A father and a grandfather, Paterno should have been struck into quivering fury once he heard the 1998 accusations against Sandusky. You would think a guy nicknamed “JoePa” would have used the political muscle gained from all those 10-win seasons to buffalo into the driver’s seat, bulldoze any investigation to its truthful end, then act decisively on that truth.
Instead, the Freeh Report says, Curley emailed Schultz, “Anything new in this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands.”
Well, then, Coach should have picked up the phone himself or walked his happy butt across some Happy Valley real estate and engaged in some “what’s the deal?” face time. A horrific act performed on a child got treated like the construction of a weight-room addition.
Which reminds me: how are ye who acted damned fools over a football coach being fired? Did the cars you turned over, the fires you started, that all still seem like it was a good idea? If you don’t feel a wee bit moronic now, please leave Penn State before your presence harms the school’s educational reputation.
You managed to outdo the idiots at my alma mater, Indiana University, who tore up campus landmarks after basketball coach Bob Knight got fired. Knight reigned in Bloomington the way Paterno did in Happy Valley and, way back when, Ohio State football institution Woody Hayes did in Columbus.
Hayes went down on losing to Michigan three times in a row and an act of violence, punching Clemson’s Charlie Bauman in the 1978 Gator Bowl. Knight’s friends worried he would go out like Hayes. Sure enough, Knight went down on lackluster records and an act of violence, choking player Neil Reed, then grabbing a student he believed spoke disrespectfully to him.
Now, Paterno goes down protecting acts of sexual violence. There’s a lesson in this trend about campus kings.
We’ll be reminded of it with every mention of Paterno and Penn State. Hopefully, we’ll hear it over the ecstasy of the latest hit.