Joe Paterno needs to stop hiding behind lawyers and spokesmen. He needs to push them aside, stand in front of the blinding light of the cameras and take whatever is thrown at him.
Paterno employed Jerry Sandusky as his defensive coordinator at Penn State for 30 years.
He needs to take responsibility for allowing one of his employees to allegedly sexually abuse children in campus facilities. If the actions were brought to his attention while they were happening and he did nothing to stop them, if he never confronted Sandusky, never made sure proper action was taken, then Paterno should be held accountable.
Sandusky will face his day in court. Paterno probably won’t because legally, he didn’t do anything wrong. But he failed morally.
Paterno knew about the allegations and still allowed Sandusky on campus, even as recently as last week, to use the facilities. For the last decade, Paterno has acted as if nothing had happened.
Paterno had a chance to answer every question today, but not surprisingly, his weekly press conference was canceled by Penn State administration.
If a coach can be fired for trying to cover up a memorbilia-for-tattoos scandal, surely Paterno has to be fired for not aggressively going to the authorities and putting an end to the malicious acts Sandusky was committing. A message needs to be sent to all coaches that no one is above being fired.
Penn State has no choice but to dismiss a legend. It’s unfortunate that it has come to this, but it has to be done. This ending is not befitting of an icon. But now, it’s the only acceptable ending.