UPDATED: Joe Paterno Fired Effective Immediately
There is no doubt that this is a terrible situation for Penn State. Paterno is a living legend in State College, PA, but there was no choice but to rid the coach of his duties. Penn State president Graham Spanier was also fired.
The 84-year-old Paterno is as beloved in the State College, PA area as anybody could possibly be. For as long as most people can remember, Paterno has been coaching at Penn State. An icon, a legend, a role model are all terms that can be used to describe the coach that has won a record 409 games. His legacy until now was unblemished. Paterno lived his life by preaching good morals, so it is ironic that his morals are what ultimately brought him down.
For as long as Paterno has coached, he has been know as "doing things the right way". It would be unfortunate if the Jerry Sandusky ordeal tarnished Paterno's name. Paterno has not been accused of legal wrongdoing. But he has been assailed, in what the state police commissioner called a lapse of "moral responsibility," for not doing more to stop Sandusky's illegal actions.
According to ESPN, Paterno has been questioned over his apparent failure to follow up on a report of the 2002 incident, in which Sandusky allegedly sodomized a 10-year-old boy in the showers at the team's football complex. A witness, Mike McQueary, is currently receivers coach for the team but was a graduate assistant at the time.
Paterno could have done more and he should have followed up to make sure the situation was taken care. Sandusky was not a member of Paterno's staff at the time, so Paterno put his head in the sand and told McQueary to report it to the athletic director. Paterno didn't do anything technically wrong, but he could have done a lot more.
Paterno is the scapegoat for a terrible situation. Paterno's failure to properly handle the situation will forever haunt him and Penn State supporters. Sandusky is a coward, a loser and a scumbag of the lowest capacity. If Paterno knowingly covered for him, he is on the same moral level. What Sandusky did was wrong and not following through or even covering up his actions are wrong in every regard. A punishment had to come down on Paterno and the only punishment was to relieve him of his duties as head football coach.
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