Thursday, November 10, 2011

Joe Pa Gone. It is His Fault He's Gone. I am Sad He Didn't Do the Right Thing.

(h/t Blutarsky, from Pre-Snap Read)
I've debated writing this post for four days.  On Monday, I wrote the only thing I could without getting preachy and devolving into parentyell. Now, I believe the title sums up how I feel pretty accurately.

For those out there that say his contributions, his wins, his spotless now forever tarnished program should grant him more dignity than a phone call or hand delivered letter firing, I say bullshit.  At the minimum, he facilitated and allowed a pedophile's continued access to Penn State's athletic department. That access was Jerry Sandusky's candy.  At worst (and this is speculation based on the known facts), he knew that Sandusky was doing this, took his promise to not do it anymore, and blissfully ignored the rest.

Either way, anything short of doing the morally right thing when he found out what happened is enough to justify his firing.  The liability exposure alone is. That this involves kids being raped at Penn State facilities is enough to let him find out from the press conference, in my opinion.

If you think whatever good Paterno has done for Penn State and the local area trumps what he didn't do for the past decade, well, we'll just have to disagree.  If you think 409 wins somehow over shadows what happened over that decade, we'll definitely have to disagree. I am very sad for how it all ended for Coach Paterno, but that sadness is about his failure to do the right thing, not that it ended on someone else's terms with a phone call or letter.

And for those that think Paterno couldn't have changed the course of events, I call double bullshit.  If he is so revered that students took to the streets, that folks are actually trying to defend his actions, that the local media literally took an accusatory tone with the Board of Trustees in the press conference during the announcement, then Joe Paterno had the power to stop Jerry Sandusky from buggering children, especially on Penn State's campus.  That cannot be in dispute.

The bottom line is this:  Joe Paterno let his relationship, his friendship, with Sandusky trump the welfare of the vulnerable.  That is why he was fired. That is what his legacy will forever be, at least to those of us that are objective about these things.


Further Reading:
-Paterno failed his biggest decision (Mark Schlach)
-Doyel's report from the ground (Gregg Doyel)

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