You can find reads about Joe Paterno and the Penn St program all over the internet, but here is a good one from Dave Zirin.

After forty-six seasons coaching at Penn State University, coach Joe Paterno now faces a crisis that could burn the storied football program to the ground. And if recent charges are true, his legacy deserves to burn along with it. For those who haven’t heard, longtime assistant Jerry Sandusky, 67, who coached the vaunted Nittany Lions defense for twenty-three years, has been charged with forty sex crimes against boys dating from 1994 to 2005. All of the minors were under the care of Sandusky’s charity for impoverished youth, The Second Mile Foundation, which Sandusky founded in 1977. As the grand jury presentment stated: “Through The Second Mile, Sandusky had access to hundreds of boys, many of whom were vulnerable due to their social situations.” Sandusky is denying all charges through his attorney, but the grand jury report is a damning and detailed account of a man exercising his power and authority to rape young boys.

You can find the grand jury report anywhere on the internet but here(its too disturbing to share) and I recommend reading all of Zirin’s column.

Some discussion questions:
Should Paterno be allowed to coach out the season? what should happen to the Penn St. program? How do they ever recover from this? Does Paterno really want to make his last game coached in Madison, at the mercy of the student section? Will they get a single recruit to commit to play there next year? Should Paterno be in the Hall of Fame?

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12 Responses to Joe Paterno

  1. Steven Reynolds says:

    He should go and in a tear-filled statement directly to the victims he should do a massive mea culpa. That is his only path to salvation.

    I need to say, his is a sin of omission, and it is a large one. But it is far more likely he is gullible and unworldly enough to have allowed that sin than to have actively calculated it. Still, he should resign immediately and cry real tears. Frankly, I would not shed a tear if he stroked out in the middle of the mea culpa.

    As to Penn State, they should can him immediately and release every player from obligations and hope they can start anew.

  2. Jeff Simpson says:

    I agree, everyone with the program has to go immediately.

    Then bring an a group of retired coaches to finish out the season or until you can hire a new guy. Then give the players a window where they can transfer and NOT have to sit out a year.

    Then have patience with the new guy in trying to rebuild the program.

  3. Steven Reynolds says:

    I’ll settle for Paterno and Spanier going. Nice work by the Board of Trustees tonight.

  4. JCG says:

    what should happen to the Penn St. program? How do they ever recover from this?

    Well, if giving a student-athlete some walking around money, violating some arcane technicality in recruiting rules, etc. are grounds for major program sanctions, then covering up and otherwise enabling the repeated raping of possibly dozens of children should result in permanent banishment of the program.

    • Zach W says:

      Well, if giving a student-athlete some walking around money, violating some arcane technicality in recruiting rules, etc. are grounds for major program sanctions, then covering up and otherwise enabling the repeated raping of possibly dozens of children should result in permanent banishment of the program.

      Yet you and I both know that’s not gonna happen. Paterno and a few others were fired (rightfully so) so that the university can say they’ve dealt with the problem and removed the bad apples.

      • JCG says:

        Yeah of course it won’t happen. But the University cleaning house now, when a large part of the problem was that they didn’t clean house (and alert the authorities) years ago when they should have just doesn’t cut it for me.

  5. Jeff Simpson says:

    I dont think that just the two firings is enough. I would fire everyone involved whatsoever with the football program immediately.

    I do not think however that the NCAA “death penalty” would be appropriate. Its not the kids in the programs fault and there is too much money and too many peoples livlihoods at stake.

    • JCG says:

      You’re right it’s not the players’ faults, but that can be dealt with fairly easily: allowing them to transfer without the 1-year wait period on eligibility.

      And of course money is the reason it won’t happen, not the reason it shouldn’t happen.

  6. Zach W says:

    From one of my Facebook friends:

    “The students rioting at Penn State are standing up for a child molester apologist.”

    • I don’t think it’s a question of what happens to the Penn State football program.

      Paterno and others could have broken mandated reporting laws, if PA has such statutes and if Paterno is considered a mandated reporter.

      The essential thing in the short term is that Paterno and others are treated in the same way as anyone else under applicabler laws. No special treatment just because he’s Joe Paterno.

      If his failure to properly report Sandusky’s alleged crimes is a crime itself, he should be prosecuted.

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