The events that transpired at Penn State contributed to the worst scandal in sports history. It showed that even at school, students are not always safe and that no matter who you are and what you stand for, you can be fired. This scandal also brought to light, that sexual abuse was happening at other schools, for example the scandal that broke out with Syracuse University’s basketball team.
On November 5th, 2011, former defensive co-ordinator, Jerry Sandusky was arrested for 40 counts of sexual abuse over a 15 year time period. It was then reported that head coach Joe Paterno was aware of these accounts of sexual abuse and reported it to his superiors. On November 9th Paterno was used as a scapegoat and fired. Throughout the whole scandal I have defended Joe Paterno. He had done nothing illegal, he had reported what he knew to his supervisors with the understanding that they would do something about it but they didn’t. After Joe Paterno was fired it was announced that he had a treatable form of lung cancer. As the weeks went on, his health started to deteriorate. On January 22nd he died. I truly believe that if Joe Paterno wasn’t fired he would still be around but with that being said it is not the school’s fault, they did what they believed was in the best interest for their students and that’s what’s truly important. No matter what Joe Paterno had done for them in the past, Penn State had to think about their future. “Once you take away a man’s passion, you take away his reason for living” this is evident with Joe Paterno.
Joe Paterno was one of the greatest college football coaches of all time, yet he will most likely be remembered for this scandal. Not for the fact that he coached five undefeated teams or that he’s the most winningest coach in college football history with 409 wins. They say time heals all wounds, for this we will have to wait and see, but until then we should try to remember the good that was Big JoePa.
R.I.P Joe Paterno (December 21, 1926 – January 22, 2012)