Late Wednesday night, Penn State University relieved Joe Paterno, the school’s head football coach, of his duties. Paterno has been a coach at the university since 1950, taking over as head coach in 1966.
Paterno is embroiled in a scandal that involves his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys across a 15-year period. Sandusky is alleged to have committed the crimes while working with Second Mile, a foundation he established to help needy children.
Paterno is not charged with any crimes; however, he is accused of not doing enough to help prevent the abuses. Paterno found out about Sandusky’s alleged actions from a graduate assistant and relayed the information to his athletic director, Tim Curley. His involvement ended there.
In a press conference this week, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly declared that the crimes were never reported to local authorities.
"Those officials, to whom it was reported, did not report the incident to law enforcement or any child protective agency, and their inaction likely allowed a child predator to continue to victimize children for many more years,” Kelly issued in a statement.
Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said Paterno probably fulfilled the legal requirements to report the incidents, however he followed that by asking why Paterno didn’t do more.
“Somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child,” said Noonan.
Paterno attempted to announce his retirement, effective at the end of the season, earlier on Wednesday. However, the board of trustees at Penn State felt that wasn’t soon enough.
So now we ask the Patch readers, what do you think? Was Penn State wrong to fire their long time coach who is under no criminal investigation? Was it correct to fire someone who claims that he “could’ve done more” to stop the abuses? Should Penn State just let Paterno finish the season and move on?
Let us know below.