Even as former assistant coach and convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky rots in a Pennsylvania jail cell, his vile actions are still sending shockwaves through the world of college football. In Penn State records unsealed just this week, it has now been revealed that Sandusky’s misconduct was reported to athletic director Joe Paterno as early as 1976, with further incidents reported in 1987 and 1988. It’s an appalling revelation, and one that can only begin to be made right by Penn State finally stepping forward and doing the right thing. It is time for Penn State to fire Joe Paterno.
All the championships and community service in the world can’t counteract his covering for Jerry Sandusky, and at the very least it should cost him his job. Honestly, Paterno should count himself lucky that he’s not in jail himself, but that’s for the authorities to determine. For now, the onus for accountability falls squarely on the shoulders of Penn State, the institution that harbored these bad men. I mean sure, he’ll probably still get a handsome severance package, living out the rest of his life savoring the rose-tinted memory of former football glory. Maybe he’ll write a book, or start doing sports commentary.
For now now though, Penn State must strip him of his position as head coach. It may be an empty gesture to Sandusky’s victims, but it sends a strong message to every other locker room creep the whole world over: it’s not okay, and even if a bunch grown men protest the removal of your statue, you’re out of a job, mister.
The ball, Penn State, is in your hands.