“Please Say It Ain’t So Joe!”

Is nothing sacred? Can it be true? Will the great ‘Joe Paterno’, the winningest coach in the history of NCAA division One college football be forced to resign as head coach of Penn State after 46 years? I mean this 84 year old guy is a legend! He ranks right up there with Knute Rockne, Bear Bryant and Woody Hayes! ‘Joepa’ is college football, he’s been at Penn State since the early 1950’s and made Penn State great! Hell, he could have been the patron saint of college football! Then this had to happen. Getting caught up in a  sex abuse scandal of this nature will certainly kill his chances for sainthood.

Yep, the great Joe Paterno, the man whose motto is “Success with Honor” is going to crash and burn over this one my friends. Police officials have said that Paterno did meet his legal obligation by alerting his superiors at the university when he learned of the allegation against Vince Sandusky, his former defense coordinator, from his graduate assistant coach Mike McQueary.  who witnessed the incident in the University locker room shower. In this instance however, meeting his legal obligation may not be enough to save his ass. Everyone including several university board members wants to know why he didn’t do more.  Why didn’t he go higher up the university chain of command to report the incident? Why didn’t he report it directly to authorities? Especially when the Athletic Director failed to do anything other than to talk to Sandusky.  The whole think stinks of cover-up.

The sad fact is no one at the university notified authorities or even attempted to determine the well being of the ten year old child. They just looked the other way. Did Paterno really do anything wrong? Not legally, but with as much power as he holds at Penn State he could have done a hell of a lot more. He failed a test of morals by not reporting the incident directly to authorities, or following up on it. That said, the university clearly thinks Paterno did something wrong, whether he knowingly allowed a known sexual predator to remain on campus under the umbrella of his program, or for simply not exerting proper oversight of the football empire he created.

Now this man who has meant so much to Penn State and college football in general will be asked to resign. If he fails to do so in a timely manner, he could be fired. When your actions or lack thereof, anger board members, parents and supporters, there is not much more you can do than to apologize, resign and walk away. It’s just so sad that the winningest coach in NCAA Div I football will have asterisks next to his name and a footnote in the record books.

I tell you, I have a major problem with what happened in that locker room that night. I just can’t understand why McQueary didn’t react immediately. Why didn’t he attempt to stop Sandusky? Obviously he could see that it was a young boy and what Sandusky was up to, why didn’t he charge in there and stop the sick bastard? How long did he stand there like a blithering idiot watching? He was right there for godsakes and chose to do nothing! What kind of man is he? If he didn’t have the balls to confront Sandusky why didn’t he at least step outside and call campus police or local authorities?  Why the hell did he wait until the next day to say anything? And why go to Paterno with it? He should be charged with a crime as well. What a gutless dick!

There is no excuse for what occurred at Penn State. It’s sad that Paterno will be remembered for this scandalous incident rather than all the good he did for the university. Look at the late, great Woody Hayes, after an illustrious  career he’s best remembered for punching an opposing teams player in the throat near the end of the Gator Bowl in 1978. Sorry Joe but Woody got fired for that one, your moral failure is much worse than what he did, but he was still voted into the Hall of Fame, maybe you will too.

For the good of the University and the good of the game Paterno should do the honorable thing and resign. He chose the wrong play to run on this particular third down, now it’s fourth and long. He knows he has to punt. But Paterno has never been one to give up easily. He’ll probably go for it. He’s said in several interviews this season that he expects to be around for three or four more seasons. I don’t think old Joe is going to go out quietly. That’s just  not his style.

Just Sayin…

JS

 

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