Friday, November 11, 2011

Saying it ain't so for too long

The unfolding story of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's alleged crimes is truly mind-boggling. The firing of 84-year-old Joe Paterno -- heretofore, a living legend -- who has been Penn State's head football coach since 1966, was unthinkable in most sports fans’ minds until the horrific Sandusky child abuse story broke over last weekend.

But as shocking as this has been to most of us, it's obvious there are people in Happy Valley who have known this day of reckoning was coming for some time. From here on that part of the story is going to get steadily more important. It may lead to people going to jail, besides just Sandusky.

In my memory there’s never been a sports-related scandal like this one. But as others have already pointed out, this is more than a sports story. It's more than an aberrant story about a predator. This story is about idolatry. It’s about money and politics. At the bottom line, it’s about the corrosive effect power can have when it grows, unchecked, to bully all sorts of supposedly decent people into doing shameful things.

Eventually, Penn State is going to have to fire everyone who was in any way connected to Paterno. That's going to mean everybody! To clean house, all the assistants, the secretaries, the people who washed the uniforms, popcorn vendors at the games, etc., will all have to go.

Who knows? This may even mean a SMU-like death penalty for football at Happy Valley.

Over the last few days, each time I’ve read about what’s been going on at Penn State, I’ve said to myself, that's it! I'm so disgusted that I'm not going to read any more about it. Then I read/watch the next story, anyway.

So here are some links to related stories that seem worthwhile, without being over-the-top on being sensational:
  • Click here to read “Penn State tragedy shows danger of making coaches false idols”
  • Click here to read “Coaching icon Paterno sacked in ignominy”
  • Click here to read “Abuse victim's mother says Paterno had to be fired”
  • Click here to read “The Question Joe Paterno Needs to Answer”
  • Click here to read “Will Paterno Scandal Hurt Pennsylvania Republicans”
  • Click here to read “Who knew what about Jerry Sandusky?”
  • Click here to read "Penn State Sponsors Anxiously Watch How Events Unfold at University"

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