WDEL Blog: WDEL Sports

How do we remember Joe Paterno?

With the results of the investigation into Penn State's response to Jerry Sandusky indicating a large coverup involving Joe Paterno, what is the legendary coach's legacy.

I haven't read the whole thing, but it seems to me that the damning evidence that Paterno knew about the 1998 Sandusky accusation was an e-mail from the AD to either the school prez or Schultz mentioning Coach wants to know what the latest is on the incident. Since there is no e-mail from Paterno himself (at that point, he probably didn't use e-mails) it could be less than 100 per cent that Paterno knew, but that would assume Curley, the AD, simply used that phrase to draw Paterno into the whole mess. I wouldn't put it past Curley, but at this point we have to assume the e-mail is proof that Paterno knew.

So what now? Paterno is dead and one of the big questions on the Penn State message boards is should the Paterno statue outside the stadium be taken down and should the Paterno name come off the library.

What do you think? Should the good that Paterno did in 61 years at the school be completely wiped out by his failure to do more to halt the Sandusky crimes? Should he be simply remembered for this and not for what he did to help the school and thousands of football players in more areas than just football?

I am torn....I certainly think the adage is true that one incident does not define us. But this one is so overriding that I think many people will be unable to remember any good Paterno did. I think, in the end, I will remember him as one of the best football coaches in college football history, who did a lot of good and important things for Penn State, but who's legacy was crushed by something maybe he didn't fully understand but should have.

Posted at 10:59am on July 13, 2012 by Big Don Voltz

<- Back to all WDEL Sports posts

Comments on this post:

Sat, Jul 14, 2012 12:01am
It's time for the anti-Joe Paterno crowd to pack up and go home. The fact that he wasn't savvy about dealing with a pedophile is no reason to scrap 60 years of service. JoePa helped that team win a lot of games and he brought a lot of revenue into that university. Now they want to remove all references to him as if he never existed in the first place? Did Joe Paterno have sex with boys in the showers? No. That guy is now in prison for the rest of his natural life just like Earl Bradley, and quite frankly, instead of destroying Joe Paterno they should arrest, try, and convict Mrs. Sandusky as an accomplice to her husband's crimes. She lived in the same house with him, and she knew it was going on and did nothing about it. Some of the victims have testified to that. So instead, we're going to destroy Joe Paterno for all eternity? I doubt that even if JoePa had done everything they said he should have done, it wouldn't have changed the outcome. When this stuff was happening, there were parents of the victims who thought their children were exaggerating and believed that Jerry Sandusky couldn't possibly be so terrible. Perhaps Joe was in that camp. Wrong camp to be in, but last time I looked we didn't send people to the electric chair or the gallows for petty thievery. Eliminating all references to Joe Paterno at Penn State would surely be the equivalent to that.

Sat, Jul 14, 2012 5:57pm
I have wondered how "with it" JoePa was during his last years. During the final 12 years of his life, was he simply a figure head like QEII? Treating his memory as if he were the rapist is wrong on every level. Those in the storm of protest against his memory are simply finding it easy to condemn a dead man for the crimes of many others in the Penn State institution.

Mon, Jul 16, 2012 2:20am
Wondering how "with it" Paterno was? You need to look no further than the woman who was in charge of enforcing the university code of discipline. Whenever Paterno's players were in trouble, he insisted that he handle the case, not Penn State's official procedures.

Paterno also renegotiated his exit shortly after he met with the Grand Jury in 2011, making sure he got every last penny and that his family received nice perks. He knew what could be coming (his termination or forced exit).

Joe Paterno was quite "with it" and is no better than Cardinal Bernard Law, another man who did incredibly wonderful things in his life but is forever -- and rightly -- scarred because he failed to act to protect the most vulnerable so that his institution would not look bad in the public light.

Sun, Jul 22, 2012 11:30pm
Now that they're taking down his statue, I hope the alumni stop sending in their money and that Penn State ends up in bankruptcy and on the ash heap of history for what they've done to Joe Paterno, a GOOD man.

Add your comment:
Attention: In an attempt to promote a level of civility and personal responsibility in blog discussions, we now require you to be a member of the WDEL Members Only Group in order to post a comment. Your Members Only Group username and password are required to process your post.

You can join the WDEL Members Only Group for free by clicking here.
If you are already a member but have forgotten your username or password, please click here.

Please register your post with your WDEL Members Only Group username and password below.

Copyright © 2014, Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.   Terms of Use.
WDEL Statement of Equal Employment Opportunity and Outreach