Paterno gets what he deserves

For those of you that have not been following the news, Jerry Sandusky, who retired as the Penn State football team’s head defensive coordinator back in 1999, and consequently headed a program called The Second Mile Foundation which helped at risk boys, has been charged of 40 counts of sexually abusing children over a period of 15 years.


Sports is a vast world full of competition and character. For a lot of athletes, their sport is their haven; an outlet where they hone their passions, achieve their dreams, and challenge themselves to reach new heights. Unfortunately, given recent events, our consciousness has been shifted to the darker world of sports where in Penn State football, terrible and unspeakable crimes have been committed. The accusations, shame and news stories have been flying. There has been much controversy over whether or not head coach Joe Paterno should have been fired.


Personally, I believe that although Paterno was a Penn state coach of 46 years that garnered impressive success for the Penn State football team, his conduct was immoral and unethical and I support the Penn State Board of Trustees’ decision to fire Paterno.


I can understand that many support Paterno, holding that he fulfilled a moral and legal obligation when he informed his higher-ups about the information he was given by Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant, concerning Jerry Sandusky’s alleged sexually abusive behavior towards young boys back in 2002. However, imagine yourself in Paterno’s position. You’ve just been informed of atrocious news, so of course, you report it to a person who you think has the power to stop it. However, herein lies the problem. By informing higher-ups, was Paterno actively seeking justice, or simply brushing an explosive issue beneath the rug?


I simply could not sleep at night not knowing if anything had been done to solve such a blaring and shocking injustice. I don’t believe that any moral person would rest until they had done something to initiate some kind of official police investigation into this type of issue, or at least take actions themselves to find out the truth. Paterno’s actions (or lack thereof) could be explained by the fact that he has immense pride in Penn State’s reputation, but how could anyone possibly put the reputation of a school before the safety of children?


I am by no means saying that Paterno is to blame for what happened. However, I believe that he could have done more to put a stop to something so horrendous. When you really stop to think about the impact of this situation and what it means for the Penn State community and the lives of the victims, it is hard to be supportive of a person who seemingly did not do enough to put an end to the shocking and shameful behavior that went on for far too long.