Where have you gone Joe Paterno?

In Happy Valley, it is not the same as it ever was. Nor, to be honest, is it across the sporting landscape of America.

Former Penn State football coach, iconic Joe Paterno awoke this Thursday morning — if he slept at all — maybe telling himself, “This is not my beautiful house.”

For the first time in half a centennium, the legend who used to be known affectionately as JoePa, will not be coaching the Nittany Lions this Saturday. Or, ever again.

* * * * *

So many thoughts passed through my mind last night while watching the press conference at Penn State. The primary one was that I’d never seen anything like this situation in the world of sports. As bad as the scandal was at Baylor, where a basketball coach attempted to spin beyond a murder among teammates, this is worse many times over. The recruiting snafu at Miami, the pay for play scenario at Ohio State are but stubbed toes.

Penn State is essentially about a cover up, a moral and ethical failure of the highest order.

Jerry Sandusky, a former coach with unlimited access to school football facilities, used his position and that access to abuse young boys. Repeatedly. Even after being caught.

And, important beyond everything else: Nobody in the school who knew of the heinous criminal acts did anything. Not the school president. Not the athletic director, not other administrators.

Certainly not Joe Paterno, who, until these revelations, has been the standard of righteousness in the sport.

Let me repeat. This is a moral and ethical failure of the highest order.

* * * * *

With his fellow Penn State Board of Trustees sitting to his back, a taciturn John Surma faced the press.

That many of the questions thrown at him were laden with innuendo that Paterno had been wrongfully fired was as surreal as it was nauseating. (But, in a world, where a presidential candidate is accused of sexual harassment and the punditocracy starts going after the accuser/ victims, such misplaced values are — sadly — commonplace.)

Similarly disturbing was that Joe Paterno, in his befuddlement and insularity, tried to circumvent the Board’s actions yesterday afternoon, by resigning effective the end of the season and telling his bosses not to consider his situation for a minute.

Excuse me for a second, while I clean up my vomit.

* * * * *

We must not forget who the real victims are here.

Those boys, some now adults. Affected for their entire lives.

Their families.

And the youngsters and others the abused may abuse because of the learned behavior and psychological issues it causes.

Their families.

Communities that will be forced to deal with ugly aftermath of this ongoing sexual abuse and the cycle of abuse and ills it fosters.

* * * * *

We must not forget who the real villains are here.

Certainly Joe Paterno and his bosses and all those in the Penn State football community, athletic community and administrative community who knew of the heinous criminal acts and did nothing.

And, of course, big time college sports, which has gotten so corporate, so out of control, so far beyond its original intentions, that “the programs” have become more important than anything. More important than education. More important than fostering societal values. More important than protecting the youth of our land.

It is a culture that puts the importance of the Nittany Lion brand (Substitute Crimson Tide brand or Blue Devil brand or Cardinal brand or Wildcat brand or _____ brand) above ethics, morals and civic responsibility.

* * * * *

We may ask ourselves where does that highway lead to?

We may ask ourselves, are we right, or are we wrong?

We may say to ourselves, my god, what have we done?

– Seedy K

2 Comments

  1. bob
    Posted November 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I would like to ask Paterno what would have been his action and followup if the young boy in the shower with that monster had been one of his grandkids. I do not believe he would have just call his AD and let it him take of it.
    For him to some use the statement that he has 14 grandkids as some means to seek forgiveness is sicking.

  2. stefan
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Typical nonsense, everything that has been written is accurate except what has been written about Joe is complete bullcrap, until you know exactly what he did and when he did it you are all talking out your other ends, as ignoramuses normally do, had the administration acted on his tip or even the campus police he would be hailed a hero, all you losers and moral compass idiots who like to trash people without knowing all of the facts which will hopefully come out in a court of law.

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