Today Joe Paterno, the (now tarnished) legend, died. Of course, I did not know the man personally. I do not know what was in his heart. I did not know his way of thinking.
But i do know that he spent over 60 years at Penn State. I do know that he deserved more than a phone call from a board member to fire him. The treatment of Joe Paterno brings shame to Penn State. After 62 years and a record 409 wins (before the NCAA took away 11 seasons) Joe deserved a retirement party and a gilded stadium seat for he and his wife, Sue. There are many respectful and classy things Penn State could have done to say goodbye to Joe with grace. They elected not to. And their choice to degrade Joe Paterno has not righted any of the awful wrongs that might have been done by Sandusky.
May God be with you Joe. Thanks for all the dedicated years of service, teaching, and a fantastic program. Joe's death marks the end of an era. And, probably the end of Penn State football.
Update: We've now learned that Joe, probably intentionally, gave Sandusky a pass on his criminal behavior for Joe's own benefit and for the benefit of his friends and for Penn State. I am, and I'm sure many others are, gravely disappointed.
Update, 17 Jan 15: Yesterday the NCAA re-instated Penn State's and Joe Paterno's full record and restored him as the coach with the most wins in NCAA Football with 409 rightful wins. Posthumous congratulations Joe. The NCAA screwed up in their original meddling in a matter of law. I think they probably changed their decision to protect themselves from Joe's son Jay's civil suit against the NCAA for their defamation of Joe Paterno and Penn State. Now, Penn State, put his statue back up and show the man the respect for his coaching success he deserves.