The statue of legendary coach Joe Paterno has been removed, so now what? Nittany Nation is at an all-time low and Happy Valley isn’t so happy anymore. With severe sanctions to come tomorrow, questions arise as to what they should receive and do they deserve it.
I have a strong stance on this issue and personally feel that whatever Penn State receives they deserve. Nothing is worse than a child molester. Even prisoners and serious criminals can’t deal with someone that resorts to such a disgusting act. Correction, I will retract my earlier statement in that the only thing worse than a child molester is someone that knowingly knew exactly what was going on, but covered up the incidents to protect his players and his legacy. Well look what you’ve done now JoePa.
I know it may seem harsh to beat a dead guy to death (God rest his soul), but he didn’t die of a broken heart or lung cancer. He died of guilt knowing that he could have prevented all of this if he just spoken up and admitted what was going on. The main incident happened in 2001 when assistant coach Mike McQueary saw Jerry Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy in one of the campus locker rooms. McQueary went to Paterno the next day and Paterno did nothing. He avoided investigators when reports were surfaced and covered up numerous lies regarding Sandusky. As a former Division Three football player, I am ashamed of how Paterno acted out.
Playing at Salisbury, I know that the coaches always keep tabs on players and coaches everywhere they go. We’ve had volunteer coaches, like Sandusky, come through and stay in constant contact with the program so that everyone knows where they are at all times. When something goes astray with either a player or coach, meetings happen, issues are addressed and sometimes dismissal from the program is the only option. There are NCAA rules, campus rules and team rules that both players and coaches alike must follow in order to get the privilege to play or coach football. If a Division Three program, where the players don’t receive athletic scholarships, nor coaches substantial contracts, can do it, why can’t a Division One program enforce team policies, where significant amounts of money are on the table for athletic scholarships and coaching contracts?
Tomorrow will undoubtedly change the face of Penn State football forever. Do they deserve it? Absolutely. Wins must be retracted. Postseason opportunities need to be taken away. They shouldn’t get the benefits of as many athletic scholarships because they were so worried about pulling in athletes during the elongated scandal, rather than protecting the lives of innocent children from a monster. Some will say, “Why punish the kids?” Blame JoePa and the group of people that didn’t speak up on the situation. Some may say, “The NCAA should worry about the care of the sexual abuse victims.” That isn’t their job. If Paterno was such a great fatherly figure and was willing to sacrifice his legacy instead of protecting his friend, these issues of sexual abuse would have been dealt with a long time ago.
As of now, it is predicted Penn State will not receive the “death penalty” in college football. It was only handed down once before in 1987 when the SMU football program used “under the table payments” to pay their players and provide them pay-for-play opportunities at their university. However, this situation is much worse. While it has nothing to do with the competitive balance on the field as SMU’s situation did, the image of Penn State in the immediate future is tarnished, damaging the program’s credibility. I believe they deserve the “death penalty” as they should be punished for protecting a legacy, rather than protecting innocent children. Regardless, tomorrow will be a dark day for Penn State and college football fans everywhere.
Follow me on Twitter @HI_IM_JEEF.