Friday, September 2, 2016
PENN STATE WEAK
Penn State plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Joe Paterno's first game
coaching the Nittany Lions on September 17 when the school takes on Temple.
When I first read that sentence my skin crawled and I got a pit in my stomach.
After a child molestation scandal was uncovered in 2011, costing Paterno his job
and putting Jerry Sandusky, his former longtime defensive coordinator behind bars
for the rest of his life, the administration thought it'd be great to celebrate their former
football coach five years later.
Wow. Talk about tone deaf.
There's long been a saying the smartest people in the room often make the
dumbest decisions. This move by the highly-educated folks in Happy Valley certainly
supports that statement.
How could they possibly think a "commemoration" of Paterno's first game at a school
he helped besmirch the reputation of forever, is a good idea? Do they think
selling JoePa T-shirts to mark the occasion is going to put their income into a higher
Did they think the world forgot about all the sordid details of a scandal where Sandusky
sexually abused more than 26 children? Did they see all those lawsuits the families of
the children settled at a cost of almost $100 million as no big deal?
We will never know what exactly Paterno knew about the sick behavior of Sandusky
and when, but it's clear he knew a lot and for some reason still employed Sandusky as
his highly-accomplishment coordinator.
We will never know why he gave Sandusky cart blanche to the football offices, stadium,
and locker rooms after he retired. According to court records, Sandusky brought young
children into those facilities and showered with them.
In is last interview before dying, Paterno admitted he "should've done more." He
stated he told his superiors about an incident and then left it up to them deal with it.
Those superiors, the school president and athletic director would up being charged
with failing to report crime against children, among other things.
It turned out to be on very big cover-up by the administration and Paterno in order to
protect his legacy, the reputation of the school, and their jobs. They didn't care about the
welfare of the children back then, now the administration wants to honor Paterno now?
This is almost beyond belief.
Five years might be a long time for some people to put things back together, but it's
not enough to heal the wounds all those children suffered. Most of them will carry
them to their graves. And no matter how much money they received in the settlement,
it won't be enough to rinse away their insufferable pain.
Somebody at Penn State needs to explain why they feel now is a good time to
'celebrate' Paterno. Oh, I know that 50 is a nice, big, and powerful number, but like all
his wins in Happy Valley, it has been rendered meaningless.
The rest of country doesn't care about the number of wins Paterno had or how long
ago it was that he first ran onto the field in Happy Valley. Nope, not when the residue
of the most despicable scandal in college sports history is still evident at the university.
Anniversaries and milestones mean nothing when the black cloud of child abuse sex
scandal still hovers above. It's just too bad the administration at the school can't see
it because everyone else does.