Two weeks ago, the Penn State Nittany Lions football team held on and earned a 10-7 victory against Illinois. The win was number 409 for revered head coach Joe Paterno. That win puts Joe Paterno in the record books as the winning-est head coach in Division 1 college football history. That win should be his last at Penn State.
Earlier this week a story broke that former Penn State defensive coordinator and one-time heir apparent to Paterno, Jerry Sandusky was arrested on 40 counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Sandusky as it turns out had been using his position in the Penn State community as well as the Penn State athletic facilities to perform such heinous acts on young, under-privileged boys whom he was supposedly mentoring.
In 2002, a graduate assistant and former player under Paterno witnessed Sandusky performing sexual acts on a young boy who appeared to be around 10 years old. Rather than calling the police, the GA notified coach Paterno who then notified the athletic director and evidently forgot about it.
Now it has come to light that these heinous acts were going on right under Paterno’s nose for 15 years! It has been stated by those within the University that Paterno reported the abuse and therefore, ‘did what he should have done.’ As a result of this scandal, Joe Paterno has announced that he will retire as the head coach of Penn State at the end of this season. This is not enough. Paterno, and everyone associated with the football program should be gone, NOW.
To hear of a case of child sexual molestation and not report it to the police or at the very least follow up with the people you did report it to is quite simply being an enabler.
The excuses have been heard, Joe Paterno DID report the incident. Yes he did, to the athletic director. He reported a case of sexual abuse against a MINOR to his athletic director. The last time I checked, any inklings of sexual abuse against ANYONE let alone a minor should be immediately be reported to the police, not the athletic directory the police. Had Joe Paterno picked up the phone and called his athletic director and said “I have a case of sexual abuse against a minor to report, I am just informing you of this and now I will be contacting the police,” then ok, I would concede that he did all he could.
Perhaps an older Joe Paterno did not understand just how bad the abuse was. In first light this might make sense, Paterno is old, he comes from a different generation with different principles. But to read the grand jury testimony, the graduate assistant did not mince words. Paterno’s report to the athletic director was that the assistant had witnessed Sandusky “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.” It does not matter what generation you come from, or your understand of today’s culture, NEVER in the history of civilization has ‘fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy’ been considered appropriate.
Be it on purpose or by negligence, Joe Paterno enabled a sexual predator to pray on young boys. He should not get to decide when and how he leaves the game of college football, he should immediately and unquestionably be removed from his position as the head coach of the Pennsylvania State University football team.
Grand Jury Report