Friday, November 25, 2011
SORRY, MRS. PATERNO, YOU CAN'T SWIM HERE ANYMORE
Buried beneath all the college football game highlights and the
dissection of Ndamukong Suh's stomp felt around the world, was
a small blurb about Sue Paterno, wife of the disgraced legendary
football coach at Penn State. JoePa's wife is an avid swimmer
who did her laps at the pool located inside the football facility
for many, many years. That was until the school, whom JoePa
put on the map, fired as its football icon amid the child-abuse
scandal. Sue arrived for her usual early-morning workout and
was told she could no longer use the facility. The former first
lady of Penn State, was being treated no better than a homeless
woman pushing her cart around State College. Sad, oh so very sad.
The visual of an elderly lady getting turned away from the
same facility that was virtually built by her husband who coached
there for more than 60 years is sad. The entire mess has turned
the smiles in Happy Valley upside down and they will remain
that way for quite some time.
Starting with the victims, the young boys who lost their innocence
to an alleged monster in Jerry Sandusky, a long-time defensive
coordinator, whom many in his "Second Mile" had come to
trust and lean on for guidance. It doesn't get much more depressing
and heinous than young boys get raped by a man who was 50-something.
It is sick, sad, and something that has forever stained the entire
university, much less the football program.
Every student-athlete, coach, administrator, who has graduated
from Penn State and matriculates there now will always have to
deal with the stigma of a child abuse scandal and an alleged
cover-up. Morale and the life of all of them has been sucked
out of because the world has a radar-lock on Penn State,
the school where helpless children who couldn't protect themselves,
were done wrong by people who could have.
Joe Paterno, who had been built up as a man of impeccable
character, integrity, and honesty, saw 60 years of good will
and good work, come crashing down like a house of cards.
Few people could ever say a bad word about Paterno, now
you can't find many who will say anything at all about
a coach who has the most victories in college football history.
That's how life sometimes works, a king one day, a pariah
the next. It's sad, oh so very sad. It'll be hard to find a situation
or scandal that produces as much gut-wrenching sadness as
the one at Penn State. Little boys got raped, an elaborate
cover-up to save a school and its reputation was exposed, and
the king, Paterno, and all his men, came crashing down, and his wife
can no longer use the pool. How sad it all is. How very, very