RIP Joe Paterno…

22 01 2012

It has been a very difficult weekend for the Paterno family. Early on Saturday, they announced that Joe’s battle against cancer had taken a turn for the worse. Then later that evening, one university newspaper erroneously announced that Paterno had passed away. CBS and some other news services also posted Paterno’s obituary, causing his sons to comment that, in fact, at that time, Joe was still with us.

Sadly, the family announced earlier today that Joe Paterno has indeed lost his battle with cancer, passing away at the age of 85.

Yes, the scandal that has been talked about lately, regarding Jerry Sandusky’s conduct while at Penn State under Paterno’s watch, will leave an indelible black mark on him and Penn State, but it should not be considered Paterno’s legacy.

He’d spent 61 years with Penn State, almost five decades of that as the school’s football head coach. During that time, he’d amassed 409 wins, more than anyone else in NCAA Division I football history, plus 37 Bowl Game appearances, and two national titles. On the football field, his integrity was legendary, and he was loved by pretty much everyone at Penn State, students and staff alike.

*That* is how Joe Paterno should be remembered: not by what happened in the past few years, with Sandusky, but by his entire time at Penn State.

Rest in peace, Joe Paterno.

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