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    Recently a Sports Illustrated writer had this to say about the epic moral failings of the Penn State University leadership, in particular Joe Paterno.

    http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/11/10/the-end-of-paterno/

    Here is my response.

    Thanks for the article, we’re all sorry it had to be written.  I’m curious about a couple of things though:

    1)  What is it that you would have JoePa supporters do?  We all know the good things JoePa has done, but what we’re all trying to figure out, the conflict that we all feel, is trying to synchronize the moral fiber and leadership JoePa has shown his whole career vs his complete lack of moral judgment in this case.  We KNOW that he’s done great things for a great many people, but it APPEARS that he placed the “good” of his football program over the welfare of a child, and ultimately several children.

    Oftentimes I think the adage, “sacrifice one for the many” is applicable . . . but a moral and healthy community cannot allow that “one” to be a child, and oftentimes women.  That’s why there is a moral code in society that protects women and children . . . to protect and defend those that often cannot do so themselves.  Children the most, so as they often cannot protect themselves physically, emotionally, or intellectually.

    Does this singular failure from JoePa outweigh all the good he’s done?  Clearly not . . . but it does negate much of it.  How much so is what we’re all trying to figure out.  Time; more facts; continued leadership, or lack thereof, from JoePa; will all impact that legacy.

    The problem for JoePa supporters is that now is not the time to “rally” around JoePa.  Now is the time to “rally” around the children, to remind those in similar capacities of their duties to these heinous acts, to condemn the failures that allowed children to be harmed in such an evil way.

    2)  What would you have Penn State do differently?  You say they “scapegoated” JoePa.  Rightly held or not, deserved or not, JoePa had little checks and balances.  There are rewards and benefits from that of which JoePa benefited for many many years.  There are also consequences for such when necessary as well.  7 days ago, very few within Happy Valley knew the names Spanier, Shultz, and Cutler, now everyone in the nation knows those names.  Have they also been “scapegoated”?  Is there a better way they should have fired JoePa?

    I’d guess roughly 85% of us would have immediately called police when hearing about an incident such as this.  Does that mean 85% of us are better people than JoePa?  Maybe . . . so many permutations to that question, but perhaps it does suggest that 85% of us are more grounded, and less burdened by things that conflict with basic morality.

    If you look at the timelines of JoePa’s statements, he either knew from the beginning of his failures in this regard, or he was out of touch with how severe his moral failing truly was.  Either way, it appears as though he was not rushing into the burning building, but was putting his own interests firsts.

    That’s not the JoePa we thought we knew, that’s not the JoePa we hoped we knew.

    Give us some time to reconcile the past JoePa, with the “current” JoePa.

    More SPORTS thoughts:

     

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