Sean O'Shea by Sean O'Shea
Joe Paterno dies a damaged legend who did not do the right thing when it counted
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM
- Is Rory McIlroy a spoiled brat and just an overgrown child? - Antics during the U.S. Open leave his maturity very much in question
- Was Notre Dame’s Everett Golson caught cheating at exams leading to suspension? Quarterback statement hints at major integrity issue and harsh punishment does also
- Orb should win Preakness easily, Oxbow up for second
- Could Celtic boss Neil Lennon be next manager at Manchester United? - His European exploits, especially defeating Barcelona may put him in frame
- Orb has what it takes to win Triple Crown in 2013 - Kentucky Derby winner has breeding, connections and talent
The death of Joe Paterno reminds us all of how suddenly the fall from grace can occur.
Joe Paterno should have died a year ago, his reputation intact and garlands for his grave from everyone who ever worked or encountered him.
He was the beloved Joe Pa, the epitome of class and steel, who strode the college football world like a colossus.
Alas, he died a broken figure.
He was an 85-year-old legend who spent his final months in hell after his Penn State former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested for abusing young boys.
Paterno had been told of the abuse and choose essentially to ignore it.
His reasons for so doing were never fully explained.
It was a mortal black blot on a previously white as snow copybook.
What must he have thought as his lung cancer advances and his reputation retreated?
How often must he have wondered why he didn't do the right thing for the kids who were abused?
Joe Paterno still dies a legend but a deeply sullied one, whose reputation will never recover from what happened during the last year of his long life.
It is a tragedy for everyone concerned, especially the kids he never spoke up for.