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The tainting of JoePa’s legacy

Penn State Community Shaken By Sex Abuse Scandal Getty Images

How do you define a man who for 60-plus years has been an institution bigger in some respects than the institution of higher learning that employs him?  Prior to last Friday, summing up what Joe Paterno meant to the isolated, idyllic Penn State campus would’ve been easy: everything.

Now, the answer is much more muddled, much more tainted.

JoePa, as he’s affectionately known, is the first man most people think of when they hear Penn State, a reaction that will likely continue long after the shock of his retirement Wednesday subsides.  As football programs around the country faced off-field scandal after scandal spanning multiple decades, Paterno was the moral compass Nittany Lion Nation — hell, college football as a whole — knew they could count on to never lead them astray even as the sport was seemingly hurtling toward some sort of gridiron Sodom and Gomorrah.  When it came to that program, you knew what you were going to get: players clad in beautifully-bland uniforms being led by a man girded with impeccable character and straight-out-of-the-fifties glasses.  And a moral fiber that was above reproach.

It wasn’t just Penn State football that has been Joe Paterno since Lyndon Johnson was sitting in the Oval Office.  Penn State, the university, has been Joe Paterno.

After what’s transpired the past five days, the facade of integrity that took more than a half-century to build has been shattered and perhaps irreparably damaged by the child-sex abuse scandal that’s saddened and sickened even the most hardened of observers.  The memories of a program that did things the right way led by a man who ensured things were done the right way?  Replaced to a large degree by the horrifying images contained in the grand jury’s 40-count indictment of Jerry Sandusky, the former Paterno assistant who was once among the coach’s most trusted lieutenants.

Merriam-Webster defines the word “legacy” as “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.”  On paper, what he’s leaving behind is undeniable and untouchable: 409 wins, the most in Div. 1 history, as well as two national championships and multiple coach-of-the-year awards.  One of just a handful of BcS conference schools — Stanford, Northwestern and Boston College being the others — to never have been found guilty of a major violation in football.  Consistently graduating a higher percentage of his football players than the vast majority of football programs around the country.

That’s a black-and-white football legacy likely never to be equaled.  The gray area outside of anything that can be measured statistically, the DNA that makes up one’s moral fiber?  That gray area as it pertains to Paterno is a moving target, hard to grasp in the immediacy of a moment with still many more questions than answers.

The gruesome details have been repeated ad nauseam since their release late last week, but the singular question remains: why didn’t Coach Paterno go to the authorities when it became clear the administration was going to sweep under the rug the allegations of on-campus sodomizing witnessed by one his grad assistants and perpetrated by his former heir apparent?  And this isn’t about using the power Paterno had built over the decades to run roughshod over the legal system and play judge, jury and executioner.  This is about the moral responsibility of a human being, about a man — one who dedicated his life to raising up and protecting kids entrusted to him — failing miserably when the opportunity to protect even younger, more defenseless kids arose by doing nothing more than the bare minimum required under the law.

With authority comes responsibility.  With responsibility comes accountability.  Of all the times Paterno failed to win on a football field, his failure to live up to everything he preached for over the years– holding himself, his players and his program to a higher standard — is his biggest loss, his biggest failing.  The accountability that was a bedrock of the man was lost, as was the innocence of any subsequent victims.  He failed everything he stood for when he sat down and did nothing more than what was sufficient in the eyes of the law.

With the 20/20 hindsight available even at his advanced age, Paterno can see how miserably he, and undoubtedly many others, failed those children.

“It is one of the great sorrows of my life… I wish I had done more,” a portion of Paterno’s retirement announcement read.

The failure is not Paterno’s alone, certainly.  The laundry list of Penn State officials and those associated with Sandusky’s children’s charity who could’ve done something, anything to prevent further victims from the tentacles of an alleged pedophile is sickening in its length, and those people should be relieved of their duties as well.  That doesn’t, however, absolve Paterno of the culpability for his inaction.  It’s an embarrassing stain on an otherwise impeccable record both on and off the field that won’t, and shouldn’t, be forgotten.

Certainly all the good he’s done for the players he calls “his kids” cannot be erased, nor can all he’s done for the community or the sport be minimized or tossed to the side.  And certainly there’s far, far more good deeds in the numerical sense than bad, even as the bad as we currently know it reaped unimaginable consequences for numerous innocent children and outweighs in the minds of some any good for which he’s directly responsible.

Joe Paterno, the football coach, and Joe Paterno, the man, have always been intertwined, walking in lockstep as the model of what amateur athletics on and off the field should be.  Right or wrong, the scandal that ultimately forced the ouster of a coaching legend is part of his legacy forevermore; how big a part of his legacy is up to the writer or reader of the whole of the narrative.

For me, it’s merely a reminder that human beings, great and small, are fallible.  Even, and especially, those that cast as large of a shadow as Coach Paterno.

Unfortunately for JoePa, and much more so for the victim at the time and those that came after, the fallibility that surfaced in 2002 had unintended but nonetheless tragic consequences.  That’s something Coach Paterno will have to live with for however many more years God grants him on this earth.

And that is a hell of a lot more damaging and painful to a man with not many breaths left than any rewrite of his legacy could ever be.

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83 Responses to “The tainting of JoePa’s legacy”
  1. dhlions says: Nov 9, 2011 3:30 PM

    Go report on something else. You guys (the media) are merely exploiting this story for your own benefit. Get a (bad word) life.

  2. thekatman says: Nov 9, 2011 3:33 PM

    Folks responsibile for allowing the rape fo these boiys to continue exceed the athletic department. You must go after the PSU PD Chief, the Happy Valley PD Chief, PSU Board of Trustees, the Provost, PSU President…. everyone who had heard about it and did nothing or swept it under the carpet. Well, folks the carpet’s so high with stuff under it, it’s time to take the carpet outside and clean house.

    The time is now for PSU to clean house, so that the university can begin the process of repairing its reputation, which will take a few years….. I would not want my son/daughter to attend PSU over the next 10 years because of this problem.

    Ther’s a sytemic problem at PSU with the way this scandalaous behavior has been allowed to proliferate for decades.

    So sad.
    Joe Pa! You’re outta here!!!!!!

  3. dhlions says: Nov 9, 2011 3:35 PM


    Yeah, don’t let them attend PSU, because clearly that is the only place where child predators can lurk, or cover-ups can take place?

  4. cappa662 says: Nov 9, 2011 3:37 PM

    Good read. Joe pa needs to have sandusky (do really bad things to him).

  5. brucehumbert says: Nov 9, 2011 3:44 PM

    thekatman – problem was the police were not told of this until 2008!!!!

    That is the point of firing Paterno and the rest – they are responsible for ALL the rapes that this predator performed from 2002 on – and there are many!

  6. dhc1980 says: Nov 9, 2011 3:47 PM

    Excellent article…I hope Jerry Sandusky spends the rest of his life in unimaginable pain…My money is that he kills himself to avoid dealing with the consequences of his actions…The Easy way out…

    As for Joe…I will always respect him…I am an Alum and he has helped thopusands of children in his lifetime and given his entire life to that school and community

  7. bunkmcnulty says: Nov 9, 2011 3:47 PM

    Gotta say, you need to edit some of these comments out. dhlions F-word should never have it this blog. Capps comments about what Joe Pa deserves is sick.

    Please clean up this board. I am al for people expressing themselves, but those 2 remarks are not called for.

  8. Amadeus says: Nov 9, 2011 3:48 PM

    Penn State’s top officials compounded these egregious crimes by not acting immediately to fire Paterno, instead letting him coach till the end of the season. Paterno’s culpability in this sordid matter is as serious as the two who are charged with perjury. He allowed a suspected pedophile to stay on campus and continue his crimes, and neglected to follow up. At the very least, take down his statue.

  9. mattlion says: Nov 9, 2011 3:50 PM

    “I would not want my son/daughter to attend PSU over the next 10 years because of this problem.”

    This is moronic, the safest time to fly a plane is just after an accident, and the safest time to attend Penn State will be the next 30 years because of the culture change.

  10. 6ball says: Nov 9, 2011 3:52 PM


    I just searched for “vomitorium” on google maps.


  11. tigersgeaux says: Nov 9, 2011 4:01 PM

    mattlion: What you posted may well be true, but it will not be the public perception, nor the feelings of parents. We are helping with a situation involving two boys in south Louisiana, and all the volunteers and parents are so devastated to hear this news from Happy Valley.

    All our news radio and sports radio stations in New Orleans are broadcasting news from this horror and that is all people want to talk about. We are way down here, a very long way from Happy Valley but families here are very protective of their children and this is a huge topic.

    People aren’t even talking about LSU beating Alabama or having a chance for the national championship or the Saints, they are talking about this horror. This will taint Penn State for a long time, and will taint the memory and legacy of JoePa as well, it is sad to say.

  12. darrell7777 says: Nov 9, 2011 4:11 PM

    Had Joe been the direct observer of the horrible encounter, there is no doubt in my mind he would have broken it up right then, chewed the hell out of Sandusky and demanded his superiors go to the police. Joe was reporting an incident observed by someone else, which makes it harder to decide to circimvent the system.

    He was still wrong, and shoud retire. However, most of us will remember him with respect for the many years of honest, moral behavior, rather than for this one failing.

  13. bunkmcnulty says: Nov 9, 2011 4:13 PM

    Thank you for edits…don’t mean to be a prude. That is much better!!!!

    Nicely written piece suming where the last few days have taken things. I just wish the old fella would go away now. I don’t see how he stays for 3+ more games. He should be gone.

  14. BrownsTown says: Nov 9, 2011 4:16 PM

    Great articulation on this, John. JoePa’s legacy needs to be treated with a lot of nuance. Unfortunately that is in short supply by the reactionary media, or some (some, some, some) of the circle-the-wagons Lions fans.

    He did great things.

    He failed in a critical moment.

    Neither changes the other.

  15. tjg25 says: Nov 9, 2011 4:22 PM

    JoePa should have zero say in how his “legacy” ends. He should have been fired immediately after this indictment came down. Aside from his failing in 2002 this guy would have to be a completely incompetent f’n moron to not know what was being done right under his nose for better than 20 years. Why is the death penalty for yet another garbage program being discussed? I guess PoSU is lucky it’s a child molestation scandal and not a gambling one.

  16. ms72lbc says: Nov 9, 2011 4:22 PM

    JoePa has become such an egomaniac that he literally told the Board of Trustees that now that HE has made HIS decision to retire, “they don’t need to spend another minute discussing” him. In other words, I run this University and you (BoT) can’t fire me.

    If that isn’t arrogance of the first degree, I don’t know what is! JoePa can not be allowed to coach one more game. The Board of Trustees must start taking back control of the University by firing the man who has been in control for decades.

  17. mean13 says: Nov 9, 2011 4:24 PM

    It is now and forever THE PENN STATE PEDOPHILES!!!

  18. bubba703 says: Nov 9, 2011 4:26 PM

    Coach Paterno summed it up in his own words. “I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care.”

    A noble but flawed sentiment. By focusing solely on that one clear goal, Paterno essentially chose University interests over something much more important, which was the safety of children from sexual predators in his own lockerroom.

    I am relieved to hear that the coach understands and regrets his errors in judgement. But at this point, it’s too late to restore his honor. It’s gone. I can only hope that the Board of trustees does the right thing, and follows thru with their promise of swift action if the charges are true. And those actions better include real compensation for those victims.

  19. acieu says: Nov 9, 2011 4:32 PM

    Fire the pedophile enabler now. It’s called doing the right thing not just I did the legal thing.

  20. blancodiablo says: Nov 9, 2011 4:33 PM

    thekatman says:

    I would not want my son/daughter to attend PSU over the next 10 years because of this problem.


    Yeah, big loss. So the assumption is that:

    a. Your kids have the grades and intelligence.
    b. You can afford it
    c. Your kids have the confidence to attend a major college away from the protective arms of their delusional father.

    0/3 means community college is a stretch for your dumplin’s.

  21. mmmpierogi says: Nov 9, 2011 4:41 PM

    Okay, I’m sorry. I’m not going to say that Joe Pa is turning into a scapegoat here – not at all my intent, so don’t read into it that way. HOWEVER, I do find it rather pathetic, and somewhat disturbing, that more attention is being given to him – and about the prospects of a ruined legacy in college football – than about the victims in this story or the monster that committed these crimes. Since this story blew up, I’ve read more people rant and rave about Joe Pa and what he should or shouldn’t have done than I have anything else. It makes sense – people are angry. That said, I think there are far more important questions here – where are the victims in all of this, how have they (and their families) managed to hold up through all of this over all of this time, what is going on in the legal process, and when is the man who did all of this going to be brought to justice? Until I hear more about these matters, I don’t care about some sports writer’s perspective on how he or she is angry/upset/disappointed at Joe Pa for not living up to his moral obligation as a human being and, as a result, has forever tainted his legacy. The same thing is being said over and over at this point.

    By writing article after article (… after article after article) about Joe Pa and his legacy, media outlets convey quite clearly that (a) they perceive much more value in talking about Joe Pa than they do about anything else in this story and (b) they’re more interested in this story for it’s sports implications than about the victims. It is easy to argue that Joe Pa could have done more and, because he didn’t, he enabled it – but he is not the focal point in this story.

    I don’t know … perhaps I’m just reading into it all wrong, or maybe I’m just a cynic.

  22. blancodiablo says: Nov 9, 2011 4:44 PM

    Posted by John Taylor on November 9, 2011, 3:26 PM EST

    Hey John, I see a Pulitzer in your future….for the most hand-wringing, Oprah-like moments, in one column.

    Here’s a box of tissues.

  23. thefiesty1 says: Nov 9, 2011 4:45 PM

    His legacy will be forever tainted due to covering up these terrible acts of his long time assistant. Someone needs to ask JoePa if his friendship with Sandusky was worth ruining his reputation. He should have retired immediately when the GA told him what he saw Sandusky doing with that 10 year old.

    His legacy “might” have been saved.

  24. corvusrex96 says: Nov 9, 2011 4:48 PM

    Ironic that at this point it would even make sense for PSU to hire Jimmy Johnson (former Univ of Miami) to clean up this mess

  25. psu1987 says: Nov 9, 2011 4:52 PM

    As a Penn State Grad I am crushed by the unfolding scandle in happy Valley. I am also appalled by the vilification of Joe Paterno. We do not know at this point what Joe Pa was told by McQueary, it is my understanding that the testimony McQueary gave the Grand Jury was much more detailed than what he told Joe Pa. If in fact Joe Pa was told Sandusky was horsing around in the shower with a young boy, I believe Joe’s actions were correct. If we learn that he did kow the details to which McQueary testified then Joe’s reputation deserves to be destroyed. But until the facts are known the media should put down the pick forks and torches. What ever happened to journalistic integrity? Just because McQueary expressed in great detail to the grand Jury what he saw does not prove Joe was told those details. Additionally why isn’t McQueary being hung out to dry here to. He was 28 years old, didn’t he have a moral responsibility to come to the child’s aid immediately and protect him from futher abuse rather than running home to Dad.
    There is a special place in Hell for people like Jerry Sandusky

  26. mean13 says: Nov 9, 2011 4:53 PM

    Joe Pa Pedophile!!!

  27. 160hfalligatorhater says: Nov 9, 2011 4:55 PM

    Paterno is a manager, a college educated manager, and yet, being of an older generation who nearly always hid sexual crimes under the rug, didn’t step up like we younger generations have been trained to do.

    Any blue collar dock worker, production company or factory worker would know exactly what to do. And I guarantee it would not be to call DADDY or another manager. What’s wrong with you folks over on the east coast? CALL THE POLICE after you save that little boy, the chain of command procedure needs a little common sense tweaking. Educated people acting like this makes me nauseaus. Fire Joe and all those who were aware of this sick pervert and his destructive activities, because some sons could have been spared. And PRAY? What good is THAT going to do????

  28. blancodiablo says: Nov 9, 2011 4:57 PM

    mean13 says:

    {who cares}

    Mean13 must describe your average IQ. Good job using the keyboard as I realize it is a stretch of your capabilities.

    You seem to enjoy posting the word “pedophile”. This is simply pushing the blame away from yourself and onto others.

    Stay away from kids and get some help.

  29. artisan3m says: Nov 9, 2011 4:58 PM

    Paterno should be allowed to finish the season, not because of who he is but rather the Penn State football team should not become additional innocent victims of this tragedy. Firing Joe just three days before hosting Nebraska would have a devastating impact on the players who should not be expected to pay any price for poor judgement by school officials. There has been enough pain and suffering from this horrible event. We need not look for more victims to penalize for the irresponsibility of school officials. If the Nitnany Lions go to a post season bowl, Paterno should not be allowed to coach in it. I don’t think he would attempt to do so.

  30. lilb360 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:02 PM

    Anyone who might be inclined to go easy on anyone involved in this ( including Joe Paterno) take a good look at your kids, grand kids, nephew, or little brother and picture them with their hands on that shower wall getting raped by that incredible piece of crap. Then ask yourself how would you feel if someone knew about this and did NOTHING to protect or help the child. As far as I’m concerned Sandusky, Mcqueary, Paterno, the two others should be drug into the street and shot right behind the ear.

  31. butlers91 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:04 PM

    JoePa was a heck of a coach. But he chose not to take care of this when he could have, so it doesn’t end on his terms.

  32. cosmoman11 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:04 PM

    The only benefit of the doubt that I will give to Paterno is maybe he would have been more capable of dealing with the situation in 2002 if he had been 56 or 66 instead of 76.

  33. coolbeans59 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:05 PM

    John, that may not only be the best single piece of writing you’ve ever posted on this site … but the best piece of writing I’ve seen thusfar on the topic.

    BRILLIANT and I couldn’t agree more.

  34. hdmoyer says: Nov 9, 2011 5:08 PM

    Am I the only one not wondering where have the parents been the last 16 years of these abused children? I’m assuming that they have been paid off and have kept their mouths shut this whole time?
    I don’t know about anyone else on here but if it was my son that had been raped I’d be (insert as many expletives as possible here) if I would let Jerry Sandusky roam the streets/campus an alive man much less a free man.
    You can’t tell me none of the parents in today’s age couldn’t have the access to get in touch with a major network, blog, newspaper etc. to bring this high profile man’s outing as a child predator.
    Someone please prove me wrong and justify why one of the parents didn’t expose him and the university a long time ago other than taking hush money. If that is what happened than I hope they along with Jerry Sandusky rot in h@ll for allowing more children to be victimized!

  35. jesse1834 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:18 PM

    This whole town and University are run like the mob.

  36. 160hfalligatorhater says: Nov 9, 2011 5:27 PM

    Yes, John Taylor is a true journalist, and we thank you! Top notch writing.

  37. jimr10 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:28 PM

    JoePa tainted his own legacy.

  38. blueglaze says: Nov 9, 2011 5:35 PM

    I know I will probably get ripped apart for this and have to say, I have read about this story but won’t sit in front of the tv for hours watching it, but it is my understanding that JoePa was reported to by another individual that this event occurred… He reported it to higher authorities… They obviously did nothing… So was he suppose to know that this was all true? I’m not a Penn State fan and really think they are a boring team to watch, but JoePa was the reason I would watch Penn State game and am going to put myself in his position and I can honestly say that I would have told higher authorities and focused on my team or “kids”. Whether or not it were true, I would trust that my university leaders would have my back. They didn’t have JoePas and now the poor guy is being labeled a pedophile because he did what was his job and reported the incident? He wasn’t there with the guy… He was informed of it. Pit a little thought into this people, the media is a better brainwasher than Kim Jon Il himself.

  39. thekatman says: Nov 9, 2011 5:42 PM

    Agree. Very good article.
    Now if only some sports journalists would get the USC NCAA sanctions info straight…. :-) Sorry John.

  40. florida727 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:46 PM

    Couple thought:

    1) John Taylor’s writing is always excellent. He’s one of the few blog writers worth reading on a consistent basis. Not because of his writing skills, but because he does his ‘homework’ before he punches button on a keyboard. Keep it up, John. You’ve got a ‘fan’ for life. Thanks for what you do.

    2) Anyone referring to Paterno as a ‘pedophile’ is an idiot. Could he have done more? SHOULD he have done more? Absolutely. To refer to him as an ‘enabler’ or a pedophile himself is moronic.

    3) What needs to come forward, as John points out, is: what exactly did McQuery actually tell Paterno? “Hey, Sandusky is screwing around in the shower with some kid.” is a lot different than “Uh, Coach, Sandusky is sexually assaulting this 10-year old kid in the shower; I didn’t know what to do so I’m telling you.” And then what Paterno does next is his responsibility.

    What Paterno knew is really at the crux of what his future should be. He’s not an idiot. You have to think he had to know the severity of Sandusky’s actions.

  41. stairwayto7 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:52 PM

    What we need to hear is what McQueary ACTUALLY told a 70 year old Joe Pa 24 hours later! Did he say EXACTLY what he saw and made sure Joe understood it? Did he say I saw Sandusky hugging a boy after hours? This falls on McQueary for not calling 911 and he needs ousted IMMEDIALTY!

  42. anteater54 says: Nov 9, 2011 6:07 PM

    I am not on the get rid of Paterno bandwagon. The athletic program is run by the AD. Paterno had some information that something happened and he informed the AD. Frankly I believe him when he says he was not informed of the details. I don’t believe the man would have known there was observed sexual behavior and not do anything.

    Keep the responsibility where it legally goes, on the AD and VP who sat on it, didn’t investigate it, didn’t report it. Stop focusing all the attention on Paterno. If he did something wrong he would have been indicted. I’m sure looking back he wishes he had done more, but given the circumstances I don’t fault him for how he handled it. The only proviso I would add to this is if the guy who saw what happened told Paterno of the details. It isn’t clear at this point, at least to me, what the witness saw.

    So lay off Paterno aleady!

  43. fockers2009 says: Nov 9, 2011 6:35 PM

    This is no longer about the olove of JoePa. This is no longer about his legacy. This is no longer ambout HIM. This is about a whole group of people that did not call the police and stop the predatory monter and allowed many, many children be raped. The Presient to be fired tommorrow mor4ning and JoePa should not be allowed to coach 1 more game.

  44. ms72lbc says: Nov 9, 2011 6:51 PM


    Joe Paterno should be allowed to continue coaching so the football team isn’t harmed? You can’t punish the players because of poor judgement by college officials.
    You want to try telling that to the USC players who have missed 2 bowls and the 30 young men who grew up dreaming of playing for the Trojans and now can’t because a scholarship won’t be available to them? And all this was because of the actions of 1 player.

    Somehow to say that you are naive is an understatement!

    And how do the actions of 1 player taking money for his parents even compare to this? Let’s get real!

  45. j0esixpack says: Nov 9, 2011 7:00 PM

    C’mon folks.

    I don’t think Paterno is the Great Satan.

    But he should have retired long ago and clearly his judgement – as well as the judgement of his superiors – is very much in question.

    While the prosecutors may be giving a pass to an 84 year old who they might think didn’t have the needed capacity and judgment to do what should have been done, if any of the readers here see a murder, rape or other serious crime, even they know they should report it to the police.

    No matter how big a Paterno backer you are, reporting a murder or rape to your supervisor does not absolve you of your human and moral responsibility to tell the police.


  46. bozosforall says: Nov 9, 2011 7:13 PM

    So sad that Paterno made the fateful mistake of not doing all that he could to make sure that Sandusky was exposed as the child molester that he is. I’d love to defend the guy but he dug his own grave on this when he didn’t take it as far as he could have in ensuring that Sandusky never had the chance to molest another child ever again.

    Of course, the first time that Sandusky got reported as being a suspected child molester was four years before Paterno ever was informed about the 2002 incident. Nothing was done back then either, so it makes one wonder why Sandusky was ever allowed to continue to fly under the radar. The 1998 incident was when Sandusky should have been locked up, which would have spared the other victims from the fate that they were subjected to. So many people failed to defend the victims that there is more than enough blame to be spread around. Even some of the parents failed their children when they chose to keep secrets until now. The mother of Victim Six expressed outrage in the recent proceeding yet failed to warn other parents who also had kids in the Second Mile program. Makes one wonder why she wasn’t so outraged back then, outraged enough to out Sandusky as a predator, instead of allowing the legal process to sweep the incident under the rug. Lots of unanswered questions here.

    God bless the real victims in this case…the kids. The rest of those involved should rot in hell.

  47. orthomarine says: Nov 9, 2011 7:13 PM

    His ship, he’s the captain, he should go down with it

    If he knew, and did nothing, the statue should be melted down and sold to help pay for the victims therapy bills

  48. avermaver says: Nov 9, 2011 7:21 PM

    what a bunch of reactionary bs

  49. rmp1029 says: Nov 9, 2011 7:25 PM

    It was Paternos moral obligation to follow up on the allegations. Shame on him for not doing so.
    You don’t deserve to stay on til the end if the season.

  50. baseballstars says: Nov 9, 2011 7:27 PM

    Can we please STOP with this “but he did good stuff” garbage. John Wayne Gacy dressed up as a clown and brought happiness to many children. Is that how we remember him? Of course not. So please, for the love of God and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, STOP bringing up the “good” stuff he did in an attempt to try to smooth over his inactions.

  51. pastabelly says: Nov 9, 2011 7:31 PM

    When the time came for Joe Paterno to act like a real man, he acted like a selfish creep. As a result, scores of children were abused. Why is he still coaching today? I guess this football season trumps abused children, at least in the eyes of Penn State who is allowing him to “retire” at the end of the season. He can walk away, unlike Sandusky’s victims.

  52. jcarne9014 says: Nov 9, 2011 7:37 PM

    The only thing “shocking” about his retirement today is that he was able to make it. He should have been fired and escorted off campus. As for his legacy…what legacy? Ask the dozens of kids her were raped by his buddy what JoePa’s legacy should be.

    Penn State ’82

  53. bluenile91 says: Nov 9, 2011 8:02 PM

    I only request that everyone sit back and really assess the situation instead of joining the media hype without little solid evidence to go on. It’s very easy to state that someone should have done x, y, or z, but until you know the facts and put yourself in their shoes, you don’t know the circumstances.

    Given the stated facts, I believe that Joe Paterno did what he should have done and reported the situation. It was then up to powers much higher than him to respond to the situation. After all, he was informed by someone else that this occurred and did not witness it himself, which could be interpreted as hear say.

    Joe Paterno is a legend and will continue to be one in my eyes. He has devoted his life and donated much of his salary to Penn State who educates 95,000 students per year. It’s unfortunate that this event has shed more light on him than Sandusky.

    That being said, it’s very upsetting to see how disturbed people are that they need to reach out to children and had my children been involved I would have reported it immediately and tore some heads off! This raises the question as to why it took so long for the parents and people involved to bring this situation to light.

    Let’s level set and let the legal system determine who is innocent or not and please let the 80+ year old live the last years of his life, which will be difficult with the media attention and the lack of football.

    Penn State is a great community and it will pull out of a difficult situation and thrive. Let everyone get back to the top-rate education and research and let the news media find another story to emphasis on.

  54. jcarne9014 says: Nov 9, 2011 8:06 PM

    @ bluenile91

    What planet are you living on? “…powers much higher than him.” Who? God? Certainly you can’t mean the president, AD, police chief. Any PSU alum or resident of State College will tell you there is NO higher power in Happy Valley than JoePa. He had the power to stop it and did NOTHING. He wants to say a prayer for the victims…PLEASE. Where were you when they needed you, Joe?

  55. vikesfansteve says: Nov 9, 2011 8:27 PM

    There are allegations that Sandusky was abusing boys on campus at Penn State as far back as 1994. In 1999 he was told by a campus detective to no longer use the showers. He agreed & was forced out of his job. Why? What was Paterno’s role in that? In 2002, while still having keys to all the facilities Sandusky was witnessed by the now receivers coach sodomizing a 10 yr old boy. Instead of stopping it, he called his Dad who told him to tell Paterno who notified his immediate superior. Didn’t call the police at all. This wasn’t heresay it was actually witnessed. So Paterno knew 100% that Sandusky had raped a 10 yr old boy for sure no doubt since 2002. 9 yrs. It really seems he has known since 1994. 17 years. How many rapes could he have prevented if he just told the police? His arrogance to say that Penn State doesn’t need to worry one second about him. Just like he didn’t worry 1 second about those children. He will forever be linked to this. Shame on him.

  56. tigrrrr says: Nov 9, 2011 8:30 PM

    John taylor- well written, it was as if you read my mind and articulated my thoughts and opinions about this to perfection.

  57. jschell83 says: Nov 9, 2011 8:38 PM

    Being an Alumna of Penn State, I can honestly say that the last few days have been painful to watch. Many of my fondest memories in some way lead back to campus. From the livelong friends to the fairly regular visits back to campus for football celebrations at Paternoville, Penn State, like many schools with deep traditions, permeates one’s being even if you are not the “School Spirit Type”.

    However, as a decent human being, I feel that is my obligation to VEHEMENT disagree (hell rebuke) with the supporters of JoePa, namely the student body who brazenly support a coward who was not man enough to protect innocent children. There is no way you can justify sitting idly by with knowledge of child molestation, proven or otherwise. Further, the attempt to “excise the cancer” that is Sandusky by barring him from campus only shows an interest in protecting the “Program” not his victims. The chorus of enablers only provided more opportunities for this monster to take the innocence of countless children who were seduce by a allure once respected football program.

    And to the few comments on this blog who believe that the court of public has judged to quickly, review the grand jury indictment….On second thought, don’t. The details are too heartbreaking and painful for anyone to subject themselves to.

    Just a suggestion, if you did in fact graduate from Penn State (as did I College ’05) hopefully you went to grad school. Do yourself a favor and use THAT school on your resume. 9% unemployment rate is Killer….

  58. ms72lbc says: Nov 9, 2011 8:48 PM

    With my apologies to Mr. Taylor, for those of you looking for both sides to the story, read this:

  59. vikesfansteve says: Nov 9, 2011 8:49 PM

    hdmoyer the kids he raped were from broken homes & foster children. They had no parents who cared & where there at all to tell. Also they were ashamed & afraid.

    Lets say you get raped in the shower at the gym tomorrow. Who are you going to tell!?

  60. steelerguy69 says: Nov 9, 2011 9:00 PM

    I can only assume that sports writers, commentators, and other so-called illustrious persons across this nation are not familar with the words “alleged” or the famous “innocent until proven guilty”. I am so disappointed in what I see and read everyday now in this so called “great free country” that allows due process. Well that is clearly not the case here. All you nay sayers have already decided that no matter what happens from here on or in the courts, Coach Paterno is guilty. Shame on you. Funny how we forget that Coach Paterno is not the one being charged here, but yet he is all everybody is talking about. Shame on you. Penn State has been trying to get rid of him for about 10 years now they can finally be happy, they’ve done it. Congratulations. By the way, anybody ever wonder why it’s taken these “alleged” victims so long to come out about this? Just a thought.

  61. mansker says: Nov 9, 2011 9:00 PM

    Everyone seems to forget that Joe Paterno told the school about what he knew, which wasn’t much. Unfortunately, it appears that the school is using Joe as a scapegoat. Everyone is pointing fingers at him and not where they should be pointing, which is at the administration and leadership at Penn State.

    When Joe went to the school, what do you want to bet that they said they would handle it? After all, Sandusky was no longer employed there, and Paterno did not have anything to do with him. The school needs to be held accountable, which seems to be something that isn’t happening.

  62. 160hfalligatorhater says: Nov 9, 2011 9:03 PM

    Joe Paterno should be allowed to continue coaching so the football team isn’t harmed? You can’t punish the players because of poor judgement by college officials.
    Who cares about the football team? A CRIME was committed, don’t you UNDERSTAND? Sports is entertainment, it’s meaningless in the real world. Sure, it’s fun but this was a crime – WAKE UP BOYS – law enforcement should have been called immediately and this happened on Paterno’s watch, didn’t it?

  63. jcarne9014 says: Nov 9, 2011 9:10 PM

    @ mansker

    Are you serious?! “…leadership at Penn State.” JoePa IS the leadership at Penn State! “Paterno did not have anything to do with him.” What?! This guy was on campus, hanging out with the football team and coaches…up until last week!!

    I went to PSU because of JoePa. I loved him. Wish I was good enough to play for him but I was not.

    He is a disgraceful coward, and it breaks my heart to say that.

  64. tigrrrr says: Nov 9, 2011 9:11 PM

    Ms72… I read mr taylors and yours and felt they shared the same point. What did i miss? (joe paterno was wrong for not stepping up)

  65. ms72lbc says: Nov 9, 2011 9:17 PM

    Yes, that’s part of it. I just enjoyed the way that he has melded 100’s (thousands?) of posts into one. I’ve been reading lots of “let’s not rush to judgement and let all the facts come out” and lots of “what if it was your kid”?

    That’s the both sides I was talking about.

    My apologies to Mr. Taylor was for posting another writer’s blog on his blog.

  66. usmutts says: Nov 9, 2011 9:32 PM

    Paterno admits that he was told that something sexual was going on in the shower between Sandusky and a child. He further admits that all he did was tell an administrator. Nothing else at all.

    What’s so egregious about his own admitted conduct is this: had he been told that something sexual was going on in the shower between Sandusky and Joe Paterno’s own child, would he have done nothing more than make a phone call to an administrator?

    Paterno is a moral hypocrite. No one should be surprised. They’re everywhere.

    Should he be allowed to continue coaching. Why not? It’s really all he’s ever cared about, everything else being unimportant to him, including the raping of children in his locker room by his closest associate.

  67. 187onsandusky says: Nov 9, 2011 9:33 PM

    vikesfansteve says:
    Nov 9, 2011 8:49 PM
    hdmoyer the kids he raped were from broken homes & foster children. They had no parents who cared & where there at all to tell. Also they were ashamed & afraid.

    Lets say you get raped in the shower at the gym tomorrow. Who are you going to tell!?


    Exactly what I was going to say. The 9th victim that came forward over the weekend even stated that he never told his parents or anybody else for that matter.

  68. ms72lbc says: Nov 9, 2011 9:35 PM

    Board of Trustees press conference in 30 minutes. Let’s see what kind of guts they have!

  69. crambow says: Nov 9, 2011 9:47 PM


    Don’t look for honest answers to your valid questions inside an unbiased blog.

    This isn’t the time to be a fair and impartial journalist — unless said writers want to go unpublished. This author has nothing more than what we all know or not know.

    In time, the truths may surface but for now, expect bloggers to stay on the safe side of outrage. It got this guy published, after all.

  70. goodfieldnohit says: Nov 9, 2011 9:57 PM

    Many years ago, when asked when he was going to retire, Paterno said, “I’m not going to leave college football to the Sherrills and the Switzers of the world.”

    Sanctimonious POS.

    I have no sympathy for him. None. He should do hard time.

  71. ms72lbc says: Nov 9, 2011 10:24 PM

    JoePa is gone!!!

  72. 78lion says: Nov 9, 2011 10:33 PM

    FACT: per university procedure Joe handled this by the book reporting it to his immediate supervisor, the AD and the HEAD OF THE UNIVERSITY POLICE.

    FACT: Sandusky did not work for Joe and was not his subordinate.

    FACT: Once Joe reported up the chain of command he was not allowed, by rule, to have access to the investigation.


  73. goodfieldnohit says: Nov 9, 2011 10:41 PM

    FACT: Joe Paterno did the bare minimum required by Pennsylvania law.

    FACT: If he were coaching in Texas, he would be facing hard time.

  74. jcarne9014 says: Nov 9, 2011 10:43 PM

    @ 78lion

    Judging by your name, you are an alum just like me (’82). Therefore, you know that JoePa had no superiors…either on campus or anywhere else in and around State College. HE was the one that could have stopped this, and he chose to turn his back on those poor boys. Thank God he’s gone! Now, we can move on and try to get past this. So happy that the trustees showed some balls.

  75. florida727 says: Nov 9, 2011 10:46 PM

    So “78lion”, why was he FIRED today? That’s the politically incorrect but accurate word for when someone “forces you to resign”. Face it, his legacy is tainted forever, whether he (or you) want to accept that or not. Bottom line: he made arguably the single most horrendous lapse in judgment that a human being can make… for reasons we’ll never truly know. Now, ‘accountability’ sets in.

  76. blancodiablo says: Nov 9, 2011 10:52 PM

    jschell83 says:

    Just a suggestion, if you did in fact graduate from Penn State (as did I College ’05) hopefully you went to grad school. Do yourself a favor and use THAT school on your resume.


    Hey *******, turn in your degree then(if in fact you have one) and roll around on the ground in a sobbing fit. Equating this horrible situation with tens of thousands of students and alumni is pathetic.


    And that wont change no matter how much self-flagelattion occurs. Or fake alumni come out of the woodwork.

  77. goodfieldnohit says: Nov 9, 2011 10:56 PM


  78. blancodiablo says: Nov 9, 2011 11:03 PM

    It also wont change no matter how many morons make stupid statements to justify their underachieving in life. Dont be jealous because you barely graduated high school and find yourself in a trailer park.

    And lets be honest. If you find the need to call an entire school “Ped State”, you are hiding something.

    Again, stay away from kids and get some help.

  79. goodfieldnohit says: Nov 9, 2011 11:20 PM

    What galls me, is that Sandusky was first accused in 1998, which is why he retired in 1999 after beating A&M in the Alamo Bowl. So Paterno HAD to know about this no later than 1998. When the next accusation surfaced in 2002, he did the bare minimum as required by PA law. He chose to protect the football team instead of the children. I hope he burns in hell.

    And your university just turned a blind eye.

    Yeah, you are Ped State.

  80. hdmoyer says: Nov 10, 2011 12:42 AM

    I asked for answers and I got some…I just don’t understand why it came out now? I realize he was preying on disadvantaged youths but out of the 8 or 9 or whatever the tally is now not one single parent said no way will I let this man go on doing what he did to my child? It’s obvious at this point the police were brought in and nothing ever came to light? Seriously? I’m not saying because I have never been in that situation what I’d do but I have/want to think that mothers/fathers being aware of despicable actions would not lay down and disregard my child being victimized…whether I’m from the ghetto or from a higher society. I can’t believe not 1 parent took a stand.

  81. goodfieldnohit says: Nov 10, 2011 1:59 AM

    The entire PSU administration is corrupt. From the football coaching staff, to the AD, to the President, to the campus police.

    Everyone looked the other way, just so Paterno could win football games.

    It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the families were paid off by PSU to keep quiet.

    I feel badly for those PSU alums that are everyday run of the mill college grads who go to work and raise a family without raping their neighbors kids.

    The fact that Paterno told the crowds to pray for the victims is kinda creepy. He could have prevented it. Prayer, while it’s all good and stuff, doesn’t actually stop anyone from doing bad things.

  82. paulieorkid says: Nov 10, 2011 2:25 AM

    The angry rush to justice lynch mob mentality has prevailed, and seemingly vented the lion’s share of their rage for some horrific acts at the one name they can truly put a face on … without ever knowing precisely what Paterno was informed of.

    Find a tall tree, and string ’em up boys – just sumptin’ I don’t like ’bout dat boy.

  83. jabfh says: Nov 10, 2011 2:43 AM

    I just read the Grand Jury report and all through it I was sick about what Sandusky did to these boys. How devious to have them stay at his home so often and then I thought,WHERE WERE THEIR MOTHERS. I thouhgt about my son and I don’t care how many football games he got to go to , I would find it strange that an elderly man like Sandusky would want him around so much, especially for sleep overs. Are you kidding me.
    And where was his wife when all this was happening. Was her head in the sand? She had no clue., and wait there were many others, janitors, Mcqueery, who was 28, who never came forward or called the police, so tell me how this has not turned into a witch hunt for Joepa

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