Joe Paterno: The end of a tarnished legend

HOWIE EVANS AmNews Sports Editor | 11/18/2011, 12:05 p.m.
Joe Paterno: The end of a tarnished legend

The story still swirling around Penn State University is such a tragedy in so many ways, with so many lost lives. The young ones affected will never, ever again be the same.

It was only a snowball's throw away that we were celebrating the accomplishments of Joe Paterno, a man who was the face of a university, a town and a state. However, Paterno was the one man who could have erected a barrier, forbidding Jerry Sandusky from setting foot on the campus and, for sure, in the community and the city. One man could have saved the lives of so many, but Paterno bit his lip and protected a so-called friend. The power of one man-one man!-could have ended it all.

Paterno didn't need a police force. Didn't need a president. Didn't need an athletic director. He just needed himself to do the right thing. When Paterno was informed about the cruel acts of Sandusky, all he had to do was point his finger in one direction: the exit off campus.

Instead, Paterno elected to protect Sandusky. And for that, Paterno is a forever-tarnished legend.