Joe Paterno Should be Mourned Despite Penn State Scandal

By Luke McConnell

Joe Paterno died on November 9.

Not physically, but it seemed like only a matter of time before the news of this morning became official.

Paterno may have died this morning, but once his livelihood was taken from him by phone that bleak November night, it was as if he had nothing else to live for.

His wife, Sue, called the Board of Trustees back after they called to tell Paterno he had been fired. She said he deserved better after 61 years at the school.

Maybe he did, but the events of the sexual abuse scandal that occurred because he didn’t do what he needed to do removed that privilege from his rights.

However, as the winningest coach in FBS college football history now lays dead, Paterno deserves to be remembered for his whole life and coaching career, not just one event, no matter how much it mars his reputation.

Paterno won 409 games during his coaching career, the only coach to ever win 400 games. Paterno also won two national championship in 1982 and 1988.

His commitment to Penn State is legendary, sans the scandal. He spent 61 years as a part of the school and over the course of his life, he and his wife donated over $4 million to the school, including the money for a new library that bears their names.

It’s a shame the scandal that rocked the nation will forever shroud the memories of people when it comes to Paterno’s legacy. Paterno messed up, there’s no one doubting or questioning that, except for a couple of Penn State homers.

However, one event doesn’t equal a lifetime. Paterno did a lot of living in his 85 years on this earth, and those events and accomplishments should be remembered equally.

Don’t forget what Paterno failed to do, protect the lives of innocent children, but remember what he did do as well.

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