Monday, July 23, 2012

Joe Paterno's True Legacy

Things could have been so very different.

Consider for a moment: Joe Paterno had as much power, if not more, than anybody else at Penn State during his career. So what if he had actually taken as seriously the allegations from the 1998 incident as any one of us would have? What if he had actually cared enough to learn the abused boy's name? What if, as his pretended legacy would have us believe, he actually cared about doing the right thing? Had he had that geniune concern for another's well-being, combined with the power that he did have, he could have made things right. No, he couldn't have had that child be un-abused. But he could've had Sandusky fired on the spot. He could have had him prosecuted much sooner than he ultimately was. And most importantly, he could've protected scores of children in the future. If you think about it, you realize that someone with that much power indeed could have done much good with it. Joe Paterno could have been a true hero.

But in the end, Paterno cared more about himself and the reputation and image of himself and his employer than innocent children. Apart from the actual abuse, this may be the saddest part of this whole story. Because if you believe in an afterlife, as I do, then he has a very long time to live with these facts.