Let me start this fanpost by saying that I am in no way trying to offend the frequent visitors we get on this site from Black Shoe Diaries. This is simply my opinion on what should happen to Joe Paterno, with the news that he is announcing his retirement effective at the end of the season just minutes ago. As of today, by wins and losses he has the most wins all time among college head coaches with a record 409-136-3. He has been a coach at Penn State since 1950 and the Head Coach since 1966 (to put that in perspective, Coach Bryant was hired at Alabama in 1958) During that time, Penn State has claimed 2 National Championchips (1982 and 1986) as well as 3 Big Ten Titles (1994, 2005 and 2008, Penn State was independent until 1990) Clearly, however much he has been reduced to a figurehead in recent years, this is a man with a tremendous legacy on the football field.
However, former Penn State defensive end Jerry Sandusky's acts may have left the most infamous if not the most memorable marks that will mark the Joe Paterno era at Penn State. Sandusky was a defensive end at Penn State from 1963 until 1965. After a year as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, he spent the next two years at Juniata and Boston College as an assistant coach before returning to Happy Valley in 1969 where he would stay in various capacities until his retirement in 1999. He is best known as Joe Pa's defensive coordinator from 1977-1999 during which time Penn State won both their national championships under Joe Paterno. He did turn down multiple head coaching jobs over the years hoping one day to succeed Coach Paterno as head coach. Following his retirement, he was named as coach emeritus and given an office in the Penn State facility. Off the field he had established a children's charity in 1977 called The Second Mile. This is the man who just 5 days ago, was indicted on over 40 counts of child molestation by a Grand Jury following a 3 year investigation. The investigation was into a report that Mike McQueary, a then grad assistant and current assistant coach at Penn State, informed Joe Paterno in 2002 that he had caught Sandusky in the act with a 10 year old boy. Coach Paterno then informed athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz (who was also oversaw the campus police department.) Ultimately...the only action that was taken by Curley and Schultz was to restrict Sandusky from bringing any child from The Second Mile into the football building. This action was sanctioned by Graham Spanier the president of the university. They continued to allow Sandusky to hold a camp at a satellite campus until 2008. At this camp he continued to have contact with boys from 4th grade through high school.
On November 5th, 2011, Sandusky was arrested and is free on $100,000 bail, while Curley and Schultz were arrested, charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse and released on $75,000 bail. Sandusky faces life in prison if convicted. Curley and Schultz have also resigned their positions at Penn StateIs there an Alabama parallel to this story? The only moral parallel that will be relevant is the Mike Price scandal, and it is admittedly not in the same vein. Most of you on here will remember this but following Dennis Franchione leaving Alabama for for Texas A&M, Alabama hired Mike Price to replace him. He coached the team throughout spring practice but soon after, while attending a golf tournament he spend upwards of $1000 at a Florida strip club and had two girls from the strip club spend over $1000 dollars worth of room service the next morning. It was also revealed that he had propositioned female students in Tuscaloosa while his wife was out of town Mal Moore (who had rebuked Price twice) and Robert DeWitt had little choice but to let Price go. I now ask the question, "What is worse, actually committing the act or allowing the act to pass with nothing real being done?"
It is clear that Coach Paterno knew what was going on at the time and while yes, he did the right thing at the time and informed the people within the university that should have handled the problem it is my opinion that he could have done more. It has been nine years since Coach McQueary caught Sandusky in the act. It should have been clear within the months afterwords that Curley, Schultz and Spanier were going to give Sandusky nothing more than a light slap on the wrist. At this point, Joe Paterno should have gone outside the university and informed the proper authorities (I suppose the same could be said for Coach McQueary.) The end result will be the sad end of the career for one of the on-field legends of College Football, probably the end of the career for any Penn State assistant coach who had any knowledge of what was going on. Are the coaches technically innocent? Probably so, but I wonder how they can look in the eye of a recruits parents and tell them they will do everything in their power to take care of their sons and help mold them into men while they knowingly let an alleged sexual predator run amok on campus and they didn't go to the proper authorities and do everything they could to make sure that any child who came to Penn State was safe.