In response to the recent article in the Optimist about the firing of Joe Paterno I would like to present my reasoning for his firing being justified. I love JoePa as much as the next sports fanatic and I feel like he is my grandpa without ever meeting him. He’s built a great legacy on wins, morals and pride. Gwin in his article refers to Paterno as an “icon for the university.” All of us who follow sports know that Paterno is bigger than just football. He is higher than the former athletic director, Curley and former president, Spanier. I agree with Gwin that Paterno is much bigger than football. But, that is just it, Paterno is bigger than football, he is more than just wins and losses. Gwin tells in the article it is not Paterno’s job to be involved in the personal lives of students. This is where I kindly disagree.
When JoePa recruits for his football team, he promises thousands of parents your boy is in my hands now! When the former graduate assistant came to Joe Paterno in the beginning with the allegations this is what the face of Penn State should have done when the graduate assistant approached Paterno with the allegations: Randy this is where you can put in your great phrase and I can quote you in the article “Our lives just got tougher, but we are in this together. I will protect you and I will put you under my wing and give you the best support I can to stop what you just saw.”
But, that did not happen, Paterno just passed on the message knowing that boys were being raped from eye witnesses. The face of Penn State could and should have done more to stop those horrific acts done by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The nation of Penn State is in outrage and shock and rightly should be. The grandfather figure we all know and love so well who we have branded the face of Penn State did nothing more to stop the injustice being done to children then pass a note on to a colleague. Joe Paterno cannot be the face of a university with the inaction he demonstrated in this ever developing case.