There’s so much to say on the Penn State scandal and cover-up that it’s almost tough to begin.
Some defenders are saying that Joe Paterno should have been allowed to coach the final three games at Penn State, or at the very least the final home game at Beaver Stadium. Others say that a man who has served as the head coach of the Nittany Lions since 1966 deserves a better way to go out.
Paterno lost every right to dictate anything when he didn’t do what was right after he was first informed of the despicable act of long-time assistant Jerry Sandusky with a young boy in a locker room.
Whatever Paterno was told about what then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed is irrelevant. “Man, boy, inappropriate manner” is enough. PERIOD.
How it was handled from the moment McQueary witnessed the act was wrong and it continues to be wrong.
Having heard Paterno supporters refer to him as a father figure is fine. But why didn’t he act like a father? What if it was Paterno’s grandson with Sandusky? Would he have acted the same way?
We all know the answer to that. So don’t give me the “Paterno earned the right to go out on his own terms” rationale. That may have been true 20 years ago. Not now.
Paterno lost that ability when he chose to stay silent. He lost that right when he saw Sandusky and said nothing. So did McQueary, who should never be allowed to coach at Penn State, much less anywhere else, again. He also lost that right when he saw Sandusky and said nothing.
Paterno and McQueary were not the only ones who failed to protect these kids. It goes all the way up to the president of the university. But these were the biggest two that didn’t do enough.
Moving forward, as soon as possible, every football coach at Penn State needs to be dismissed. Second, Penn State should decline any postseason bowl invitation and proceed with the next step in rebuilding the football program as soon as possible.
I know that none of the current players are responsible for what happened in the past, but would you want the Nittany Lions playing in your town or against your team? No.
After every football coach has been dismissed, the next head coach and any assistant coaches should have one underlying requirement: No ties with Penn State. I would even be leery of hiring a coach who had attended a Penn State game.
This has to start from a literal ground zero. It will still take years for Penn State to be what it used to be again.
In a lot of ways it will never be the same at Penn State.
Nor should it.