Why Are College Kids Defending Joe Paterno? →

by Ian W. Parker on November 10, 2011

In the Motherlode Blog on the New York Times, KJ DellAntonia writes about the spectacle of Penn State University students rioting in the streets:

Wednesday night I was watching ESPN’s coverage of the firing of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno (an event whose magnitude one announcer just compared indirectly to the Kennedy assassination), and wondering how I’d feel if my child was standing on Paterno’s lawn, or on the streets of State College, supporting a man who could hear a graphic description of a sexual assault on a young boy and then choose to walk away. I’d like to hear one of those students support the argument that the coach deserves “one more game.” And then I’d like them to tell me how they’d explain it to a 10-year-old.

I believe that the students of Penn State need to take a moment, forget about football and championships, and step back to ask themselves what they would do had they been in Paterno’s shoes when the incident involving Sandusky was reported to him.

There is a time for recognizing achievements, and there is a time to acknowledge that horrible things have happened, that children have been hurt, and that there are some mistakes that no amount of success can absolve. This is the latter, and that’s a lesson Penn State needs to convey.

Read the entire article, and give it some thought. Spanier and Paterno are not the only ones who will be leaving the Penn State University organization in the coming weeks.