Legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno announced his retirement this morning, effective at the end of this season. For some, his resignation, and the apologetic statement that was packaged with it, was enough.
For others, the fact that Paterno, the most powerful man on Penn State’s campus (and one of the most powerful men in central Pennsylvania), failed to contact police after being presented with an eyewitness account of one of his assistants sexually abusing a young boy in a shower means that “end of season” is not soon enough.
Count ESPN analyst Jay Bilas among that second group of people. Bristol’s lawyerly voice of reason had a spot on SportsCenter earlier today, in which he presented a very clear, very concise point of view on the Penn State scandal. In short: Paterno shouldn’t coach this weekend against Nebraska (or ever again), and this whole mess in general has been “a conspiracy of cowards.”
One of the worst things about this is the fact that Penn State officials knew of the accusations against Sandusky (since 1998, actually), and forbade him from bringing kids on campus. Which basically says, “We know there’s strong evidence you’re molesting kids, but if you’re going to do it, don’t do it here.” The sheer lunacy of this is also something Bilas discussed.
These are all slam dunk talking points, because the issue is so black and white. I get that. Still, no one on TV has quite been able to articulately describe just how bad this debacle is (Matt Millen cried while he tried to wrap his head around it) until now.