Penn State Removes Paterno Statue

Yesterday, under the cover of a fence and sheet, Penn State, removed the statue of Joe Paterno from outside Beaver Stadium.  This of course was not entirely unexpected and the correct course of action.  We Americans are sports crazy and idolize our sports heroes and teams more than any other people in our daily lives.   Therefore, there are those who would question the removal of the statue based on the incredible coaching history of Joe Paterno at Penn State.  I grew up watching Paterno and the Nittany Lions and although not a fan, USC was my team, I certainly respected him as a coach, as his accomplishments were undeniable.  He also gave much back to the University as his name on the school library would suggest.  I believe the Paterno family donated upwards of four million dollars to the university over the years.  He should be commended for that.  But, as it would turn out, his judgement as a man and human being were in direct contrast to Paterno, the legend.  While we should never convict anyone in the media, there are common sense issues in life that don’t need to be spelled out.  Joe Paterno was a tireless coach, who, by all accounts,  lived and breathed football.    He spent untold hours preparing for Saturdays’ battles, year after year.  At this point, for anyone to suggest he had no knowledge that Jerry Sandusky was a serial pedophile is simply ludicrous.  Sandusky was so blatant about it, he would shower with boys in the university locker room and indulge in sexual acts.  Now that he has been convicted, we have a better idea of how sick this man was and is.  New victims have surfaced and there are in all likelihood, others out there, to afraid or embarrassed to come forward.  The independent panel concluded that the highest ranking officials, including Paterno, covered this up for fourteen years.  That being the case, the removal of his statue was not only correct, but incumbant upon the University.  Real men do the right thing.  They protect the helpless or innocent, no matter the consequences.  Paterno didn’t do that.  He was complicit; demonstrating a serious lack of judgement.  Football locker room mentality be damned, covering up what occurred at Penn State forever tarnishes his legacy.  College football, as important as it is to so many of us, is, in the end, is just a game.  Human lives, morality, bravery and honor, should never take a back seat to a game or coach, no matter how legendary.

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