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Paterno Legacy versus the Stolen Innocence of Children

by: douglas v. gibbs | published: 11 13, 2011

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I wonder if the College Football Penn State/Nebraska game should have even been played.

Penn State took the field against Nebraska, without Joe Paterno as head coach. Paterno seemed to transcend all other coaches. One could never imagine the Nittany Lions being on the field without Joe Pa being right there to will them to victory. Some fans wore white to support Paterno. Others wore baby blue to support the victims of Coach Sandusky. Dark blue seemed to be worn by folks that just wanted to watch a football game.

The students have largely come out in support of Joe Paterno, and their way to send their message was to riot. A brick has gone through Sandusky's window, bomb threats have been received at the stadium, and students have gone so far as to turn cars over and threaten Penn State personnel. I am sure those knuckleheads represent a minority, and that most of the students are being very respectful during this, but the fact that any students have acted in such a way fills one with deep concern for this generation.

I am not one to jump the gun, and we still don't know all of the facts regarding this sickening sex abuse case that Penn State has found itself embroiled in. But, there are a few things that are for sure: A vile pedophile named Jerry Sandusky, who used to be a part of the Penn State family, is still walking the streets; A head coach with an incredible legacy, who has been coaching the football program since 1966, had the opportunity to put a stop to the sex abuse, and like the witness McCreary, did not take the appropriate steps to stop the madness; Penn State firing Paterno immediately, revealed that at least they, unlike the rioting students, have placed the innocence of the boys Sandusky defiled, above any importance that a legacy might have.

Penn State did the right thing when they let Joe Paterno go.

We have not heard the last of this. There will be testimony that will shock and sicken us, and I believe threats were made against those that may dare expose the evil doings of Sandusky.

Perhaps the game with Nebraska should have been cancelled. Perhaps Penn State should cancel their season. Perhaps they may even need to shut down the Penn State football program. All of the things done, all of the actions that try to make up for what happened, will never return to those boys the innocence that was so selfishly stolen from them.

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