Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tragedy in Happy Valley

I'm going to switch focus on here and talk about sports, one of my biggest hobbies.  In particular the horrible news out of Penn State about child abuse by former football coach Jerry Sandusky.  I want to give some background first before I talk about my thoughts on all of this.

My dad went to Penn State and I have 2 Aunts that went there as well. Growing up, I remember watching Penn State football on TV as my dad never missed a game.  I grew to love the school and the team and even considered going there myself after high school.  I toured the campus with my dad when I was looking for different universities and though ultimately I chose not to go to stay closer to home instead by going to the University of Houston, I still held tremendous respect for the university.  I also grew to love Joe Paterno, and the larger than life figure he was in State College. He always stood for coaching the right way, worried more about his kids graduating than getting wins. He brought an old-school attitude and largely seemed to keep the school and team above any type of NCAA corruption charges from boosters or even off the field behavior from players. Penn State was always the 'clean' school.

All that changes this past weekend as all of the sordid details of the Sandusky case came to light. University officials knew about the behavior and covered it up.  The intern that saw the behavior in the locker room that reported it to Coach Paterno (yet not Police!) is Mike McQueary, who is a coach now on the team as well. Paterno simply reported to his superiors and then banned Sandusky from bringing kids to campus. Joe should've went to the Police as well.  Even if he thought his superiors would take care of it and report it, he should have at the very least followed up on it. You may not have a legal responsibility to report this to the police but you have a moral obligation to do so.  The fact that Sandusky was still on campus as recently as last week is just sick.  Joe's reputation, coaching career, standing in the community has all been tarnished by the actions of Sandusky.  I feel terrible about this for Joe but even more terrible for the kids and families who were hurt by this whole thing.  Joe needs to step down immediately.  He has no credibility left.