As I got the chili ready for today’s Pats game and thought briefly about whether or not Pat’s offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien can possible clean up arguably the biggest scandal in NCAA history, I read that JoPa had passed.
My immediate reaction was to think of various Catholic priests (John Geoghan for instance) who met untimely deaths soon after their being brought to justice and even Cardinal Law being shuffled off to the Vatican.
I am not sure Paterno’s death changes anything for Sandusky’s victims, or for us as we try to sort out how a sports program went from national envy to national shame in less than a year. But it does make me sad, I have to admit. In Paterno’s last interview he said:
“I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was,” he said. “So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.”
None of which forgives anything. But it does at least explain what was going on. Paterno was a man from a different generation. A generation that was ignorant when it came to sexual abuse. A generation that all too often swept violent rape of boys, men and women under the rug.
And that makes me profoundly sad.