Penn State Football Needs to Fire Everyone to Remove Sex Scandal Stigma

Penn State Football Needs to Fire Everyone to Remove Sex Scandal Stigma

Remember the salad days when the Ohio State Buckeyes were the disgrace of the Big Ten? Or when Cam Newton at Auburn or Nevin Shapiro at Miami was considered the most polarizing and/or loathable figure in college football?

Today however, free tattoos and Terrelle Pryor at OSU is overshadowed by a division rival in the very next state over. A renegade booster paying for prostitutes and allegedly abortions on behalf of Hurricanes players seems warm and cuddly compared to what’s going on at a program that rivaled the Canes for national power during the 1980s heyday of the U.

Not too long ago, the least pr-friendly sentences I could publish about Penn State football revolved around what a pathetic excuse for a starting quarterback they have in Matt McGloin. And how McGloin looks like an an All-American compared to backup Rob Bolden, who only plays because the coaching staff is afraid the whiny, skinny malcontent will transfer out if he’s permanently benched.

Today, it looks Joe Paterno stepping down should just be the beginning, not the end of a long process.

23 pages of grand jury testimony agree with me

A PSU release sent out Monday reads: “Joe Paterno will answer ‘topics related to the current college football season’” at the press conference today. I understand why his lawyer wants him to stick to just the gridiron, and not answer anything related to the issues that are a million times more important than football but C’MON!?!? REALLY?

We’re talking about JoePa’s one-time right-hand man who happens to be a child rapist, and those above Paterno and Jerry Sandusky who were complicit to his child molestation and pedophilia. You’re also talking about the living legend, JoePa himself who just last week earned career win 409 to pass up Eddie Robinson for most all time in division history, not being proactive when upon having the smoking gun presented to him.

The Athletic Director and Vice President have already lost their jobs, but that’s just the start. Or it should be.

Is it coincidence that this grand jury testimony is released AFTER Paterno set the record and not before? Hmm, I think not. Had the Illinois Fighting Illini actually had special teams units with them in Creepy Valley on October 29th, Illinois would have won, and we would have had to wait a few more weeks for this news to break- I think!

We know JoePa is vain, and like most icons he’s a man, not a diety, no matter (including Sports Illustrated, who named him Sportsman of the Year in 1986) what people say. And as a vain man you would expect him to act in his self-interest. Don’t you think that when a man once proclaimed your successor is caught in the act (Jerry Sandusky’s 2002 shower sodomizing of a 10-year-old boy) you would try to distance yourself from that man/situation by reporting the offense to the proper authorities? Especially since that man stepped down just one year after being investigated for the same charges? (Again not a coincidence.)


Yes, my hypothetical is based on basic self-love and self-interest, not on any moral imperative. I’ve given up on the idea of any idealism and moral conscience in JoePa. From the time this story broke until right now, two days later, my opinion somewhat mirrors AP writer Tim Dahlberg

My initial reaction was to give Paterno a grudging pass in this whole mess because he immediately reported the 2002 allegations to his superiors, presumably with the assumption that they would do the right thing. The tendency for all of us, I suppose, is to want to give the benefit of the doubt to someone who has spent 46 seasons coaching the same team, with hardly a whiff of wrongdoing surrounding the program.

Besides, my guess is that with the coach growing increasingly frail and a new administration arriving in the wake of the scandal, this could be Paterno’s last season no matter what happens.

There comes a time, though, to put aside the respect for everything Paterno has accomplished in Happy Valley. A time to think about what would happen to any other coach who had these kind of things happen on his watch.

Not at the end of the regular season. Not after the big bowl game the No. 12 Nittany Lions will almost certainly play in.

Paterno needs to step down now. There is no other option.

Yes, even before this story broke I felt pretty confident that this was JoePa’s last year at the helm. All the coaching from the press box instead of the sideline shows you 1.) how little actual coaching he’s doing 2.) his retirement was long overdue.

It’s beyond sad that he has to go out like this, but read the grand jury testimony and you’ll erode all sympathy for everyone at the university. President Graham Spanier should be gone yesterday. JoePa should be next. All his lieutenants should follow suit.

Think of that Big Ten network promo with JoePa screaming “come to PENN STATE!”

Yes, come to dirty valley, and you can be molested/raped/fondled/sodomized too. A stain like this over the program requires doing the right thing- a scorched earth policy and then starting all over again.

There is no other way.

Dahlberg writes:

The really troubling thing is that there likely are even more victims because of what Paterno and others didn’t do in 2002. That includes the graduate assistant himself, identified as Mike McQueary, now the team’s wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator

Penn St. football has a motto: “Success with Honor.” Kind of makes you feel queasy and cringe today, doesn’t it? Only a complete overhaul can remove that stigma.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports.

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.


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  • Why are Penn State and Nebraska even THINKING about playing football ?

    End the season NOW and show exactly how serious this situation is.

    NCAA nonsense and moneygrubbing never stops !

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