How Should We Remember Joe Paterno?

Former legendary Penn. State football coach Joe Paterno passed away this weekend at the age of 85. For a span of 62 years, Paterno coached Penn. State to 409 victories (a division one NCAA record) and two national championships . Despite his status as a sports legend, one recent scandal may have marred his legacy.

When Paterno’s former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, was discovered to have been sexually abusing several children, many people began to wonder if Joe Paterno, the most powerful man on campus,  knew of the situation when it was occurring, and if he did, how much did he do to combat it. In a matter of weeks, Paterno went from a sports icon to a pariah. His new legacy seems to be as a man who could have and should have done more to prevent the molesting of innocent children.

Now, as Paterno rests in his grave, many people wonder what they should be remembering him for. Will today’s short-term thinking society remember Paterno for his involvement (or lack of) in the Sandusky case, or his legacy as a sports icon?

Personally, I’m not excusing his actions, but I think that we’re all guilty of making mistakes. I think 62 years of hard work and dedication outweigh one mistake, no matter how bad it was. I was greatly angered when I heard about his alleged involvement, but I believe that we as humans are not perfect and all make mistakes.

I think the life of Joe Paterno shows us that we are all subject to failures , no matter how much we achieve. Paterno should be remembered for his contributions to college sports and his dedication to his school. I think we should except Paterno’s shortcomings, but remember that his achievements and contributions outweigh his shortcomings.


About Brandon B.

I'm a proud Christian, above average sports fan and I'm currently in the process of growing up.

Posted on January 24, 2012, in Sports, Top Stories and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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