adults involved – Penn State’s athletic director Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business, Mike McQueary, who as a grad assistant was an eyewitness to one of the assaults, and two janitors – all failed in the simplest of tasks – calling 911.
It shocks and saddens me that in a sport like college football, which prides itself on its macho reputation and manliness, not one of these adults was man enough to call the police, while Sandusky continued to target more and more kids. I’ve asked myself, and my friends, if you saw a child being assaulted would you not do everything in your power to stop it? At the very least dial three digits on your phone? I hope as a society we haven’t become so impotent that we can’t defend the people who need it most.
If even half the allegations are true, Sandusky deserves whatever he gets and more, and as for Curley and Schultz, they’re completely complicit. McQueary gets to live his life knowing that he could have stopped a sexual assault of a child and possibly prevented more falling victim to Sandusky.
I’m saddened that JoePa didn’t take a stand when it mattered most. For someone I considered a childhood hero because he did things the right way, I’m utterly disheartened. Joe Paterno did a lot of good in his career, but what he didn’t do seemingly erases all of that. I have never once called for Joe Paterno’s firing, through all the rebuilding years and even with the crazy two-QB system this season, but in my heart of hearts I feel that this time Joe must go.
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Written by Stephanie Geosits