A Statue of Limitations
Paterno. The origin of the name goes back to at least medieval Italy and was possibly a short form for an occupational name: Paternoster, a maker of rosaries. More than likely it was a nickname from "pater", (father), for someone who looked like a father figure.
Joe Paterno fit the latter description. JoePa. For almost 46 years he was the head football coach at Penn State, and up until Monday (July 23/12) held the record for most victories by a football coach at a major U.S. college.
HERE'S WHAT THEY GOT...
The NCAA, governing body of U.S. college sports, announced sanctions against Penn State University in a rebuke stemming from the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. In a statement NCAA President Mark Emmert put it rather well. He said the school had put "hero worship and winning at all costs" ahead of intergrity, honesty and responsibility. Here are the sanctions:
...a fine of $60 million dollars. Though huge, I imagine alumni will come forth and make up that budgetary shortfall in the blink of an eye.
...the NCAA voided all of Penn State's football victories (Nittany Lions) from the past 14 years, effectively 1998-2011 dating back to the first allegations of Sandusky's abuse. This wipes out JoePa's record.
...Penn State is banned from all post-season bowl games for 4 years.
...the number of scholarships available to players has been reduced from 25 to 15.
They did not get the so-called "death penalty," a complete suspension of the football program. The NCAA felt, and rightly so, that this would unfairly punish those in the community connected to the program, but with no connection to the Sandusky case.
Saturday a tarp was placed over the statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium on the Penn State campus. It was the same way one might cover a corpse once death is confirmed. Sunday the statue was dismantled and removed. Fans left flowers in a makeshift memorial, some disagreed with this decision. The Paterno family has steadfastly maintained that actions were "not fair or thoughtful" and merely a panicked response.
Evidence so far points to a great deal of guilt on the part of Joe Paterno. Was it complicity or a lack of action, or both? Are we to be judged on one mistake instead of a lifetime of accomplishments? Is any of our legacy subject to an error in judgment. No not necessarily...unless it was a big one. And this..WAS A BIG ONE. Sorry JoePa, by your own record and reputation more was expected of you, and you responded with less. Gone is the record, gone is the statue. A victim's pain can last forever. LEAVE COMMENTS.
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