Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Former Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno, 85, dies in PA

with 2 comments

Most sports fans are probably aware that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has died at 85.  He had lung cancer, but what probably hastened his demise was the furor that erupted over the sordid behavior of one of his former coaches, Jerry Sandusky (a man accused of having sex with several pre-teen boys).  Paterno was fired from Penn State in November due to the fallout from this scandal.

Please see the following link for further details:

http://news.yahoo.com/joe-paterno-revered-coach-tainted-scandal-dies-010702826–nfl.html

All I know is, I feel saddened by Paterno’s passing.  This was the guy who had the most wins in college history; he’d had a major trophy (the Big Ten’s conference championship trophy) named after him, then that honor was taken away due to Sandusky’s conduct and all the fallout at Penn State.

Now, me being sorry that Paterno is dead certainly does not mean that I condone anything that Sandusky has been accused of doing.  All it means is that I feel sorry that an old man, a grandfather, had to face such a terrible ordeal in what amounted to the “overtime” of his life — something Paterno couldn’t change at that late date and certainly couldn’t help, either — and that I hope that, like any other man, Paterno’s life can be seen for what it was.

Right now, there’s a lot of sentiment that has said that Paterno wasn’t well-treated in his age.  I share much of that.  But one would hope that when Paterno “meets his Maker” that the sum total of Paterno’s life will be what’s important — whom Paterno loved, and why.  What he actually did (including helping many of the young men on his college football teams graduate and become productive citizens), along with what he unfortunately failed to do — not merely the actions that came to light in October and November of 2011.

I don’t know what the whole story is regarding those actions.  I suspect we’ll never know.

What I do know is that Joe Paterno’s life has ended.  I wish his family, friends, and colleagues as well as possible, and I hope that somehow, they will find peace despite the complex issues that surrounded some of Paterno’s tenure at Penn State with regards to Sandusky in particular.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

January 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I am sorry that Paterno died from cancer. It’s not an easy thing to deal with. While he was an awesome person as far as coaching, inspirational to the team and for learning, etc… he also protected a violent sex offender by keeping quiet about the facts that Sandusky had sexually assaulted young boys multiple times.

    I’d like to share this blog as well, for another take on the situation.
    http://www.childabusesurvivor.net/wordpress/2012/01/22/the-problem-with-heroes/

    I wish his family the best, and may Paterno rest in peace.

    likamarie

    January 23, 2012 at 3:09 am

    • Lika, your complex thoughts are pretty much where I was trying to go. I really don’t understand why Paterno didn’t do more to get Sandusky out of there sooner (and in jail). I do think he did something; whether it was actually enough is a matter of debate. (There are apparently some oddities with regards to Penn State’s charter, the campus police being “real” policemen that could’ve charged Sandusky far earlier, and so on. I don’t even pretend to understand these complexities.)

      What I’m hoping is that Paterno did more than has been indicated. Because it really sounds to me that he didn’t approve, at all, of Sandusky’s conduct once he understood what was going on. The problem perhaps was that he didn’t want to believe Sandusky was capable of this, but that’s one many of us would’ve had, not just Paterno, methinks.

      Barb Caffrey

      January 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm


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