Today is the one-year anniversary of the death of long-time Penn State coach Joe Paterno. I’m sure fans, alumni and students have all made their own tributes to Paterno, and will do so throughout the day. The story of Paterno is one that can be looked at on two sides. The side with Paterno’s coaching career, and the side with the scandal that ended his career entirely.
There is no problem with people remembering Paterno on this day. Everyone mourns in their own ways, and the people of Penn State had a very long time with Paterno around. That said, the scandal is now what Paterno will be remembered for in history. If Paterno would have done this or that, maybe things would have been better. Who knows what his legacy would be on this day, instead of being labeled a disgrace for not saying anything? His statue is down now, and most mentions of his name on the campus are gone as well.
There will be a time where the pain of what happened will pass for a lot of people, and the records that Paterno racked up as a coach will come back into the forefront. I don’t know how many years that will be, but I’m sure it won’t be in the next 10-15 years. Maybe after all the time passes, people will think differently. On this day though, let’s try to remember Paterno for his coaching and everything he did in that aspect, and not about all the negative things as much. It’s easier said than done.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.