Penn State’s decision to dismiss head football coach Joe Paterno received a lemming-like reaction on campus last night, and while WR coach Mike McQueary remains active on the recruiting front, Tuesday’s events led to a treasure trove of cringeworthy soundbytes on “SportsCenter”, most of them delivered by what appeared to be PSU students (though Steve Levy gets special credit for calling it a “historical night”, where “historic” would’ve sufficed).
Not nearly as prone to riot, nor to demonize Paterno was Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski, who took a breather from working on a Paterno biography to speak with a Penn State class dubbed, “COMM 497G: Joe Paterno, Communications and The Media”. JoePo took a dim view of his peers’ treatment of JoePa. “Everybody is trying to top one another. ‘No, I’m more against child molestation than you are,'”, Posnanski (reportedly) complained, though in light of the lurid details we’ve all read over the past week, is it fair to say now isn’t exactly the best time to be seen as, y’know, soft on child molestation? Particularly if you’re an educator working on the tax payers’ dime and in the most prominent of public positions?
At the risk of getting all Darren Rovell on this subject, even if you’re not ready to call Paterno an enabler or McQueary an accessory, there are worse public relations stances a state university can take than having a zero tolerance policy on child rape. And if Jerry Sandusky was on campus as recently as last week (presumably in the same PSU track suit he’s been wearing while answering the door of late), you don’t need to be Andrew Vachss to know the school fucked up royally.