Fox News – Penn State University’s plan to honor on Saturday its late football coach Joe Paterno, five years after the school fired him during a child sex abuse case involving an assistant coach, is drawing criticism from victims’ advocates. The pre-game salute will come during the Nittany Lions game against Temple and will mark the 50th anniversary of Paterno’s first game as head coach, Penn State’s Collegian newspaper reported, citing the athletic department. Paterno died in January 2012. The decision to honor Paterno, who, according to an investigation conducted by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, attempted to cover up a 2001 child abuse allegation along with others on his coaching staff, is being criticized by victims’ advocates.
Penn State took on Bill Cosby’s alma mater Temple University this weekend in what has been called the Consent Bowl. Journalists, sports writers, and most Americans outside the state of Pennsylvania have criticized Penn State for holding a ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of Paterno’s first game as head coach due to his alleged role in covering up sexual abuse in his football program. The school has defiantly ignored its detractors and proudly gone forward with its plans for the ceremony which will honor perhaps the most influential Pennsylvanian of all time.
Liberals in the mainstream media, who have probably never even been to Happy Valley to see the joy that Penn State football can bring to (most) children, continue to act as if Joe Paterno somehow enabled or encouraged Sandusky’s crimes. It goes without saying that Paterno, like all of us, was personally appalled by the accusations surrounding Sandusky.
Paterno did the best he could as another faceless bureaucrat in the Pennsylvania university system and reported these allegations to his immediate supervisor. What more could Paterno have done, gone to the police? Snitches get stitches. Incidentally so do child molesters at State Correctional Institution. Not only did the legal system never pursue a case against Paterno in 2012 for whatever reason, the NCAA returned all the wins they had forced Paterno to vacate, the greatest vindication possible in the American criminal justice system. Kudos to Penn State football and head coach James Franklin for enthusiastically defending Paterno’s actions and continuing with unwavering support for his legacy.
It is important to closely examine how many people were actually affected by this scandal, there were not enough children involved to even field a 53 man roster. Meanwhile, trying to shamefully hide Paterno’s unparalleled legacy of winning wipes away what are the happiest memories most people living in Pennsylvania will ever have. Penn State’s current over/under win total is 6.5 and Carson Wentz is a deep sunburn away from never seeing a football field again. If the people of Pennsylvania can’t hold onto the glory days of ’82 and ’86 then what do they have? How can we allow allegations that at this point are over 5 years old to mar what should be a weekend focusing on celebrating Nittany Lions football? When we allow the interest of a select few children to override the interests of thousands of Penn State alumni and millions of GED holding Pennsylvanians we have lost ourselves as a nation. If you want to make this about the victims, fine. But to do it in September as football season is just beginning shows a deep lack of understanding of the cultural mores of Central Pennsylvania and is frankly deeply offensive. It takes a true Nittany Lion to remember the invaluable influence JoePa had on Penn State as an institution.
Do you want PSU to be just another Kent State? Without JoePa’s historic legacy national guardsmen would be murdering students in cold blood throughout the streets of State College, is that the type of university you want for the fine men and women of Pennsylvania? It is critical that we cannot allow unsubstantiated allegations to tarnish what is otherwise a truly admirable legacy. People like to throw out a lot of numbers and statistics when talking about this issue. 45 counts of sexual abuse, 10 years old, 60 years in prison. In truth the only number that matters is 409 wins. When we think of Mussolini we remember that the trains ran on time, not the brutal fascism or support for Hitler. Both Paterno and Mussolini are currently looking up at us here on earth proud of the way we are honoring their legacies.