The “alleged” crimes committed by Jerry Sandusky and covered over by Penn State officials are horrifying. They are so much so that “legendary” Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno should either step down or be fired.
I come to that conclusion because there’s no reasonable explanation for how he handled the situation. Sure, he reported the 2002 incident to his boss, but apparently then washed his hands of the situation and went about his business. Keep in mind that in 2002, the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal was still fresh on everyone’s mind. And in this environment, Paterno basically did nothing and that led to more children being abused.
Why would Paterno handle the situation this way?
1) Was Paterno, even so far back as the late 1990s, so far removed from his faculties that he had no comprehension of the situation and how it should be handled (other than reporting to his boss)? or
2) Was Paterno so narcissistic that he knew these type of allegations associated with someone in his program could possibly derail his quest for more wins? Did he basically sweep these allegations under the rug so as to prolong his career?
What other reasons are there to explain how this was handled by Paterno and PSU officials?
There’s a lesson for all of us in this. For decades, we’ve been preached to by the Big 10 about how they do things the “right way.” But in the course of a year, we’ve seen that lie exposed – from Columbus, OH to State College, PA. It’s easy to say all the right things, but tough often tough to do them when no one is looking. I pray that if (when) I’m put into difficult situations such as these that I’ll have the courage to do the right thing.