Not many are truly qualified to pass judgement on Joe Paterno’s actions following the the Nov. 4, 2011, arrest of former longtime Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on dozens of charges related to child sexual abuse.
Let alone those who might try to accurately characterize Paterno’s reaction to Sandusky frequenting the Penn State locker room in the nine years after Paterno was first made aware of a child rape allegation against Sandusky in the shower of a PSU football facility.
But, with the bolded text below, SbB hopes to accurately ascribe the behavior of the late Penn State football coach in the aftermath of Paterno first learning of the Sandusky child rape allegation in a Penn State football locker room in 2002.
Paterno (11/6/2011): “As coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at that time, I referred the matter to university administrators.”
Paterno (1/12/2012) “I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise that I did. I knew it was serious and I wanted to do something about it. And that’s why I went up the chain of command.”
I laugh at those who claim that we should have blind faith in our institutions.
Paterno (1/12/2012): “I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the University procedure was.“
I chuckle at people who blame the ’system’ for their problems.
Paterno (1/12/2012): “We never had, in 61 years, until that point, 58 years I think, I had never had to deal with something like that. And I didn’t feel adequate.”
It is you who make the organization work for you and you who will become victims of this system, if you fail to execute your responsibilities to yourself and to your fellow human beings.
Paterno (1/12/2011): “Obviously, he was doing something with the youngster. It was a sexual nature.”
Paterno (11/6/2011): “It was obvious that the witness was distraught over what he saw, but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the Grand Jury report.”
We must always act but when we are wrong, we must be mature enough to realize it and act accordingly.
Paterno (1/12/2012): “When I finally got the head job, I was 16 years here before got the head job, when I finally got it I said we’re going to have the ‘grand experiment,’ and my thinking then was let’s do it the right way.”
Seduced by expediency, by selfishness, by ambition regardless of cost to principles, this spectacle will surely mark the end of the ‘grand experiment.’
We cannot morally escape our responsibility to the rest of the world.
There’s only one person qualified to provide such prescient, applicable commentary to Joe Paterno’s tragic actions the past nine years.
With that commentary provided by the late coach’s Penn State commencement address on June 16, 1973.