Any hope of Joe Paterno’s death being received quietly and respectfully got turned on its ear late Sunday when accused child molester, Jerry Sandusky, offered his public condolences. Sandusky, of course, is currently facing over 50 criminal counts of sexually abusing 10 boys in a 15-year span. During at least part of that alleged run, Sandusky was an assistant under Paterno on the Penn State college football team.
Paterno ended up getting ousted from his post as head football coach at Penn State late last year because of what many felt was a lackluster effort on his part in bringing Sandusky to justice. It was made clear in grand jury testimony that Paterno was at least partially aware of the child rape accusations made against Sandusky many years ago, but that all he did was pass the accusations up the chain of command – the minimum requirement in that situation.
Obviously Paterno made his own decisions and mistakes, and his legacy will ultimately live with the consequences of that. However, it’s probably safe to assume that the last thing he would want is the condolences of a man who put him in the worst of positions, and eventually tested him as a person in a way that he wasn’t ready to be tested.
Here is Sandusky’s statement (via the New York Times):
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This is a sad day! Our family, Dottie and I would like to convey our deepest sympathy to Sue and her family.
Nobody did more for the academic reputation of Penn State than Joe Paterno. He maintained a high standard in a very difficult profession. Joe preached toughness, hard work and clean competition. Most importantly, he had the courage to practice what he preached. Nobody will be able to take away the memories we all shared of a great man, his family, and all the wonderful people who were a part of his life.
Needless to say, outraged reactions to that statement have been popping up like clockwork ever since it was originally released.