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The Railroading of Joe Paterno

November 11, 2011

I’m not a sports fan by any means, and I didn’t even know who Joe Paterno was until the sex abuse scandal at Penn State broke last week. I’m appalled at the way he has been treated in this situation. If you just caught bits and pieces of the news stories, you’d think that he was the perpetrator of the abuse. He was only a witness. Jerry Sandusky was the perpetrator. Joe did the right thing by reporting the abuse that he witnessed to his superiors, expecting them to handle the situation according to what was best for the victims of Sandusky’s abuse. Instead, they did an end run right out of the Catholic Church’s playbook. They tried to sweep it under the rug and pretend that Sandusky was innocent.

Paterno was fired on Wednesday for what he didn’t do. He didn’t report the abuse to the police. Excuse me!!! That is what his superiors were supposed to do. I think that Paterno acted appropriately but he’s being treated like a criminal. I don’t blame him one bit for not reporting it. Doing so could have tied him up in the justice system for years. He should not have to suffer for the crimes of another, yet he is anyway. By being in the wrong place at the wrong time, he has become another of Sandusky’s victims. Paterno’s justice was swift and harsh, but Sandusky’s justice won’t come for years… if then.

Joe Paterno is 84 years old. He probably should have retired already. He could have done so not long ago and left Penn State with honor. He loved what he was doing but he did it a little too long. He became a victim of a corrupt university system that put greed above real justice; the sports program above the welfare of the abused students; and the image of the institution above the lifelong stellar career of beloved Coach Joe Paterno. It’s shameful and sounds all too familiar in this day and age.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2011 11:07 AM

    I understand your point of view but I think everyone who did not follow through is guitly. I think every person who knew and did not beat the shit out of Jerry is guilty.

    • November 11, 2011 12:30 PM

      That is certainly a valid point of view. Unfortunately, “beating the shit out of Jerry” could get you in a lot more trouble than ignoring his crime. I think he should be castrated, but that’s not allowed either.

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