My Take on the Paterno Disaster at Penn State

5 years ago by in Action Not Words, Featured Articles, Public Relations Tagged: , , ,

Article first published as Disgraced Paterno Must Be Fired Now on Technorati.

Many times, life throws at you a situation that requires you to make an important decision. Those decisions cannot only change the course of your own life, but they sometimes can change the course of countless other lives.

84-year old legendary football coach Joe Paterno appears to have been faced with such a decision in 2002. That decision, not to report the abuse of a young child at the hands of a formal assistant football coach, to proper authorities, appears to have caught up with the man affectionately known as JoePa.

Despite all of the accolades for a coaching career built on tradition and a winning football program, it appears Paterno, when faced with a decision that was life-altering, punted and in the end showed a streak of cowardice. A lack of personal integrity that now will cost him his job and tarnish his legacy forever.

As a parent of a son of the same age of the child allegedly abused at the hand of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, I am disgusted and downright outraged at how little Paterno feels responsible.

The gist of his story: a graduate assistant caught Sandusky molesting the boy in a locker room at Penn State. He then reported it to Paterno who then told Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley, who has since been indicted and fired, about the incident. It was then covered up.

The fact that Paterno felt his responsibility ended at telling his superior at the university of the abuse is laughable. My first call wouldn’t have been to the athletic director, it would have been to the police.  Paterno’s decision was irresponsible, selfish and he should be fired immediately.

Reports out of College Station say the university is working on an “exit” for Paterno.

Are you kidding me?

This man, who is allegedly complicit in the sexual abuse of a young boy, doesn’t deserve a damn thing. Paterno, no matter how much he’s done over the course of his long and illustrious career, does not deserve some hero’s exit. In fact, he deserves what other men who show a lack of courage and ethics in a situation like that get: a quick kick to the street.

There is no arguing it. Paterno is a disgrace and will now be remembered not for the kids he mentored or coached in football and in life. Instead, he’ll be known for the one time a child needed his help and he failed to act.

It’s all so repulsive Penn State needs to end it now.

Paterno must be fired now. Penn State will forever be tarnished as an institution of higher education if it doesn’t do what needs to be done. It failed to do the right thing in 2002 and, so far, it’s failing again.



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