There is no end game for Joe Paterno this time. No Hail Mary that’ll get him out of this one. 409 career wins ought get you more than just a boot in your butt and an all expense paid trip out the door. But that’s the way this is going to end for Joe-Pa. He may not last the week.
You know the story by now. For years, the heir apparent to Paterno at Penn State, his trusted defensive coordinator has allegedly been molesting young boys. Allegedly, attacking some of them on Penn State premisis. Paterno knew about it, testified to a federal grand jury that he knew about it, and apparently did nothing more to try to prevent it from happening again. It was brought to his attention in 1999. Amazingly, the coach in question, Jerry Sandusky, still had an office at Penn State, still was listed in the athletic department’s phone directory and, as late as 2004, was attending Penn State practices with a boy he was allegedly violating.
Feel like taking a shower? Better not do it in the Penn State football locker room. Allegedly, that’s where one of the attacks on a young boy occurred.
The Penn State athletic director and the department’s chief financial officer have both resigned. Both have been indicted by the grand jury for lying to it under oath, about what they knew and when they knew of the alleged attacks. If convicted, they’ll both be sent to a Federal jail.
Amazingly, the Penn State school president still has his job. But that has to be tenuous at best, as the school’s board of trustees have now asked for a special committee to investigate the matter. The Pennsylvania governor is now involved, as he should be.
Paterno says that Sandusky fooled him, along with a lot of ‘professionals’, apparently referring to clinical psychologists who identify sexual predators. You have to wonder why these ‘professionals’ were involved in a case that Paterno deemed to be only worthy of his notifying a superior, not working to solve the problem.
But the fact remains that Paterno will certainly have to go. He is the most visible face of Pennsylvania’s most prominent university. The business of any university is to recruit young adults, either for academics or athletics. Parents send their children to college expecting that the school will do it’s best to protect their kids from danger. At Penn State, the school failed miserably and a house cleaning is in order.
If the answer to all questions in life is ‘money’, then the end is inevitable for Paterno and most probably Penn State’s president. Ask yourself this: would you send your child to a school that either unwittingly allowed or turned a blind eye to an alleged sexual predator operating on campus? We know what the answer to that question is. And that will cost the university a lot of money in tuition.
No, Joe must go. You can say it ain’t so, but he must.