I’ve wanted to write something about the passing of long time former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, but couldn’t find the best way to express what I was thinking. Then I found this column at the Detroit Free Press by Michael Rosenberg and decided he could say it better than I could. If you click the link below you can read the whole thing, but basically what Rosenberg is saying is that the personality traits that made Paterno a great football coach–possibly one of a kind–may also have been the reason he did not understand what was going on with the Sandusky incidents. In some ways Paterno was “timless” in his approach to the game (and life) but also stuck in time.
Here’s a brief excerpt:
If you say he “only cared about winning games,” you miss the point. Paterno never cared “only” about winning games. He cared about his players, and he cared about that kingdom. He believed that his territory was his. He had an unwavering belief in himself, and in his ways.
In most situations, that belief was justified. But it helps explain why Paterno had such a horrible lapse. It is worth noting that Paterno’s chief sin was one of omission. After hearing an account of Sandusky molesting a young boy, he alerted his boss, but he failed to call police, failed to follow up, failed to find the boy and failed to completely exile Sandusky from the program.
Paterno needed to fundamentally alter his view of Sandusky, and he didn’t.
Source: Detroit Free Press