In the wake of an uncovered tragedy, Penn State fans and the NCAA must say goodbye to the legendary coach Joe Paterno. A forced goodbye was never expected for JoePa, admired and loved by so many even outside of the Nittany Lion nation, but after the University found itself involved in a sexual abuse scandal with a former assistant coach, there seemed to be no other choice.
On Wednesday evening, Joe Paterno was fired from his position as Head Football Coach at Penn State University. He has been the football coach of the Nittany Lions since 1966 and after 45 years (46 seasons – 62 total seasons at Penn State), winning two national championships, and producing millions of dollars for the university, he has left a legacy.
Paterno currently holds the record for most victories of any coach in major college football. He was such a lovable coach, especially when he got all fired up. I did not attend Penn State, but when they would make a bowl game, I would always find myself rooting for JoePa. I just had to.
Although I do believe Paterno could have done more regarding the situation, as he dedicated his life to the betterment of young men in his football program, he was a great coach who deserved a more dignified goodbye. In a statement provided by the New York Times, Paterno said, “A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value.” The defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will take over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
I know the admired Joe Paterno will be greatly missed, but I think people need to remember what this tragedy is truly about. The boys who’s lives were cruelly affected and the repercussions that must occur to reinforce our morality as Americans is what is most important here. Paterno failed to report the issue to the proper authorities. Justice for these victims and their families is deserved.
Only time will lessen the impact of this incident and the mistake Paterno made, and his legend will last forever.
Here is the full Grand Jury Report on Jerry Sandusky, it is a very disturbing read.