Short Post on Penn State
I was originally planning on writing a long blog post on the scandal at Penn State, but I don’t think I can add anything that has not already been said. It is an affair that is sad in every sense, and will probably go down as the worst sports scandal of my generation. I will not go into whether or not I think Joe Paterno deserved to be fired after 61 combined years of upstanding service, because I do not know the full extent of his knowledge of the situation. I do, however, know that the move needed to be made, whether he deserved it or not.
A part of me hopes that Paterno had only heard of the one incident mentioned in the indictment, and that since he was in his late 70’s, he did not fully grasp the gravity of the situation. If that were the case, his reputation would certainly be tarnished, but then I do not think we could say he was a horrible person. However, if his understanding of the matter proves to be much more sinister, then I think you have to throw out his outstanding 46 years as the head coach that built Penn State and admit that he was a hypocrite and a coward.
Make no mistake, this is not over, and things are going to get much worse. I would prefer the legendary Joe Paterno not be involved in any of the disgusting events that have yet to be revealed. But, if he is, I will have no problem saying that he tricked all of us for a half century into thinking he was an honorable and decent man. I hope that is not the case.
But then, that’s just me being selfish. I hope his reputation is not forever ruined, because that will force me to reexamine everything I thought I knew about college football and the men who run it. If this scandal has taught us anything, it is that terrible things can happen anywhere. So many college football fans held up Paterno and the Nittany Lions as a shining beacon of hope in the bleak landscape of college sports. Now, with the downfall of Paterno’s “great experiment,” I urge all of you that are taking pleasure in this and belittling the university to not be smug.
There are twisted individuals in all walks of life. If it can happen at Penn State, it could happen at your school.