In Chapter 5 of the book, the story of Joe Paterno and the Penn State football program is discussed. It is a very interesting chapter because it talks about if Joe Paterno is a villain and what he should have done.
The one sentence that stuck out for me was a post from a student about JoePa saying “How can you victimize Joe Patenro?”. “I and thousands of people wouldn’t be here right now. If not for Paterno.”
When reading this, it is almost sickening thinking about how the community backed up JoePa so much. The man saw a crime happening at his University and had the opportunity to be one of the biggest hero’s by stopping Sandusky’s madness, but instead decided to throw it under the rug and not go to proper authorities.
The comment from before that says that people wouldn’t be at Penn State because of JoePa, while if he did the right thing back in 99′, a dozen or kids or so would probably not have been victimized either. If the argument here is that JoePa wanted to continue to keep the Penn State community safe and didn’t want to ruin his reputation of the school, all he needed to do was contact real authorities at the beginning and they could have arrested Sandusky. The fact that he let it drag out for over 10 years is terrible and just made his reputation even worse. The fact that anyone can defend JoePa purely on the fact that he is a good football coach is dumb.
If this happened to anybody else besides one of the best football coaches to ever live, that person would be absolutely crucified for not making the right choice and would be in a lot of trouble. As an outsider it is very easy to criticize JoePa for not doing what he did but at the same time it was probably a tough thing for him to do as he was very confused about the situation. Either way, he made the wrong choice and it is too bad that one of the best football coaches will now be remembered for what he didn’t do off the field, instead of what he actually accomplished on it.