The sex scandal at Penn State a few years ago rocked the sports world, ruined lives of many and left scars of many young men.
The key figure in the disgraceful event was Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, but in my opinion the one who lost the most was head coach Joe Paterno.
How much Paterno knew, only he could tell; unfortunately Paterno died shortly after.
Sandusky went to prison, but Paterno lost a lot more; the NCAA stripped him of his record 400 wins, the college removed his statue from the campus and his lost his dignity. Too much for a man who did so much for the college, donated back much of his salary, made men out of boys and was a devout Christian.
Again I state, I don’t know Paterno’s involvement or lack of in bringing the subject to Penn State officials, should he have followed up more, or as he said “I left it up to the officials”. Was winning more important to Paterno?
Now after a long debate Paterno’s wins have been retorted by the NCAA; the college still has to pay $60 million fine which will go toward supporting activities and programs for the prevention and treatment of child sex abuse.
The NCAA had already lifted the four-year postseason ban on Penn State and restored its lost scholarships, and this year Penn State played in a bowl game.
The reaction in my opinion was to punish someone to set an example, and Penn State was the example. The decision was rushed and wrong. Reminds me of when Delaware set up their first Drug Task Force; their first arrest were two young men from Laurel. They found no drugs, had no information from their phone taps, but it made headlines in the paper, and both were sentenced to prison terms. An example had to be made.
I’m only sorry Paterno was not around to see the reversal.
I know there are many with mixed feelings about the decision; the pain and memories will remain, hopefully everyone can move on and maybe someday Paterno’s statue will be taken out of the warehouse where it is now and be restored to the original site at Penn State to honor a man for his greatness not for a mistake if indeed he was a guilty party.