I've been watching this Joe Paterno/Penn State case unfold over the past few days and the more I learned, the sicker I felt to my stomach.
Last night, Joe Paterno, along with a few other individuals were fired by Penn State and a portion of the Penn State student body was upset by this. In fact, they were so upset that they rioted.
He protected a serial child rapist, a man who he knew was abusing children and he did nothing. Oh wait, he told the administration who basically told Sandusky just don't bring kids onto campus, and in the interim, 9 other children were abused. Paterno was still friends with this individual and he knew about this stuff for years.
Edmund Burke said that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Paterno is very much guilty of that.
If the events that had transpired at Penn State were the plot of a fictionalized movie, he would have been one of the villains. Turning a blind eye to child sexual abuse when you had the responsibility to put a stop to it and see that it was punished to the fullest extent of the law, especially when your job itself had to do with training and leading a group of young men on the field and seeing to their educational needs.
By failing to live up to even the most modest of obligations as a good human being, Paterno did not deserve to end his career on his own terms.
I was reading an article on Bleacher Report perhaps giving Penn State football the Death Penalty (which means, for those of you who don't follow college sports, that the affected school cannot compete in a particular sport for a year or more).
And I would support that now. I would support that entire program being wiped clean and starting fresh. Will there be any sanctions against Penn State? Likely not from the NCAA because in their rules, I don't think their is a section for gross violations of human decency, only for things like scholarship and financial issues.
There need to be severe consequences for this breach of trust, and it has to be across the spectrum. Penn State shouldn't just be able to walk away from this unscathed. Firing Paterno and others isn't enough. The school and those individuals will likely be named in civil and criminal litigation, but the NCAA has to step up and punish the school as well and make it stick so that in the future, other institutions are more vigilant and active about stopping these kinds of abuses.