The college football world lost Joe Paterno on Sunday morning. The legendary Penn State coach died at the age of 85 from complications stemming from cancer treatment. The mourning of Paterno’s passing is being felt across the nation and with good reason.
Paterno, much like Bear Bryant and Vince Lombardi, died when he was without football. Being relived of his duties this past season spelled the end for Paterno. Like Bryant and Lombardi, Paterno was not without his flaws. However, Paterno’s flaws had a direct impact on the people the world should strive to protect. By failing to report Jerry Sandusky, Paterno failed to protect the lives of innocent children.
Paterno may have done everything he was legally supposed to do, but he still failed the victims of Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky is a monster and Penn State failed to prevent his actions. The abuses that took place on the campus and in the football locker room are some of the worst atrocities that can happen to children.
Excuses can be made, but there isn’t an acceptable one. For being a great molder of men, Paterno failed to protect children. It can be that black and white. Every person has flaws, but it is up to them to determine if they affect other people. Paterno’s flaw was not acting. Failure to act was the absolute worst thing he could have done.
There’s nothing wrong with mourning the loss of Paterno. As a college football fanatic, I understand a legend was lost. As a human being, I also understand that Paterno failed at protecting children, for whatever reason. When you say a prayer for Paterno, say one for the victims of the scandal. They need them more than anyone.