Joe Paterno: Death, Remembrance and the Wages of Sin

After reading chapter 5 of  “Game Over” it becomes very clear, Joe Paterno was very conflicted about what to do regarding Jerry Sandusky. For Paterno, had he gone the moral route and played the whistleblower on Sandusky the reputation of the whole Penn State University would have been tarnished. Especially for Paterno, this was something that he could not bare to do.

After all, Joe Paterno built Penn State. By turning the once terrible football program into a constant winner and bowl contender, he allowed the University and surrounding economy to flourish off his football team. $50 million in profits yearly to the school and $59 million to the economy is not small pocket change; the team had become the social, economic and spiritual heartbeat of the whole region. How could Paterno turn his back to that?

This is where politics can change sports forever. Paterno was clearly conflict on what to do… Bring down the whole University that he had put so much time and effort into or do the minimum required and put it on someone else.  By law Paterno did was he was obligated to do, he inform the AD and Campus Security who were to follow up on the report.  But really, what type of person covers up child molestation to protect a football program? Someone who has instilled a fundamental policy to all members, Protect Nittany Lions Football at all costs.

Unfortunately we will never know what could have been had Joe Paterno gone the moral route. The University probably would have seen some back-lash, but could be proud to say they put an end to child abuse. Now they are stuck paying 27 victims almost $2million each along with various NCAA fines and penalties. The memories of Joe Paterno have been erased from campus and the once idolized man on campus is now in his final resting place in State College, Pennsylvania.

Politics or plain stupidity ?

Zirin, D. (2013). Game Over: How Politics Has Turned The Sports World Upside Dow. New York, United States of America: The New Press

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