The injustice done to Joe Paterno

It was so cheap for them to claim that their hearts were (suddenly) bleeding for the poor molested youths, the victims of an assistant coach gone from the coaching staff since 1999. These were the very molested youths for whom the board of trustees had conducted no investigation and taken no corrective action of their own, and made no examination of the rigid top-down chain of command that they themselves had championed at the university for some 20 years.

Many in the national press, in commenting on JoePa’s sterling record, have echoed the board in speaking of his “moral failure” and his “tainted” legacy. If the issue is moral weakness, who among them feels morally superior enough to judge the failures of JoePa? At the very least, the man should have been given an open hearing. At the very least, those who stand in moral judgment should try to ascertain what alternatives were open to Joe, and what would have happened if he had pursued A, B, or C…

There are not many coaches in America who read Virgil in Latin (and used to teach it), and who understand more deeply the ethical traditions of the West, both secular and religious, and who have proven so adept at teaching these codes to raw young football players, changing them for life and winning their undying loyalty. Ask Franco Harris. Ask hundreds of others.