Joe Paterno: Lapse in Judgment Tarnished an Illustrious Career

As one who has attended Penn State, it is indeed a truly sad moment for this prestigious university that has found itself in a despicable sexual allegation nightmare. One has to wonder, how could this happen for so long under the tenure of Joe Paterno who has been regarded as an iconic collegiate football coach? The allegations of Sexual misconduct of Jerry Sandusky should have not been taken lightly by Joe Paterno and the president of Penn State Graham Spanier. In all fairness to Paterno, he did report this ugly and despicable matter to his manager. However, Joe Paterno who has been regarded as the god of college of football should have reported the matter to Child Protective Services and the authorities.

Parents have trusted university officials with their children and they expect those university officials to treat their children with respect and dignity. It is indeed a sad moment for Penn State and as well for many of us who have attended this prestigious institution. Most of all, it is much more painful for the victims who were allegedly abused by Jerry Sandusky. That should have never happened in an institution of higher learning.

It is important to note that the prestige of a football coach should not jeopardize the integrity of any institution of higher learning. It is also important to know that this is not about Penn State football, this is about peoples’ lives that will be affected for the rest of their lives. These are serious sexual allegations and the trustees of Penn State University have made the right decision by dismissing Joe Paterno and President Spanier who should have reported these ugly acts to the authorities of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

After 46 years at Penn State, it is indeed sad how the era of Joe Paterno ended. It would have been better had he resigned from the university than from being fired from the trustees of the university. Many would disagree with the firing of Paterno, but this is about Penn State not Joe Paterno. The trustees had no choice but to revoke Paterno president Spanier for not reporting these horrific sexual allegations. In order to begin restoring trust in Penn State, the trustees had to use the zero tolerance rule.

As a high profile official at Penn State, Joe Paterno should have done much more. He has only done the bare minimum by reporting it to his superior. However, morally, his actions were inappropriate. When young children are being sexually abused, one would hope that any adult with common decency would do the right thing by contacting the authorities. Paterno had failed to do and therefore suffer the consequences.

After reading the 23 pages of Sanduski’s grand jury report, one would understand why the trustees of Pennsylvania State University had taken such rigid decision against an iconic football coach. These sexual abuse allegations are indeed horrific and the question that most of us if not all have to ask? How could this be going so long in one of America’s most prominent universities and how could Joe Paterno, a legendary football coach, failed to report these sexual abuse acts allegedly committed by his former assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky.

The grand jury report painted Jerry Sandusky as a sick person who found pleasure in molesting young trouble boys and furthermore used Penn State as his platform to sexually abuse underprivileged boys. These sexual allegations have tarnished the reputation of Penn State. This is about the victims! this is about restoring trust in the university! This is not about Joe Paterno who failed to do the right thing! The trustees made the right decision because these inhumane and horrific activities should have never been reported to the authorities.

Finally, for many who seem to protest the firing of Joe Paterno. They should morally examine themselves because Joe Paterno did not do enough to stop these alleged sexual activities of Jerry Sandusky.

I hope and pray that God will give the victims the strength to deal with this horrible matter.

I end this with the following quote:

“The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind’s most basic duty to protect the innocent. ” (James T. Walsh)

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