I don’t think I jumped to any conclusions last night when calling for, and continuing to call for, Joe Paterno’s termination. Some friends disagreed, either with my assessment or with my contention that I wasn’t rushing to judgement.
In the larger context of this story, I want to share a few thoughts from some other people opining on the issue. They’re not all calling for his termination, but they’re making the same basic points about what Paterno’s specific (and egregious) failings were in this sad, disgusting turn of events. I believe those failings mean Paterno must be fired.
Paterno Still Hasn’t Answered The Question That Matters by David Jones of The Patriot-News.
Joe Paterno, Penn State Failed Miserably in Sad Sandusky Case by Michael Rosbenberg at Sports Illustrated.
An excerpt from Bill Plaschke:
What do you think would have happened if, say, Paterno had gone to his athletic director requesting a change of the shade of black on his football team’s legendary shoes. What if Curley had done nothing with the request? How long before Paterno did something himself? Maybe nine minutes?
Yet he tells Curley about an alleged child molester frolicking in his showers and then casually forgets about it for nine years?
At some point after informing the athletic director of the report, Paterno should have gone to Curley and said, “If you don’t do something, I will.”
Although this is not a gesture mandated by state law or school handbook, it is a fact of simple humanity.
“If you don’t do something, I will,” is a statement that now needs to be directed at the coach by the school’s board of trustees.
For the sake of a university whose continued association with him would damage its success and stain its honor, if Joe Paterno doesn’t quit, they should fire him.
Others are rightly pointing out that Paterno’s statement yesterday directly conflicts with the grand jury report which found that Paterno was told that Sandusky was seen committing acts of a sexual nature with a child in the locker room shower.
The upshot for Paterno is this: the national sports media will begin exposing the narrative that Paterno, rather lamely, tried to cover his ass with a tepid statement that stands in direct contrast to things he told the grand jury. Things about what he knew and didn’t know. In that light, Paterno’s press statement is callous at the very best, but is also slovenly, self-serving, and, frankly, despicable.
Because, as Paterno’s nominal superiors know, lying to the grand jury is perjury, let’s assume Paterno told the truth to the GJ and lied today to the press. See paragraph immediately above.
Last night, I felt as though PSU would let Paterno finish the season and then make him retire. Now I think this cover-up of the cover-up of the cover-up has real traction. A few more heads will roll before the week is out, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Paterno “resign” in short order.