Is Joe Paterno at fault? Candor Sports Writers weigh in

by Tom Brown- Staff Writer and Luke Stanczyk- Sports Editor

Playing the blame game

Tom Brown

The latest in the Penn State University saga is the firing of Head  Football Coach Joe Paterno on Wednesday, as it was revealed that the coach knew that his then Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky was molesting children and did not go to the  proper authorities with the news.

Before he was officially fired, Paterno offered to go out on his own terms and retire at the end this season, but the board of trustees thought that they must immediately clear house to avoid any flack on an already fragile issue.

But was Paterno’s firing merited? Let’s remember for a second that Joe Paterno did not molest any children. Jerry Sandusky did. A grad assistant named Mike McQueary came to Paterno and told him how he witnessed Sandusky performing sexual acts on children in the Penn State showers.  Paterno then went and told the Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley about the situation.

So to all those out there who are furious with Paterno and claim that he did nothing about the situation when he was given the news are wrong, Paterno went to Curley’s office and told him everything that McQueary had told him. Paterno said that he followed all University and legal procedures when reporting the incident to Curley, which is all you can ask for from a person.

While I agree that with those who say that in order to restore some sort of positive reputation that Penn State has to clear house , but what they didn’t have to do is be completely and utterly disrespectful to Paterno. Paterno was prepared to address the issue in his weekly news conference, but that was cancelled. Then, he offered to go out on his own terms and retire at the end of the season, but that was shut down by the board.

What’s lost in the whole Joe Paterno saga is that the treatment of the others involved besides Paterno. The person who actually molested the children is barely even mentioned on any T.V. report or news conference. All we ever hear is that Sandusky was arrested, paid bail, and has a Dec. 7th court date. We never hear any details about just exactly how many instances there were or the fact that he continued to run a children’s foundation after the initial report of the molestation.

In addition to the lack of coverage to Sandusky, Mike McQueary, the grad assistant who initially witnessed the instance and did the EXACT SAME THING as Paterno is still coaching for the Nittany Lions.  The fact that McQueary is still on the coaching staff and Paterno got fired is sickening and leaves me speechless when they saw and did the exact same thing.

All in all, I think that if Paterno said that he would retire at the end of the season, then obviously he feels like he did something wrong and he is taking matters into his own hands. The denial of this attempt to retire speaks volumes about the disrespect and disregard that Paterno was treated with throughout this entire saga.

JoePa not only one to blame, but the blame is warranted

Luke Stanczyk

Joe Paterno is arguably the most prestigious coach in the history of football. He has the resume to prove it and is treated like a God on the campus at Penn State University, even earning the nickname “Pope Joe”.

However, none of that should matter to anyone, and what he allowed to go on involving long-time defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky does not give him any right to coach another game in “Happy Valley”.

A graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, told Joe Paterno in 2002 that he saw Sandusky rape a child in the showers in the football team’s locker room; three years after Sandusky left Penn State. Paterno notified the Athletic Director, but no one else was notified of the incident.

Now, we not only know of the incident, but we know that Sandusky was charged with sexual abuse with eight different minors over a fifteen year period, and nine other children have come forward and said that Sandusky abused them as well. Also, Sandusky was running kids camps as recently as 2009 and was on the campus of Penn State as soon as last week.

From a legal standpoint, Joe Paterno did what he was obligated to do. However, everyone knows that Joe Paterno is the town of State College and has far more power than the athletic director. He is not just a football coach; he is the most influential man in the town. Therefore, all he really did was just tell someone below him about the incident.

If you saw a child being raped, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to have the man put behind bars? Paterno saw Sandusky numerous times up to nine years after the incident and did nothing besides tell the A.D., even when nobody did anything else. One should not just say “oh, somebody else will take care of it.” These are the lives of innocent, young children, and what he and everyone else at Penn State is saying by not notifying authorities is basically that the football team is more important than justice for the children.

On top of that, riots broke out on the campus of Penn State University with chants of “We want Joe!” and “[Explicative] the media!” I guess that they too believe that the football team is more important than keeping children safe from sex offenders.

Now, McQueary is the Wide Receivers Coach at Penn State, and in my opinion, he should be fired as well for not alerting authorities. People claim that Paterno is in the right because he just heard of the incident and did not witness it, but what kind of a man makes up a story like that? If he made up the lie, he could and will be thrown in prison too.

Yes, Joe Paterno legally did what he was obligated, but this goes way beyond the law or football. This deals with morality. The bottom line is that if Joe Paterno didn’t feel that reporting a sex offender was a pressing issue at the time and even knew he was around kids after it happened, than that man has no business representing not only a football team, but an educational institution.