Joe Paterno's Legacy?

Joe Paterno's Legacy?

After this weekend's passing of former Penn State Head Football Coach Joe Paterno, the question about his legacy has been raised numerous times by people all over the country. This includes people outside of the Penn State nation, and even outside of college football. Paterno died just two months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. The cancer rapidly spread to other parts of his body and Paterno ended up spending the last week or so of his life in the hospital. Early Saturday evening, there were numerous reports that "Joe Pa" had passed away then.

But a Paterno family spokesperson quickly denied and dismissed those reports. Eventually before the night was out, it was confirmed that Paterno was hospitalized in serious condition. But cancer finally got the best of Paterno early Sunday morning. The Paterno family is now in the stages of planning his funeral. With that being I said I ask you the readers, what do you think Joe Paterno's legacy will be? To the Penn State/Joe Paterno faithful, it will be the 409 regular season wins, 37 bowl game victories, 3 Big Ten Championships, 2 National Championships, and the 250 NFL draft picks that he coached.

But to others, especially those who only recently learned of Joe Paterno and the Penn State program, the Jerry Sandusky scandal holds a cloud so big that it has eclipsed all of the good that Paterno has done. Now that "Joe Pa" has passed, we may never know the extent of what Paterno knew about Jerry Sandusky's alleged criminal activity. We may never know what role Paterno played in the alleged cover up of the Sandusky scandal. We may never know if Paterno knew of anyone else that was involved.

Even if Joe Paterno did tell anyone of what he knew before his condition took a turn for the worst, I doubt that person{s} is willing to divulge any of those details. Whatever Joe Paterno did know, it seems more than likely that those secrets will be taken to the grave. I can only hope that Paterno made peace with God before he passed on. If the prosecutors in the Sandusky case feel that Paterno may have opened up to a friend or family member before his death, you can expect subpoenas to be issued on that matter.

Despite his great career as a coach, recruiter, motivator, and friend, his lack of action in involving Jerry Sandusky will always haunt is legacy. Now while Jerry Sandusky has yet to stand trail for his crimes, there is a damning amount of evidence against him. And it is that evidence that has already convicted Sandusky the court of public opinion. It is that evidence that has most of the world angry at Joe Paterno for not reporting the issue to law enforcement right away. It is that evidence that has tainted Joe Paterno's career.

And it is that evidence that has raised doubt about Joe Paterno's credibility and integrity. As good of a coach I think Joe Paterno was, I have to wonder if he knew of Sandusky's behavior before 2002. I wonder if he gave Sandusky a pass because of their friendship. I wonder if he knew of anyone else that could be involved. I also wonder if anyone in Penn State's administration knows more than what has been said already. With all that has come to light over the last couple of months, I can only hope that the Penn State football alumni which has been so loyal to Joe Paterno can realize that there has been some wrong doing on his part.

I can only hope that the Nittany Lions fans who protested at Paterno's firing, and held a vigil at State College Pennsylvania during his last days, can some to their senses and realized that innocent children were hurt and that just justice must be served. Joe Paterno may be gone from this earth, but this issue is far from over and you will still hear Paterno's name mentioned in the months to come.

With that being said, I pray for the victims of Jerry Sandusky. I pray for their healing and that they receive justice. I pray that the students and alumni at Penn State see the light. I pray that Joe Paterno sought forgiveness of his sins before he died. I pray for Joe Paterno's family for what they will have to endure over the next couple of weeks. And I pray that Jerry Sandusky admits to his crimes, and seeks forgiveness for his soul. I eagerly await all of your comments on this issue.

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