Tag: Penn State football
Things at Penn State University are never going to be the same. We are still far away from really finding out how much of a wake is going to be left behind the Jerry Sandusky’s crimes. At the end of the line Sandusky committed heinous crimes against children in the Penn State football facilities and the administration and the head of the coaching staff didn’t report this abuses, that kept on happening for over a decade, to avoid bad publicity. Now, Sandusky has been convicted and found guilty and he’s going to spend the rest of his life in jail. But the legacy of Joe Paterno has been severly damaged and on the wake of the Freeh Report, the town has taken two very antagonist sides. On the one side, some football fans and students will like to cut Joe Paterno some slack and try to believe that he did what he was required of him. Then again, considering Paterno never called the Police and limit his actions to protect these abused children to report this to his bosses.
And this is where it gets tricky. On the one side Joe Paterno had become the soul and body of the football team, he was the Penn State Football Program, he had been there longer than anybody else, he had more power than anybody else; the 85-year-old head coach had been the head coach since 1950. He’s career had been filled with highlights and perseverance. But this all came folding down when the former FBI director released the finding in his 8-month investigation of the Jerry Sandusky children sex abuses. The reported said that Penn State had failed to protect children and he went on to affirm that Paterno had not done what it needed. That he, upon himself, had enough authority within the school’s power structure to put an end to Sandusky’s pernicious actions. And that he had ultimately allowed this to happen for more then a decade.
Administrators and the Board of Trustees of Penn State University have been fervently discussing what to do with the Joe Paterno Statue that sits in front of the Beaver Stadium. On the one hand they realize that whatever decision they make, whether to take it down, move it somewhere else, or leave it where it is, is going to be more than a decorative decision. Ultimately this is a decision that will be very symbolic of the schools decision to move forward on this issue, and it’s institutional effort to keep this from ever happening again. The board is also concerned on how their decision will be interpreted by the NCAA, which has come out as recently as last week to say that they could go ahead and give the school the “death penalty” for what they consider the school’s lack of institutional control.
Some fans believe that the statue stands for all the good the Paterno did over his 60-year-old career ahead of the program and that it should stand. Those who feel deeper for the victims want to eradicate any cult and devotion left for the octogenarian coach who failed to put an end to the sexual abuse of children by Sandusky. At the end, the decision that Rodney Erikson makes could not be more political.