Paterno no more
Welcome to the wide world of sports politics. Penn State coach Joe Paterno was first, forced into a resignation at the finish of this collegiate season due to the actions of former player and defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, and then shortly after – on a change in administrative action – fired. Joining the former head coach, Tim Curley Penn's athletic director, Gary Schultz the university's senior vice president along with the scandal himself, Sandusky.
National Public Radio has an in depth look starting at the scandals begging with the article The Penn State Child Abuse Scandal: A Guide And Timeline. The legendary coach's official firing occurred just hours ago and was reported as breaking news through NPR's Penn State Fires Paterno, President Amid Scandal, an Associated Press article.
Listening to the recent press conference with interim coach Tom Bradley it was obvious that people – including many reporters – were enraged with the vague nature of the former defensive coordinator's address along with the entire event's unfolding.
Events unraveled in a span of four days which is hardly enough for the public to understand, yet alone the players and Penn State community. If you ask me, after 46 season as a coach that will go down in history for both the good – and now the bad – Paterno will not hold a tainted name forever. I also feel the university did not handle the release of information very smoothly.
Yes, Paterno is the head media figure because he is the most well known, but others were involved. Curley knew, along with Schultz, who oversees university policy. Paterno followed the correct order and informed them first, so if anything, they should have taken action right away over issue when it first arose in 2002. Mike McQueary the graduate assistant who first discovered the scandal also could have pushed harder for Sandusky's punishment.
There is a sense of fear when corruption this bad within a university setting occurs. Take Marquette University for example, the sexual assault scandal on campus made some national news – not quite to this extent – but one wonders who else knew – coaches, staff, other players – and why was misconduct not taken against those who had a voice but didn't put it to use. Paterno is gaining the bad name. Correct action was taken in firing the head coach, he knows that, the public knows that, and he has handled the media uproar admirably. And Paterno has been the only one to speak out of all those involved.