The Abuse of Power

This whole Penn State scandal is really sad, certainly for the children involved who have been subject to irreparable harm, but also for the legacy of a football icon.  Joe Paterno owns the state in college sports.  Heck, some people think that PA doesn’t stand for Pennsylvania as much as it does for the abbreviated Paterno in Joe-Pa.  The Philadelphia college football programs of The Big Five in basketball were always non-descript in football relative to Penn State.

As for ex-coach Jerry Sandusky, presuming he’s guilty as alleged, there isn’t a place in Hell hot enough for him.  The larger issue now is why Joe Paterno would think people believe his shock and regret if he doesn’t resign from his post immediately.  For an 85 year-old man to announce that he’s retiring at the end of the season rings hollow for remorse.  Let Paterno resign effectively immediately to send a statement that life really is more important than sports.  That college sports in only relevant to the extent that it builds character, though we all know that at Penn State college football has become a financial empire that drives many of the other programs.

I’ve had the occasion to cross paths in my professional lifetime with such individuals, who abuse institutional power to the point of stepping on lives while they safeguard their own interests and pleasures at all costs.  Ultimately when their indiscretions become public they leave their profession disgraced rather than retiring on their own terms and being celebrated. It’s too late for Paterno to step down gracefully.  The least he can do is resign immediately, signalling that Penn State football neither can nor should proceed normally this season.  It should be recorded historically as a season of infamy and shame on campus.  For Paterno to do otherwise guarantees that he will be remembered more for Machiavellianism than for football.

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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