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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Destruction of an Icon

As many of you may know, Joe Paterno, coach of the Penn St. Nittany Lions will most likely be exiting his position as head coach of the Penn St. men's football team. Paterno has 409 Division I football wins and has served as Penn St. head coach for 45 years, both Division I records. He is known as a legend and an innovator, but now he is amidst fire for the child sex-scandal that took place by one of Penn St.'s former assistant coaches Jerry Sandusky. I am not going to lavish you with all the details (check out the article below this post for more infomation), but basically Paterno testified early today before the grand jury, and then his scheduled media conference was cancelled shortly after The New York Times reported that he would be "exiting the position of head football coach" sometime this coming week.

Sandusky (left) and Paterno (right) 

I am going to be upfront, I can't give you a straight answer on who is right and who is wrong in this horrific situation. If Paterno is telling the truth, then he technically followed proper protocol involving the situation, but why wouldn't he ensure an investigation occurred? And furthermore, why didn't he confront Sandusky when he heard from his graduate assistant that Sandusky was sexually abusing a ten-year-old boy in the locker room shower? 

Much of this puzzle remains unsolved, and it is clear that the university will terminate Paterno in an effort to save what dignity they have left. Penn St. officials cancelled Paterno press conference in order to avoid the spread of his controversial testimony that he properly reported this situation. They are trying to gain a buffer and maintain some damage control for a situation that is spiraling out of control in the media. Although it is controversial evidence against Penn St., Paterno may just hold the key to the prosecution's case, and provide enough elements to turn a jury decision in favor of a conviction for both Athletic Director Tim Curley (charged with perjury) and Sandusky (charged with over 40 counts of sexual abuse and assault on a child). It is my hope that Paterno is true to the image he has earned for himself as a caring and honest man over his many years as head football coach, and that he testified truthfully--regardless of the implications and penalties it may cause Penn St. University and its officials. 

This is a deeply sad day not only for the state of Pennsylvania, but the entire United States. How did this storied program fail to protect innocent children from unspeakable crimes? Why did Penn St. officials fail to launch an investigation at the time of the initial allegations? Was it to protect the prestige and sacredness of the Penn St program? Was it worth it? 

All these questions are yet to be answered, and we the people must demand these answers. Penn St. must have been able to more than it did to protect the innocence and seek justice for these 8 children forever scarred. Now they will pay the price and answer to the public--Sandusky, A.D. Curley, and even Paterno must explain. There will be no easy way out, and Pennsylvania State University will be forever tarnished in what truly is the destruction of an icon. 

(Click here to see an interesting and highly edgy/controversial article about the scandal from Sports Illustrated. Also please follow and comment your opinions, and donate to our cause if you are feeling generous!)

-John Jr. 


  1. Here is another article from ESPN you might want to take a look at!

  2. Breaking news from ESPN this morning is that Paterno will finish the remainder of the season as head coach, and then has been permitted to retire at the end of the season.