For any readers who don't know, I am a Nittany Lion. I attend PSU's World Campus (online courses), and if you think that doesn't make me a real Penn Stater, you're sadly mistaken. PSU does everything possible to include World Campus students. They stream celebrations and parades online for our viewing. We have our own virtual campus in Second Life. They even host a special online homecoming for us! We ARE Penn State.
So this scandal is, to say the least, heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking to think that someone affiliated with PSU is capable of such monstrous acts. It's heartbreaking to know that Admin didn't do their part and report the allegations to the police. And it's heartbreaking that they let Joe Pa go after decades of being the true spirit of Penn State football.
I am not winning friends with my position on this. In fact, I'll probably be down a few FB friends in the next day or so. And that'll happen. It's disappointing, but not surprising.
Joe Paterno should not have been fired. He already announced retirement at the end of this season (so, at most, about 2 more months?), but that wasn't enough for some people.
Did it matter to them that he had followed PSU's policy AND state law (as noted here) in reporting the allegations to administration? Nope. Can you imagine being in his shoes? He's been told that a friend and colleague is doing something horrendous. One of his first reactions was likely denial, but because of policy, he has to take the news to his superiors. He was (and likely still is) hoping that it was a misunderstanding, so he did what he had to do, and went back to football. You know, the reason they paid him to be there. The thing he did for the majority of his life... The thing that WAS his life.
The saddest part is that they couldn't even give him a satisfactory reason as to why he was fired. According to this article from Yahoo! News, when Joe was told (over the phone, of course) that he was being let go, he asked for a reason. The response? "I'm not sure I can tell you specifically. In our view, we thought change now was necessary." The man was affiliated with PSU for over 60 years, and all they can tell him is that they thought they needed a change? Horseshit.
Do I think what Sandusky did was OK? No. Absolutely not. In no way whatsoever am I saying that. What he did (or allegedly did, if you want to be specific here) is so far beyond terrible that I don't have an appropriate word for it. He is the one we should be vilifying. The administrators who brushed off the allegations should be condemned. Painting Joe as a villain accomplishes exactly nothing. He clearly feels terrible about the whole thing and now, with the "benefit of hindsight," wishes he would have done more. How many of us have tried to do the "right" thing in our lives and then later (with this same benefit of hindsight) thought we should have handled it differently or better?
My heart breaks for the victims of this scandal. My heart breaks for Joe and all my fellow Nittany Lions. Most of all, my heart breaks because this is even an issue to begin with.