Is Joe Paterno still a Penn State hero? | The Tylt
It's been five years since former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexual assaulting boys. Joe Paterno was head coach of the Nittany Lions at the time, and many feel he turned a blind eye to his friend's crimes. A lot of fans believe his complacency was just as bad as Sandusky's crimes, and Penn State fans should not be honor him. Others think he had no control over Sandusky, and is still a hero. What do you think? 🏈
Is Joe Paterno still a Penn State hero?
Paterno was the face of Penn State football for 46 years. He's won two national champions, and has a 24-12-1 record in bowl games. But when you knowingly protect a sexual abuser of boys, all of that good doesn't matter. Had he reported Sandusky's disgusting acts, Paterno may have prevented other boys from falling in Sandusky's trap. Instead, he protected his friend, letting Sandusky go undetected for years.
The legendary Penn State head coach may have been a model citizen, and wasn't directly assaulting these children. His willful complacency makes him unworthy of any praise he receives. Paterno is not a hero.
As much as Sandusky and Paterno are linked, they are not the same person. One sexually assaulted children, the other did not—it's that simple. Paterno did a lot of good for Penn State. He donated millions of dollars to Penn State, and stressed academics as well as athletic performance. One moment of weakness does not define Paterno. To many, like the Morning Call's Bud Cole, he is still a hero:
Paterno and his wife, Sue, devoted much of their time and financial efforts to Penn State and the State College area. Their 1993 fundraising campaign amassed $13.75 million dollars for a new library. The university honored the Paternos by naming the library expansion, the Paterno Library. The Paternos donated an estimated $7.5 million to the library, for scholarships and to charitable functions. (The university received a $100,000 donation from the Paternos in December 2011, after the coach was fired.)