Addressing The Most Popular Wrong Opinions Regarding Joe Paterno's Retirement

On Wednesday morning, legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno announced his retirement in the wake of a series of sexual abuses allegedly committed by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Our Nittany Lions blog, Black Shoe Diaries, has posted Paterno's statement, and at the end of that post is a 600-item comments section from Penn State fans.

Even during a very emotional day, there has been a lot of interesting, intelligent discussion in this thread. There are also some... questionable things being said. I've seen similar things said on Twitter and elsewhere this week, and without trying to pillory anyone in particular, I'll try to address them here.

To everyone who has wished Joe gone this week, to everyone who has wished Joe gone for the past decade (or longer): Be careful what you wish for.

We’ve just traded in maybe the last true icon in the sport, for someone who will no doubt be a lesser coach, a lesser man. Joe has been a humanitarian, a coach, a father figure, a friend, a legend, a visible representation of everything that can be good in sports, good in football.

And now he’s gone. No justice has been done here. No wrongs have been righted.

Pretty sure the people who want him gone aren't motivated by an under-estimation of his importance to the program. The non-justice present here is roughly commensurate with the non-justice allegedly exercised by Paterno when he learned of child abuse and declined to report it to the one authority that actually mattered. 43 people rec'd this for some reason.

If his bosses
namely THE F***ING UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT didn’t do anything about it, what was he to do? Shoot him when he set foot inside the building? Holy s***. You act like Joe was the Governor of Pennsylvania.

Granted, it is sort of interesting to imagine an alternate society in which the police do not exist. Have you heard of 911? It's toll-free.

by calling it the Penn State Child Sex Abuse Scandal (or any combo of that) like they all do, it gives the implication that this was a rampant problem at PSU. In reality it was one guy with a minor tie and two admins who are incompetent

The allegations don't paint Curley and Schultz as "incompetent," they paint them as terrible people who prioritized the program over the well-being of children.

Are the sharks satisfied yet?
Or will there be calls for him to go immediately now? Congratulations to all of the media and those lesser denizens of the darker places in the college football landscape, you finally got Joe Paterno. Happy now?

Yes. As as representative of the media, I would like to thank the Freemasons, the Knights Templar, and the Order of the Druids for their assistance in his ouster.

This is what I'm saying:


  1. Those who want Paterno out are not concerned with the potential impact on a football program.
  2. The problem concerns an entire institution, not just one person.
  3. If you receive information that a child is being abused and do not make a beeline straight for the police, what you are doing is not the right thing.
  4. Joe Paterno's ouster isn't being cheered on by a mythical legion of petty vindictive media boogeymen. He is leaving as a consequence of his failure in this matter.


Fair enough?

POSTSCRIPT: After publishing this, I wasn't really sure whether I effectively communicated this, but it's worth reiterating: Black Shoe Diaries is a fantastic blog that has responded terrifically to the events that have unfolded in recent days, and a lot of that comment thread is being filled with meaningful, thoughtful comments. I addressed the above comments in the interest of addressing common sentiments that I'm seeing a whole lot of today.

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