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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Paterno’s final call of the game, Made too late for child rape

    I would not call myself an avid sports fan. Sure, I enjoy watching live games and try to follow specific teams as best I can but my knowledge of professional and college sports is minimal at best. Why then, do I feel the need to comment on the recent (and not so recent) controversial events happening at Penn State when I know little about college sports or their coaches?

    The answer is simply that at its core, this is not a college sports problem that concerns just fans of Joe Paterno but rather one that deserves the same scrutiny a situation like this would get in the world outside of sports.

    No one can deny that the way certain individuals in Penn State chose to handle this case was irresponsible and illegal. Sandusky was doing terrible things to children in and out of the Penn State stadium for many, many years. People had seen him assaulting children and said nothing or told someone about it with the hope they would know what to do.

    No one stopped him, no one called the cops, and barely anyone said anything for years. There are few people in this situation that are guilt-free and Paterno is not one of them.

    The first argument against Paterno being fired was that he brought up what his graduate assistant saw to his superiors and that his part of the story ended when he notifiedthe “appropriate” people of what Sandusky had been up too. Was what he did enough? Where is the line for further action and responsibility in a scenario such as this?

    To be frank, Paterno did not do enough and it doesn’t matter what legacy or glorified history one has, not taking proper measures in certain situations is wrong and there’s just no way around that.

    Even though the decision to let Paterno go was most likely due to public pressure rather than wrongdoing on his part, in the end, it still seems appropriate and hopefully leaving football out of the equation shows that.

    That might seem like a tough stance to take but as what point did Paterno see the lack of actions of his superiors at Penn State and think that enough had been done?

    Maybe he thought that Penn State banning Sandusky from bringing children to football games was good enough or perhaps he simply didn’t want a scandal involving his university and team. For now, his thought process behind the situation is unclear.

    Paterno is clearly not the only one at fault in this situation, but it seems he is one of the only people involved that is being defended for his actions, or rather, his inactions. People claim it was rude of the university to let him go over the phone, saying the man deserves more respect than that, or that he should have been allowed to coach a few more games.

    If this man was not the coach and football so important to Penn State, would people be coming to his defense so quickly? If this was a different scenario, would Paterno be excused or unquestionably criticized for not making sure Sandusky was not just stopped, but arrested right away?

    People need to take a step back and look at this situation a little more objectively. Yes, Penn State is losing a great coach, but they are also losing a man who is willing to stand by with the knowledge someone he had worked with had raped children and was getting away with it.

    Again, Paterno is not the only party here that did something wrong, but people seem more inclined to come to his defense rather than look at the many children that were raped and abused by Sandusky.

    And to those sports fans that are upset about losing a legend, let’s try thinking about those individual children who pretty much lost their childhood and how their lives and the lives of their families have been affected and will continue to be affected as the grand jury looks further into this situation. I’m pretty sure a football game is small change compared to people’s livelihood. Then again, maybe I just don’t understand sports like other people.

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