Must-Read Article by Author of Paterno Biography

Joe Posnanski, whose name rings eerily similar to his subject’s, is writing a biography called Paterno. He spent time with Paterno during his final months and days, and had this to say:

"In every life," he told me, "there have to be some shadows. Look at me. My life has been filled with sunshine. A beautiful and caring wife. Five healthy children. I got to do what I loved. How many people are that lucky?"

This is how he talked in those final days. Oh, sure, he did not like the way the board of trustees fired him without asking him any questions. He was disappointed that so many people fastened dark motives to the way he handled what he was told about Sandusky, his longtime assistant coach. ("I made a lot of mistakes in my life," he said. "But I thought people could see that I tried my best to do the right things. I tried to do the right thing with Sandusky too.") He was hurt that the program he had spent his life building was in trouble.


Must-read article here.


33 Responses

  1. truly a special individual who touched the lives of many, RIP. @tom, i hope you enjoy speaking ill of a man who has done more good in one week than you’ve probably accomplished in your life

  2. @Tom I hope you don’t consider yourself an intelligent human being who’s capable of reading, analyzing, and comprehending. Congratulations for being ignorant and sharing it with the world.
    Signed, an Ohio State Buckeyes fan

  3. Saying Joe Paterno was just a football coach is like saying Steve Jobs dabbled in computers. Understatement.

  4. I rem I saw Big Scott Paterno down Avalon (Summer 08)swimming in the ocean with his shirt on

  5. matt-
    If you went to Penn State or were in any way connected to the school, you’d know he was more than just the football coach.
    Does every football coach refuse higher paying jobs constantly? Does every football coach inspire the majority of the school’s students and alumni to live a life by the motto “success with honor”? Does every football coach donate over half his salary back to the university and charities? Does every football coach live in the same modest house his entire career? Does every football coach build a $10 million library on campus? Does every coach stay humble and take the time to talk to anyone who stops him on the street?
    I guess he was more than just a football coach, then.

  6. JT, sorry to burst your bubble but I lived in State College out on Vairo Blvd while attending PSU from ’97 thru 2000 before transferring to UD to finish. I worked at Toftrees, the Autoport and briefly at Sharkey’s. I just don’t subscribe to hero worship as easily as other people.

  7. Listen folks, I really don’t care what team you’re a fan of because when it comes to the enabling of child rape it’s rather significant.
    Regardless of all the good Paterno did, children were raped because of decisions. If you still want to praise him after that, then be my guest. I’m sorry that I prefer my role models to be honorable.
    And I might not have done as much good my whole life as paterno did in a week (what like win the bcs championship or something? wow what a great guy) but I certainly didn’t keep information to myself for nearly a decade that, if released, could have sent a child rapist to jail.

  8. He doesn’t have to have been a god to have been more than a football coach. It’s not one or the other. Read Kyle’s article on his legacy being a grey area again. It was spot on.
    And if you went there and can’t see he was more than “just a football coach,” well, that’s your opinion. It just happens to be wrong.

  9. His inaction in the Sandusky case speaks volumes. He did not go to the police. He still allowed Sandusky on campus years after he was told about the shower incident. For shame Joe.

  10. matt and JT your ignorance is amazing. Guess you two both lead absolutely perfect lives and make perfect judgement in every aspect of your life. By funding a library and helping to build up the university he has done so much for millions of students and alumni. Get a clue “chief”

  11. I’m sure Paterno was a good man who made a mistake, which then compounded on high interest with every year that went by without him correcting that mistake.
    The only thing evil needs in order to survive is for good men and women to sit by and let it happen. That sort of culture needs to be eradicated. I hope the Penn State football program starts putting their money where their mouths are and start embodying “Success with Honor” rather than just mindlessly chanting it.

  12. Hey Jim in Brig, maybe it’s my ignorance but rereading my posts here I can’t seem to find where I slighted Paterno, unless “extremely likable” is an insult where you come from. I am simply not of the mindset to idolize public figures as much as you apparently are. I’m also not sure why you’re insulting JT as he seems to be echoing your position on the subject. Now go work on your reading comprehension skills, “douchebag”.

  13. Paterno was the alpha and the omega at that school. He did what he had to legally, but past that he didn’t do all that was within his immense power. Accusations and investigations surrounded Sandusky well before the McQueary thing, and were probably what lead to his “retirement” in the late 90s. He couldn’t even get a coaching job at a high school since then due to accusations and impending investigations, so it’s a good bet Paterno knew SOMETHING before the mcqueary incident. You don’t have the kind of pull Joe had and simply not hear about things like this.
    I’m hearing people say that he might not have known the full extent of what happened or understood what was going on because he’s old…As if child rape to an old guy is like an iPhone they can’t seem to figure out. For a guy who was coaching a college football team, I doubt that. Even so, he still at least knew SOMETHING. Usually at any other job, especially a school, the slightest whisper of child abuse is grounds for firing. And failure for outsiders to report is a huge enabler in a lot of abuse cases (around 1/6th I think), not just this one. I’m not trying to start shit or anything, but this is just my opinion.
    This whole thing, as Kyle says, is sad. I even feel a little slimy typing this because the main focus throughout this whole ordeal has been mainly on Joe Pa, not the victims or Sandusky. But since he died, FB and the news has been filled with these penn staters masturbating with their own tears over their fallen hero joe pa. Some of it even seems like a defensive reaction, as if to prove all us haters wrong. I get that his death is bad timing, but for the most part, since the sandusky story broke, the penn staters have come off looking really bad, inconsiderate; or at the very least, brainwashed like a lot of people already think they are. Everybody makes mistake but his was huge. And I think the initial backlash from Staters who fervently denied any wrong doing on Joes part makes their “grieving” now over him look all the more twisted.

  14. Joe Pa should have died in jail not the hospital. Joe pa & sandusky were known child molesters. SMH at psu

  15. I got this in an e-mail from a friend of mine. Let’s see the sheep that listen to everything the media tell them Paterno and Penn State spin this.
    (1) Sandusky retired in 1999 and it was the adminsitration, not Paterno, who negotiated his retirement package which gave him keys to the University;
    (2) The University Police (a 250 member force with the same authority as the municipal police) heard the equivalent of a confession from Sandusky when they eavesdropped on a conversation between him and the mother of the 1998 victim;
    (3) Despite #2, the Centre County DA did not prosecute the 1998 incident and the juvenile authorities, who also separaely investigated the 1998 incident did not identify Sandusky as a potential sexual predator (whcih would have been a red flag to the world);
    (4) The AG’s office brought criminal charges against Sandusky two months ago for the 1998 conduct;
    (5) The Second Mile (the source of all the vicims) continued to let Sandusky take minors off site without parental knowledge or consent until the indictments last November despite being aware of the 1998 incident no later than 2000 when Curley told it about the 2002 incident;
    (6) McQueary testified at a preliminary hearing on 12/16/2011 that he never used the terms ‘anal sex’ or ‘rape’ (which is what was reported in the grand jury report) when talking to anyone about this incident;
    (7) McQueary also testified that he gave more graphic details when interviewed by Curley and Schultz (as a result of Paterno’s report to Curley) than he ever told Paterno;
    (8) The University Police reported to Schultz;
    (9) For those who claim that Schultz was an administrator and not “real police”, Chief Harmon testified at the preliminary hearing that he speaks with Schultz several times per week and there was nothing of a criminal nature on campus that Schultz wasn’t aware of;
    (10) McQueary tesified at the primlinary hearing that he did not report this to the “police” because he thought he was talking to the head of the police when interviewed by Schultz;
    (11) Schultz told the grand jury he was aware of the 1998 incident and saw similarities with the 2002 incident;
    (12) Paterno followed protocol recommended by profesionals who write protocols for institutions re abuse (i. e. report to superiors and then don’t interfere); and
    (13) Sticking his nose into the investigation afterward was not only not recommended procedure, but a lose/lose situation for Paterno–if god forbid, Sandusky was not charged, he pulled strings to get a FORMER coach off and if he was, Paterno was being vindictive and could expose himself to civil liability

  16. Whatever. Your precious JoePA got all those “wins” by not doing anything about the child rape. Just telling somebody is not doing your part. These are children.
    If I were those poor people or their families, I would be even more disgusted at all the love and sympathy towards this coward of a person named JoePA.
    But then again, what do you expect from these hardcore partiers of Penn State?

  17. Pete:
    “I get that his death is bad timing, but for the most part, since the sandusky story broke, the penn staters have come off looking really bad, inconsiderate; or at the very least, brainwashed like a lot of people already think they are. Everybody makes mistake but his was huge. And I think the initial backlash from Staters who fervently denied any wrong doing on Joes part makes their “grieving” now over him look all the more twisted.”
    Couldn’t agree more. You don’t have to be on a high horse to be embarrassed for an entire institution and alumni association.
    Signed, a PSU alum

    Anyone pro-Paterno should give this a read. Yes, the title is “Fuck Joe Paterno”, but its not just ranting and raving by people who are, for the most part outsiders, like whats going on here…Its written by an actual person who was abused as a child. It speaks to the ramifications and horrors that stem from people sitting by idly as abuse goes on and really gives a telling perspective that I think a lot of us (especially the apologists) are missing.

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