Attempting to define Joe Paterno?

Jan 24, 2012, 9:36 PM | Updated: 9:51 pm

Joe Paterno is dead.

It’s not often a simple statement of fact evokes so much

Joe Paterno is an evil man who throws kids in a cage with
a monster.

Joe Paterno is a saint who takes kids from the saddest
situations and turns them into men with a purpose of
changing society for the better.

I would assume neither of these statements is completely
accurate or factual. I would also assume it wouldn’t take
me long to find people who completely believe one
statement or the other.

I waited a day before writing about Paterno because I
wanted to see how the media handled the news; how fans
handled the news; how his former players handled the news;
most importantly, how you handled the news.

The easiest conclusion drawn was two opposing thoughts:
either the media is too scared to say the truth or they
think we’re too stupid to handle it.

Joe Paterno’s life can’t be summed up in a sound bite or a

The world is made up of people that have a varying degree
of influence. If Joe Paterno ever helped a kid get into a
class that was full, he used his influence. If Joe
Paterno ever called an employer to persuade them to hire a
former player, he used his influence.

He was the President and CEO of Penn State football. He
used his influence in other areas of life to help others.
One question will always remain unanswered: why didn’t he
use his influence to get Jerry Sandusky off campus?

Joe Paterno did nothing wrong in the eyes of the law and
shouldn’t be -— and at this time won’t be -— prosecuted.
I hope he never loses a civil case over his actions.

Legally, everyone is equal, however, Presidents and CEOs
are judged by a different public standard than the law.
Although the situation at Penn State doesn’t rise to the
NCAA’s definition of Lack of Institutional Control, is
there any better four-word description of what happens
when a former coach keeps an office on a college campus
and uses the locker room showers to rape children?

Joe Paterno deserved to be fired from Penn State. Blaming
the Board of Trustees for the death of Joe Paterno is so
undeserved. There’s only one monster in this story, and
it’s Jerry Sandusky. If Jerry Sandusky wasn’t so evil Joe
Paterno wouldn’t have been fired. If Jerry Sandusky
wasn’t so evil those specific kids wouldn’t have been
victimized by a serial rapist.

Joe Paterno deserved to be judged and fired from his job
but not his life. I disagree with the media trying to tie
up the coach’s life with a bow and a gift bag. We are
smart enough as a society to look at the positive and
negative of his life because it’s similar to our own.

There have been times in your life where you didn’t do
enough. There have been times in your life where you
should have fought harder for what was right and you

There have been times in your life where you did
everything you can. There have been times in your life
where you really earned the title “hero.”

There have been times in your life when you were just like
Joe Paterno. How do I know this about your life? There
have been times in my life when I didn’t fight for what
was right and I still think about that failure despite the
times I really was a life-saving hero. I’ve been on both
ends of the spectrum of success and failure and I’m sure
you have too.

Joe Paterno was a man who did millions of great things for
thousands of people and didn’t do enough for a forever-
damaged group of kids.

If the media is hell-bent on explaining to us the life and
times of Joe Paterno, let me make it easy for them:

Doug Franz

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Attempting to define Joe Paterno?