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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

C'mon man!

The title phrase is used humorously on ESPN's pre-game coverage of Monday Night Football. I didn't watch the pre-game or the game last night. I spent time at our new home with my wife watching something else and talking about the passing of an old friend, among other things.

But in the back of my mind was the continuing reaction to the abuse scandal unfolding at Penn State University. I am having a hard time processing the fact that grown men acted the way they have been alleged to have acted. Jen Floyd Engel, a Fox Sports ( reporter I'm beginning to admire for her well-written and insightful articles, wrote something today that kind of sums up my thoughts on the matter.

A sidebar in Ms. Engel's article contained a poll asking whether long-time coach Joe Paterno should step down in the wake of these allegations.


Should Joe Paterno step down in light of Penn State scandal?
  • Yes - 59%
  • No - 21%
  • Let's wait and see - 20% 

Total Votes: 21,172

Thankfully, 59% of respondents said yes, Coach Paterno should step down. I'm one of them, and I'll tell you why:

Joe Paterno is the head coach of the Pennsylvania State University football team and as such, next to the university's athletic director and other institutional officers, is the authority in charge of football facilities. Young boys were abused on his watch, in his facilities, by people who had been on his staff. Others in Coach Paterno's chain of command witnessed these events and either did nothing, or hid behind some heirarchical rules.

I'm sorry, but to the 41% of poll respondents who believe Paterno is somehow above the fray on this one - that's roughly 8,160 people - I believe you are horribly misguided.

In my opinion, the buck (i.e. responsibility) stops at Joe Pa's desk. He is the man in charge. He had the opportunity to take action and stop the abuse. He didn't. At the risk of being humorous in the middle of a deadly serious discussion, if the president of Penn State doesn't have the guts to fire Joe Paterno, get Donald Trump in there because today, right now, someone needs to walk into Paterno's office and say, "You're fired."

What do you think?


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