..It's All About The Journey...

NOVEMBER 9, 2011 5:41PM

Joe Pa - say it isn't so...

Rate: 5 Flag

I grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania, and that meant a couple of things; we shared the road with Amish buggies, our little town had at least four churches, we walked to school, and we loved Penn State Football. It was in our DNA – Penn State football and Joe Paterno.

I no longer live in southeastern PA, I live in southern CA, however, I pay extra to my cable company in order to have the Big Ten Network so I can watch my Penn State Nittany Lions every Saturday come September. I am a fan.

In September I was standing in front of Buckingham Palace on my first ever visit to England. I was in awe of the beauty and the history of what I was looking at. I was standing on the Queen Victoria Monument looking down the Mall when I noticed a young woman in a Penn State sweatshirt. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside thinking we were on the other side of the world and still – there are Penn State fans. I went over to this young woman and asked her if she was enrolled in Penn State. She had graduated and we discussed ever so briefly our love of the game and of our Nittany Lions. I told her to enjoy her visit to the UK and as I turned to leave she yelled “WE ARE” and I turned and faced her and yelled back “PENN STATE.” It was surreal. I am a fan.

After the aftermath of this week’s news – I am still a fan of the game, of the Nittany Lions but – my opinion of Joe Paterno has sadly gone through some changes.

I didn’t want to believe – I didn’t want to read – I didn’t want to hear that Joe Pa could have been in any way responsible for any of the heinous things that were being written. His legacy is that of honor and dignity. His record – up to this point – speaks for itself. He has been the voice and the face of Penn State. Not just football, but, he’s been the man who has told his students to go that extra mile, to be a little stronger – to be a moral, upright person. Like I said – it’s all about honor and dignity.

Fan or no fan, I don’t find his actions or should I say his decision not to act honorable at all. I find no dignity in the fact that for the past 15 years he has said nothing about what he was told was happening. He’s not honorable, and there is surely no dignity in his actions.

Everyone on the Penn State Campus who had knowledge of the rapes going on at the campus should be gone. From the President to the Janitor. No exceptions. Deciding to do nothing was a decision on the part of Joe Paterno, and in my opinion – he chose poorly.

No one should be saved because of football National Titles or win/loss records. Those are so very insignificant when it comes to the lives of these young men who finally found the courage to go up against the institution that is Penn State University.

Joe Paterno had a moral obligation to stand up as a man and do the right thing. He chose not to do that for whatever reason. Don’t look at the old man he is now and think – oh, leave him alone. He was 15 years younger when this was all taking place, and he certainly had the power to make things happen, and he chose to do what was legally his obligation and nothing more. Where was his moral code when it came to these little boys? Where was his concern? Did he not think that an adult in a shower with an eight year old boy was just a little strange, and didn't any little warning bells go off in his head? Seriously, why would any grown man not at least question the actions of a coach in the shower with an eight year old boy?

Joe Paterno needs to resign – NOW – Everyone at Penn State University who was involved needs to step down –NOW. The culture surrounding football needs to change – NOW. The culture surrounding rape needs to change – NOW. No one should get a pass when it comes to child abuse – everyone should pay for their crimes – NOW.

WE ARE – PENN STATE.. Make me proud – Do the right thing – NOW.

~Peace~ 

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I was hoping somebody would post about this.

The other day, on Jon Wolfman's blog about sex abuse, I posted a (slightly off-subject) defense of Paterno. After all, I said, the assistant coach (Sandusky) had left the Penn State staff in 1999, and when Paterno was informed of an incident 3 years later in 2002, when Sandusky was no longer employed there, he immediately reported it to his supervisors. I failed to see Paterno's culpability.

As so often happens, I jumped to conclusions without knowing all the facts. I soon learned that, although Sandusky had left the PSU staff, he still had access to the facilities and used them for the children's group from which he allegedly got his victims. The incident in 2002, that Paterno reported but didn't follow up on, took in the PSU facility showers and was witnessed by a student (who is now on Paterno's staff). Despite this, it appears that Sandusky still maintained access for several years.

I hate to see a man's illustrious career ruined by one incident, but ignoring potential child abuse is as bad an incident as I can imagine. I agree with you, the time has come for Paterno to go.
I hate to agree, but I do. Joe Pa always preached for the good of Penn State and the franchise. Too bad that "good" took precedence over "right".

But what the hell do I know... I'm an Illini fan! ;)
Oh Cranky - I hated to write it - but it's time for Joe to go. thanks for reading and for the comment..

Amy - We'll discuss the Illini thing later !! Thanks for reading and for the comment..
Well said. Too bad he doesn't leave tonight. What's with this end of season stuff? Sadly, he still doesn't seem to understand the gravity of this situation. I suspect there's a lot more to come. Sadly. And I'm a Dookie living in Chapel Hill, NC. I always admired Paterno. It just doesn't make sense.
Agreed. Joe Paterno had a moral duty to go straight to the police when he heard about this - NOT protect his brand. In the long run Joe damaged the Penn State brand far more by doing nothing than if immediately he had done the moral and right thing. How many small boys are now scarred for life?
I was so disappointed, I had to post on this myself:

The Lion in Winter
.
All those years the image of Joe Pa stood for integrity. The fact that he failed to followed up on this is inexcusable. Yes, it's time for him to retire.