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John Mercure: Mercurey Rising

Paterno? What About the Kids?

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   I have had about enough of this! All the speculation about Penn State coach Joe Paterno's future sickens me. Not because he should be fired (which I believe he should). It sickens me because more energy, more air time, more print is being spent on Paterno's legacy and future than on the pain and suffering his football program inflicted on at least nine young men.  This is dispicable.

   Football is a game.  Life is not. Joe Paterno won more football games than any other Division one coach. Great.  He took Penn State to countless bowl games. Congratulations. He even won two national championships. Who-Hoo. Nice job coach.  Now he has thrown that all away. His legacy will be the young lives that he was aware were being destroyed. I'm not saying that he was involved in the alleged sexual abuse of those young men. I'm not saying that he was aware of details.  What I am saying is that he was given credible evidence that one of his longtime assistants, Jerry Sandusky,  sexually assaulted a boy in the Penn State locker room.  So here's what Paterno did; he went to his bosses.  That's what he's supposed to do. But that is the MINIMUM he should have done. How could he not go to police? How could he not demand his assistant be fired? How could he watch as Sandusky continued to run his charitable organization that worked with kids? IT WORKED WITH KIDS!

   So yes, I am a little bit irritated. I am irritated that folks are so consumed by what this means to Joe Paterno and what this means to the future of the Penn State football program. What about what this means to the young men who were victimized? What about their future? I really don't care about Joe Paterno's future. I'm really not interested in what this means for the Penn State football program.  What I am concerned about is how these young men recover.

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