Poll: Should Joe Paterno Have Been Fired?

Joe Paterno is fired by Penn State after 62 years. Was it justified?

Late Wednesday night, Penn State University relieved . Paterno has been a coach at the university since 1950, taking over as head coach in 1966.   

Paterno is embroiled in a scandal that involves his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky. . Sandusky is alleged to have committed the crimes while working with The Second Mile, a foundation he established to help at-risk children.

Paterno is not charged with any crimes. However, he is accused by many of not doing enough to help prevent the abuses. Reports say Paterno found out about Sandusky’s alleged actions from a graduate assistant and relayed the information to his immediate supervisor, Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley. His involvement appears to have ended there.

In a press conference this week, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly declared that the crimes were never reported to local authorities.

"Those officials, to whom it was reported, did not report the incident to law enforcement or any child protective agency, and their inaction likely allowed a child predator to continue to victimize children for many more years,” Kelly issued in a statement.

Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said Paterno probably fulfilled the legal requirements to report the incidents, however he followed that by asking why Paterno didn’t do more.

“Somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child,” Noonan said.

Paterno announced his retirement, effective at the end of the season, earlier on Wednesday. However, the board of trustees at Penn State felt that wasn’t soon enough.

So now we ask the Patch readers, what do you think? Was Penn State wrong to fire their long-time coach who is under no criminal investigation? Was it correct to fire someone who claims that he “could’ve done more” to stop the abuses?  Should Penn State just let Paterno finish the season and move on?

Let us know below.

caveat emptor November 11, 2011 at 11:39 PM
Paterno is a moral amoeba. Hopefully the laws of PA allow for denial of Paterno's pension. Perhaps Paterno is not criminally liable, but the bar is a bit lower for tort law. Hopefully the victims and/or their parents will sue the trousers off Paterno.
MRT November 12, 2011 at 08:50 PM
Why are we so focused on Joe Paterno? And do we really know enough to make such absolute moral judgments? From what I have read, including the grand jury findings of facts and recommendation of charges, I agree that Paterno was in a position to have done something more, namely report the alleged incident involving Sandusky and the grand jury report's "Victim 2" directly to the police, but see no indication (yet) that he knew that this was never done by his superiors and that no real investigation was carried out after he reported what had been reported to him by then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary about Sandusky’s conduct with "Victim 2". Sandusky had retired 3 years earlier form Penn Stat, and I have read nothing that indicates Paterno knew anything about any other incidents involving Sandusky. About who knew whether or not there was any investigation or consequences for Sandusky as a result of McQuery’s account, the grand jury report only speaks to what Mike McQueary, Tim Curley, Penn State's Athletic Directory, Gary Schultz, Penn State's Senior Vice President for Finance and Business, Wendell Courtney, then counsel for both the University and Sandusky’s The Second Mile children’s charity organization, and University President Graham Spanier knew.
Sanjit Kundu November 27, 2011 at 10:46 AM
I found (from an INCREDIBLY unlikely source) a well composed and well researched blog post that essentially outlines the link between homophobic organizations in which adults have "ultimate authority" over children and pedophilia. I think if more people understood the reality that pedophilia is incur able, dangerous, and facilitated by these organizations, more of them would come under scrutiny. Click here to read it for yourself http://bit.ly/tNvUjh .
Lori December 05, 2011 at 01:52 AM
Why are we so focused on Joe Pa? Because the question asks "should Joe Pa have been fired" Because he was a demi-god in Happy Valley (Happy Valley sounds kinda sick now) Because he talked the talk ...all about honor and behavior...and in fact he protected even his own players from the Office of Student Conduct, a different standard for them. Because he quietly let Sandusky go, but saw him at Penn State running programs, knowing that Sandusky had emeritus status and full access to his own office, locker rooms etc.
KenD December 05, 2011 at 01:56 PM
If for no other reason Joe Pa should have been fired because given the situation he was no longer able to credibly represent Penn State as its football coach, period. Is anybody as outraged as I am that the Syracuse Post-Standard and ESPN withheld the the Laurie Fine tape for years? They didn't make it available to authorities or publish it becasue they couldn't confirm its authenticity?


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