Wednesday, November 9, 2011

No sympathy for old men

Do not, for one second, feel sorry for Joe Paterno.

Yes, he has had a long and storied coaching career. He has won national championships. He has helmed a powerhouse for decades. He is one of the most successful, decorated, and venerated college football coaches of all time.

None of that means anything anymore. Not after what we've learned.

Football is a game. It means nothing. The abuse of young children is deplorable and heinous. Punishing those responsible, and preventing it from happening again, means everything.

Children were being raped. Paterno knew about it and did nothing to stop it.

Instead, he was a part of the cover-up. Assistant coaches, graduate assistants, Athletic Directors, University Presidents, and yes, the head football coach, all played some role in letting the abuse happen. They all knew what the scandal would do to the program, and that led all of them to do the bare minimum. Saving their skins, but not their souls.

Paterno was part of a larger pyramid of enablers who took the protection of their multi-million dollar footbal program more seriously than protecting innocent kids who were being preyed upon. For years, each man in that program had a chance to step up and do the right thing.

No one did.

Wednesday, Paterno was fired from his position as head football coach. He's had a long career. He has the money. He still has the wins. He'll be fine.

Don't feel sorry for him. Feel sorry for the kids he failed to protect.

They won't ever be fine again.


Joslin said...

PREACH! How can anyone feel sorry for the man who failed those kids?

PirateDave said...

I have one really, REALLY big problem with all of this. That the media has written GUILTY all over Joe & Starsky before they even go to court. Is taking advantage of kids wrong, YES! Should all parties involved in a cover up all receive retribution, of course. But not until all the facts are straight. The grand jury has determined that is should go to court, not that Starsky is guilty (though I could care less about Starsky's well being). But firing Joe like that? Really? I blame the Penn administration. Joe was informed, and went to his authorities. Yes, probably should have went straight to police, but if it was my good friend whom I heard this about, I'd want to make sure those accusations held some weight. I wouldn't wait long, and I would involve a higher authority to help sort it out. But I don't know... firing him? Did they really need to? Eventually, I could see it, but right off the back like that?