A Fall From Grace

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As you all know, the Jerry Sandusky scandal has rocked the Penn State nation and is gaining more and more attention. With more victims coming forward, and a trial looming, there are many unanswered questions that lurk in the dark of this terrible situation. The one question I have, the one that many others have asked, and many others strongly oppose, is why didn’t Joe Paterno, the most influential man in the history of Penn State, do something about that indecent actions that were taking place?

The sexual abuse accusations against Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coordinator at Penn State, have been swept under the rug for years, and now justice, hopefully, will be fully served to all those who are held accountable. The sexual acts Sandusky allegedly performed with dozens of young sons, brothers, and grandchildren are in every way inhumane, unjust, immoral and wrong to the most extreme. And by not acting to do what is right when word of the accusations first hit, Joe Paterno is also at fault. Which is why I believe the decision to fire him from the head coaching position was needed.

Next to murder, I believe what Sandusky allegedly did to his victims is the worst crime a person can commit. Try to put yourself in the shoes of one of the alleged victims today. Imagine being in your early twenties, and just realizing now what had been done to you. Imagine what they go through mentally each day, especially now with all the media attention and uproar over the decision to fire Paterno.

Paterno is the most legendary figure in Penn State history. He has been a football coach there for 61 years, 46 of which he was head coach. He won two national championships, and his 409 victories are the most by any Division 1 football coach in history. On top of that, he has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the University. I can see why students and fans alike would be outraged over the board’s decision to fire their grandfather-figure. But JoePa isn’t innocent in this alleged case.

Because JoePa is so legendary and so credible at Penn State, you cannot tell me that he did not hear of these accusations against his former assistant. JoePa knows everything. He was the “king” of the university. He knows more than professors, janitors, and students. This is why I cannot bring myself to believe that, after over a decade, Paterno knew nothing of these accusations. He knew of the alleged abuse, and he failed to act upon justifying what had been done.

This situation at Penn State has tarnished the reputation of the University. But the situation of those young boys who were supposedly attacked is the one we should keep in the front of our minds. Not the decision to fire Joe Paterno. Not the football team trying to focus on football. We must all, as human beings, pray for the victims and hope that justice is served.

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