Nov 17, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; General view of a sign in the location where the statue of former Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno once stood prior to the game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Proposed new statue honoring Joe Paterno is among the kings of bad ideas


Sometimes ideas are just so bad that it’s absolutely mind-boggling that human beings actually conceive them. The plan to erect another statue honoring the late Joe Paterno in State College Pennsylvania may be among the kings of those bad ideas.

The argument behind this preposterous plan is that the State College community and Penn State alumni wanted this to be done. They felt Paterno needed to be honored for all he had done.

“There’s been some level of frustration among Penn Staters with what happened with the statue at the stadium,” Ted Sebastianelli, one of the project organizers, stated. “We wanted to come up with a way to honor Joe for all that he did for the State College community. It wasn’t just the university he impacted — it was the whole town.”

Ted is right in one repsect – Paterno did indeed impact the whole town, and it’s unfathomable to think that the whole town is actually in support of this statue being erected.

The arguments can go on for days about who said what to who, and how long this person knew what happened in those shower stalls inside the Penn State athletic building, but there are certain facts that are undisputed — even by the late Paterno — that make this an amazingly inappropriate thing to do.

Former Penn State and trusted Joe Paterno assistant Jerry Sandusky is guilty of molesting young children, and using the facilities at Penn State, as well as his Second Mile charity foundation, to further his horrific guise.

And Joe Paterno knew about it. He didn’t deny that.

The most powerful man in one of the most powerful universities in the nation knew that young boys were in danger, or even had already been violated, and he did little to nothing to change that. He did the bare minimum. That is Joe Paterno’s legacy.

It doesn’t matter how much “good” he did for the school or the community. His transgression wasn’t texting potential recruits, or using video cameras to tape practices of opponents, or even income tax evasion. Just about any other wrongdoing could have been overlooked and outweighed by all the positive impact Joe Paterno made throughout the years.

But Paterno left children — children who had no way of defending themselves against a monster like Jerry Sandusky — in danger.

And the “whole town” wants to continue to honor this man? They want to erect another statue to give a constant reminder the victims and their families of the man who left them to be preyed upon by Sandusky? It’s unlikely that we’ve heard from all sides on this issue.

No, the blame doesn’t fall completely on Paterno, and those who assisted in creating the murky details that we all now have to attempt to sift through should (and will) receive their due punishment as well. But Paterno’s part in this string of atrocities can’t be overlooked – and certainly shouldn’t be celebrated.

If each and every one of Sanduky’s victims and their families came forth and said they are fine with a monument to Paterno being placed in the middle of their town, and that they were in support of the movement, then it would be fine. But as long as a single one of those victims feels uncomfortable or even further abused by seeing a tribute to secrecy and cronyism placed in their faces, then the idea shouldn’t even be discussed.

You want to erect a statue worthy of being in the town of State College – how about 10 headstones, each marking the death of trust and innocence by a defenseless child at the hands of Sandusky, with Paterno kneeling in front in tearful prayer, and the words “I’m sorry” inscribed on a note being clutched in his hand.

Tags: Jerry Sandusky Joe Paterno Penn State Nittany Lions

  • Patrick Allen

    People are crazy. If it was their own children or friends that had been molested and had their lives ruined by Sandusky, there’d be no way they would be trying to get a statue up to honor the man who let the molester get away with it.

    • Michael Collins

      Agreed. A rather callous group of myopic fans

  • Tim Berton

    The article is wrong that Paterno knew Sandusky was “molesting young children.”

    Paterno did deny knowing that. He stated that Sandusky fooled them all, just like he fooled the child protection professionals at CYS, DPW and Second Mile for over 30 years.

    The statue isn’t to celebrate Paterno’s role in the Sandusky case but to recognize his accomplishments in academics and sports.

    • charles Galtenstein

      Joe Paterno testified that he was informed of an incident of a “sexual nature” involving a child and Sandusky. In a statement to Agent Sassano he referred to it as “inappropriate sexual activity” with a child. So basically you are the one who is wrong, imagine that.

      And tell us how turning your back on a child warrants a statue in your honor

      • DanM

        I don’t care about the statue. But the only thing Paterno said he “knew” is something inappropriate occured. He said “I don’t know” and “I guess” for the sexual comments. His other statements are consistent with this. Now you can argue that should have been enough to peak his interest or whatever, but saying he knew all this child abuse was going on is false. Regardless of how many times idiots like Doyel or whoever this Collins guy is says he did.

        • charles Galtenstein

          This is from Joe Paterno’s statement to agent Sassano of the attorney generals office

          “J. PATERNO: Mike McQueary came and said he was in the shower and that Jerry Sandusky was in the shower with another person, a younger, how young I don’t know and Mike never mentioned it, that there was some inappropriate sexual activity going on. We didn’t get in to what the inappropriate action was, but it was inappropriate. And that’s how I knew about it.”

          Key phrase to note is that Joe Paterno uses the term “inappropriate sexual activity” conceding a child. That is what’s known as child abuse. Not as much Doyel and Collins being “idiot”, as you being a groveling Paterno idolator who ignores facts

          • DanM

            Well blatantly lying about them not telling the Second Mile or Paterno knowing about years of abuse kind of makes them idiots. These are established facts. Paterno wasn’t a witness. So really he didn’t “know” anything.

          • charles Galtenstein

            “And that’s how I knew about it.” You seem to be unable to comprehend Joe Paterno’s own statement that he know. They make no claim about Joe Pa telling Second Mile, but he did not tell the police. That is an established fact. And they make not claim he knew of years of abuse. But he did keep this secret for years. That is also a fact. Perhaps if Joe Paterno actually believed his “success with honor” routine, he would have actually passed this information on to the police, but he didn’t, and managed to prove himself a sanctimonious hypocrite. So sorry your false god has disappointed you.

          • DanM

            Here is Doyel lying about the Second Mile:

            http://www.cbssports.com/general/writer/gregg-doyel/24537981/a-statue-for-joe-paterno-are-memories-really-that-short

            Here is the former DA who prosecuted Sandusky saying Paterno reported it to the head of the police department (AKA keeping a secret according to you):

            So, yeah. Have fun trolling the pennlive blogs Charles.

          • charles Galtenstein

            From the Grand Jury testimony of Officer Harmon, the actual head of the Police Dept for PSU

            R. FARRELL:

            Q Officer Harmon, to your knowledge Mr. Schultz had no law enforcement training, did he?
            A No.
            Q And the officers within your department while you were chief, they were under the laws of the Commonwealth peace officers, right?
            A They were police officers, yes.
            Q And, to your knowledge, Mr. Schultz was
            not a police officer?
            A He was not.
            Q Mr. Schultz’s primary area ofresponsibility was business and finance, right?
            A That’s correct.
            Q Your discussions with him included discussions about budgets, right?
            A Budgets and really anything that would have related to the administration of the
            university police department.
            Q He never gave you any instructions on how to do your job in terms of enforcing the law, did he?
            A He did not.

            So basically a man with no investigative authority or other police powers is now “the head of the police department.” It would appear to speak more about FIna’s prejudices than anything else.

            And we also have this exchange with the AG’s office

            ASSANO: Did Mr. Curley get back to you at some point in time after that to advise you what actions were taken…

            J. PATERNO: No, no, I didn’t, I had other things to do, we had… As I said, Jerry was not working for me.

            So when a child’s safety was in question, Joe Pa, had “other things to do”. Tell us again how this is worthy a statue again? A little less groveling before your false god may be in order. Very deleterious to one’s logical faculties

  • Johnny

    Michael Collins is a misinformed idiot which is why this drivel is posted on a second tier website with a total of three reader comments.

    • charles Galtenstein

      You have any logical disagreement with what he was stated, or is the fact that he is railing against your false god reason enough.