An end of an era? “Paterno” State football in Happy Valley will soon be over, perhaps within days or weeks, in the wake of a sex-abuse scandal that has implicated university officials and tarnished the legacy of the school and coaching legend, Joe Paterno. He became the head coach in 1966, and he has been widely credited with helping spearhead the Penn State football program and the rest of the university from a local enterprise into a national brand. But all of this is shadowed by the recent “punch in the gut” the Nittany Lion community has suffered.
In 2002, (then grad assistant) and current Nittany Lion assistant coach Mike McQueary, testified to a grand jury that he told Joe Paterno what he (McQueary) saw. Mike McQueary divulged seeing former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky doing to a boy in the showers. Let’s dissect this for a second…okay, Joe Paterno was told about one of his coached sodomizing a child and he didn’t alert authorities? Why not? How can you cover this up? This isn’t a player getting a $100 handshake or a suit from an agent! This is a crime, involving sex between an adult and a child, which was forced!
Andy Staples, College Football writer for Sports Illustrated, had a great story and it sheds light on where this incident and charges involving Jerry Sandusky will do for Joe Paterno and his coaching tenure. The quote below, powerful in its meaning was pulled from the article.
Forget it. There is no defense. There is no rational explanation. I hope, if placed in the same situation, I would protect the child. If I didn’t, may God have mercy on my soul.
While Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator under Paterno, being charged with sexually abusing eight boys across a 15-year period, and Joe Paterno widely criticized for failing to involve the police when he learned of an allegation of one assault of a young boy in 2002. Joe Paterno hasn’t been charged in the matter, but his failure to report to authorities what he knew about the 2002 incident, in which Sandusky allegedly sexually assaulted a young boy at Penn State’s football complex, has become a key focus. This ordeal is going to get worse before it gets better and it suffice to say that Penn State University has been tarnished, along with the legacy of “JoPa”.