I live deep in the heart of Nittany Lion country. I think Joe Paterno has had an enviable career as a coach and leader. Despite that, his actions this week demand his immediate and public resignation.
Paterno, long-time coach of the Penn State college football team, was asked by a reporter to comment on the sexual assault allegations being raised against Florida State linebacker A.J. Nicholson. Paterno’s time-for-the-old-age-home-fueled response:
“There’s some tough — there’s so many people gravitating to these kids. He may not have even known what he was getting into, Nicholson. They knock on the door; somebody may knock on the door; a cute girl knocks on the door. What do you do?”
“Geez. I hope — thank God they don’t knock on my door because I’d refer them to a couple of other rooms,” Paterno continued. “But that’s too bad. You hate to see that. I really do. You like to see a kid end up his football career. He’s a heck of a football player, by the way; he’s a really good football player. And it’s just too bad.”
Does a long history of stellar leadership allow him this transgression? Or does the precedent set at universities like Colorado mandate his public removal?