I’ve been reading up on the Joe Paterno scandal today and it really is shocking. To me it seems like his reputation and power got to him. Make no mistake about, Jerry Sandusky is to blame for many of the horrible things that took place. We all know what he did and he is a disgusting man.
But the fact that much of the abuse could have been prevented is almost equally awful. As a kid you are told nobody likes a taddle tale. But you also know the difference between wrong or right. Its hard to say what you or me would do had we known about/seen the abuse but I’d like to think MOST people would immediately report this to authorities or a power figure like Paterno. Dropping a bombshell like that to an iconic figure like Joe Pa would be a tough pill to swallow. Immediately Joe would think “Wow, there goes my 45+ years down the drain. I am going to be remembered as a guy who let this abuse happen on MY watch.”
But when it comes down to it who cares about sports or your reputation when unspeakable things are taking place to children on a regular basis in your own backyard. At the end of the day, is Joe Paterno a bad man? That is debatable. He did plenty of good in his many years at Penn State but ultimately his decision to look the other way/cover up is what we known will identify him with other than any National Titles. And unfortunately for Joe Pa and his family, that’s how we will remember the now deceased Paterno.