Ever Let Down By Your Sports Hero?
If you said yes to the above question, then I feel your pain. As a lifelong Penn State fan, I have long admired Joe Paterno. Yes, I haven’t always been sure that he should continue coaching at his age, but I have always felt he did things the right way.
Growing up in Pennsylvania, I was led to believe by almost everyone I encountered, that Joe Paterno was a great coach and a great man. He was the reason we were told to be “Penn State Proud” and why saying “We are Penn State” was so special. Today, amidst the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, I don’t even know if I want to wear any of my Penn State gear.
What Sandusky is accused by 8 victims of doing is disgusting and it makes me angry. If anyone did that to my child, there are no words to describe how angry I would be. But, the way the administration at PSU handled the mess, makes it even worse. The AD and a VP (who have resigned) were told of a sexual assualt in the football lockeroom showers and they didn’t tell the police. The President of the school knew and told no legal authority. And, then, the man I long called my sports hero, simply did just enough to cover himself legally; he told only the AD. You mean to tell me he never once wondered why it wasn’t turned over to the cops? Did he never wonder if that poor boy was abused again? Or, if Sandusky was really was a sicko?
As I type this I am seething. First as a parent, who is imagining what these kids and their families have gone through. And, secondly, as a PSU fan who told anyone that would listen that Paterno is one of the few coaches who I “know” isn’t corrupt. Today, I am here to say, we don’t know anything about our sports heroes, even when he believe it with all our heart and soul.