College football lost one of its best in Joe Paterno on Sunday.
The famed Penn State coach died just 65 days after being diagnosed with lung cancer and about three months after coaching his beloved Nittany Lions for the final time. He will forever be remembered as Penn State’s Joe Pa, a loyal leader and friendly face to his players and the student body. Unfortunately, some people outside of Penn State may only remember Paterno for the scandal involving his former replacement, Jerry Sandusky.
Critics from everywhere surfaced when Paterno was sadly forced to leave Penn State, slinging mud at the man headlines are calling “a flawed hero.” Yes, he made some questionable mistakes by not whistle blowing on his assistant coach. However, how are we to know how much Paterno actually knew about Sandusky’s inexcusable action? And from my understanding, Sandusky’s wrong doings were reported all the way to the top, which in turn did nothing.
It is former Penn State president Graham Spanier and former athletics director Tim Curley who should be remembered as the behind-the-scenes transgressors of the Sandusky scandal. Alas, Paterno’s name will be forever linked — closer than any of his colleagues — to Sandusky’s sins. It caused him a great deal of stress in his final months and the heartache from the entire affair more or less killed the poor man.