Penn State scandal takes down Paterno

10 Nov

Blah, fudge…

I have let NaBloPoMo go by the wayside by missing posts on both November 8 and November 9.

Last night, I was too enthralled by the story out of State College, Penn., and the dismissal of Penn State University President Dr. Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno, amid the continuing sexual abuse scandal involving former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Paterno, 84, is the winningest coach in Divison I history, a mark he achieved with what turned out to be his final victory.  His 409 wins will forever be linked in history with another number — nine.  That’s the amount of young adults who have stepped forward alleging abuse at the hands of Sandusky.  What Paterno might have known and what he knew and didn’t act on to the fullest extent possible (he was aware of an abuse allegation in 2002, and reported it to his superiors at Penn State but not law enforcement) related to Sandusky’s activities resulted in his termination last night after 62 years with the university, the last 46 as head coach.

Earlier in the day yesterday, Paterno announced his retirement, effective at the end of the season.  Near 10 p.m. last night, however, the Penn State board of trustees informed Paterno that he would be terminated immediately.

I certainly am appalled by what Sandusky did, and I certainly don’t think that Paterno did nearly enough in response to the allegations he was aware of.  But I think the handling of JoePa’s departure is a complete PR nightmare.  Why allow him to announce his retirement at noon, and then fire him at 10 p.m. the same day?  Either fire him earlier or let him finish the season.  There’s not a lot of call for the huge snafu that yesterday became, up to and including the violent riots that enveloped State College last night.

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