It has been a very interesting time in college football this week. Not because of the “Game of the Century” between Alabama and LSU. Not because of the BCS controversies with who should be #3, #4, #5 etc… Not because of the great Heisman Trophy debate between Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson (among others).
No, the talk of college football this week is the sudden and saddening turn of events in Happy Valley with Penn State University. As most of you know, the University has had its football program turned upside down this week with allegations of sexual abuse taking place over a number of years, with a member of the coaching staff involved and others knowing about it.
Former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is at the center of the scandal. Penn State senior vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley have already surrendered on charges that they failed to alert police to the complaint about Sandusky. Pennsylvania attorney general Linda Kelly has stated that Joe Paterno is not a target of their investigation into how the school handled the accusations but she didn’t say the same for university president Graham Spanier.
The question remains: how much was known and who else should take the fall? A lot of people are calling for Paterno’s resignation. So…is it time for Paterno to go? I’ve been a fan of Penn State football since I was probably 6 or 7 years old. I always looked up to Paterno as one of the greatest coaches of all time. Now his legacy is in question and in my eyes, he holds at least some of the responsibility.
Paterno’s weekly news conference, which was to take place today, has been canceled. It had been scheduled for noon (ET) where he would meet with members of the media, as he does every week. No reason has been given for the cancellation, but one can only speculate that the session would have been dominated about questions surrounding the sex scandal.
Did Paterno do all that he could? Should he be held legally responsible…or morally responsible?
From the Associated Press:
The Pennsylvania state police commissioner said Paterno fulfilled his legal requirement when he relayed to university administrators that a graduate assistant had seen Sandusky attacking a young boy in the team’s locker-room shower in 2002. But the commissioner also questioned whether Paterno had a moral responsibility to do more.
I’m sure that more will come out in the coming weeks but for now the question remains: Is it time for Joe to go? He’s 84 years old and has coached the team for 46 years. Until last week, his legacy would have been that he could arguably be the greatest college football coach who ever lived. Now…who knows?