Monday, January 23, 2012

The Joe Pa Dilemma

(Mark/Centre Daily Times/ZUMA)
Thousands of people gathered for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno in State College, PA yesterday.

There are those who worship Joe Pa and those who are angry with him for not doing more to stop Jerry Sandusky.  It’s a slippery slope.  

We surmise any poor decisions Joe Pa made late in his career were more likely related to his age and unfamiliarity with the likes of sex crimes than his desire to protect his legacy.  The bottom line is that, while we remain advocates of the simple fact the extremely successful people should be allowed to orchestrate their own exit, there is a point where everybody is simply too old to perform effectively in such a complicated arena.

“I didn’t know exactly how to handle it, and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was,” Paterno told The Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins when discussing the Sandusky scandal. “So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.”

“I should have said ‘Hey where are we with this thing?’ ” Paterno said. He described himself as paralyzed by the unthinkable subject matter. He had “backed away,” he said, and trusted his bosses to handle it.

“I didn’t know which way to go,” he said. “And rather than get in there and make a mistake . . .”

We wish Joe Pa had called it quits three or four-years ago…

To read an excellent obituary written by Len Shapiro for the Washington Post, click here.  The T.A.H. editorial staff spent some time with Len and his wife Vicky Moon last year at Saratoga and we thoroughly enjoyed his comprehensive view of the world of sports.

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