We are about to see what the true priorities are for Penn State’s trustees. Today Joe Paterno announced his intention to retire at the end of the current football season. But his retirement announcement was expected at the end of the current season by many people prior to the child abuse scandal. Paterno has slowed down in the last few years. Much of this season found Paterno in the press box. The heavy work of preparing the team is left to assistants. Retiring at the end of the season was already in the works. For Paterno to announce his pending retirement today, November 9, is simply a ploy to take some heat off the university and himself.
Penn State officials have been in talks by phone and in person for several days this week over the sex scandal. If the emphasis is about how to save the football program and how to save Paterno’s reputation and how to lessen the impact on Penn State fund raising then allowing Paterno to retire at his convenience is the way to go. But if the trustee’s discussions are focused on what is right for the victims and the long term reputation of Penn State University then Paterno, Graham Spanier and any others that knew about this situation need to go, now. Not on his terms at the end of the season. Now.
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