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Letters: Joe Paterno and the Penn State scandal

The legendary Penn State football coach had to go, but is Bill Plaschke guilty of piling on?

November 11, 2011
  • Longtime Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who was fired Wednesday, became college football's winningest Division I coach when he collected his 409th victory this season.
Longtime Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who was fired Wednesday, became… (Phelan Ebenhack / Associated…)

So, Joe Paterno enjoys the all-time college football coaching win record. My question to JoePa: Was it worth it?

Konrad Moore

Bakersfield

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Joe Paterno said, "With the benefit of hindsight, I would have done more." Joe, with the benefit of hindsight, I would be a gazillionaire.

This is about doing the right thing, the moral thing in the moment. Paterno passed. See no evil, speak no evil. Pass the buck down the road and let someone else deal with it. Joe Paterno is a silent partner to Jerry Sandusky's horror. There are going to be civil lawsuits and Penn State will suffer the shame for their beloved coach's lack of moral character and failure to act.

Paul L. Hovsepian

Sierra Madre

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During a heralded career at Penn State, Joe Paterno made countless decisions on the gridiron that were successful. Running a clean program, he was the standard by which college coaches were measured. When faced, however, with perhaps the most important decision of his career, his moral compass deserted him, and he failed miserably. So long, Joe.

Bud Chapman

Northridge

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After reading Bill Plaschke's column on the devastating scandal that has rocked Penn State and brought down Joe Paterno, one would think he was talking about the end of a vicious regime and a dictator that has reigned for 46 years terrorizing Happy Valley.

The only phony is Plaschke — so smug, so morally righteous, able to gleefully pass judgment on a man who gave his life to Penn State and to his players.

Does Plaschke really need to be reminded this is a complicated story? The whole scandal is shedding light on the darkness of humanity. It's about an individual who would commit heinous acts such as Jerry Sandusky, (remember him, the man who is actually accused?) and those who would enable him, fooled or not, and now face haunting regrets.

But Plaschke takes the easy road, piling on and inciting mob justice. What a missed opportunity to offer a nuanced opinion that analyzes the contradiction of a good man who did not act and the terrible, heartbreaking consequences (for the victims).

Charles Norton

Long Beach

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To use a football term, Bill Plaschke was guilty of "piling on" when it comes to Joe Paterno. To intimate that he created a culture that encouraged child abuse is over the top, even for Bill. Let the justice system punish the guilty and let Penn State move on with stronger leadership, while not forgetting all the positive aspects of Joe's 46 years of coaching.

Ken Blake

Brea

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Bill Plaschke's harsh, unforgiving assessment of Joe Paterno, a man that epitomized what a college coach should be like, was way over the top. Not that the Board of Trustees should not have fired Paterno, but Plaschke makes JoePa as culpable as the child molester. Paterno deserves better. Forty-six years of an unblemished career should count for something.

Tom Turner

Dana Point

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Unlike the media and our own Bill Plaschke, I want to focus on what we know for sure. The positive impact that Joe Paterno has had on thousands of individuals, college football and the country should not be diminished by the sickness of one man. In an interesting turn of perspective, Joe Paterno knows more than ever how much he is loved. Kudos to those students and fans that stand by him.

Ted Bartscherer

Pasadena

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The media needs to understand something. Joe Paterno did not assault anyone. Yes, on hindsight, he should have done more. But who is to know how much he did know? The whole thing may have been too massive for him to properly digest; after all, his entire life and focus is football. He's 84! What does JoePa know about perversion? Dear media hacks, especially on radio, go after the real bad guy, even if he is less newsworthy.

Dan Jensen

San Clemente

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If the people demonstrating in favor of Joe Paterno ever spoke to a victim of sexual molestation, they would think twice about their actions. The effects of molestation are lifelong for the victims. Because he did not pursue reporting Jerry Sandusky to the police, there are probably many victims suffering in silence. Joe Paterno does not deserve to be idolized.

Marie Pietrasanta

Encino

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The scandal unfolding at Penn State seems to cry out for an NCAA investigation to learn if there has been a "lack of institutional control" in their athletic department.

But alas, apparently the farcical NCAA only considers a university's athletic department to evince a "lack of institutional control" if they do not wiretap their athletes' parents' phone to discover that the parents are associating with an ex-convict "agent" who wants to represent their son.

Howard P. Cohen

North Hills

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In Bill Plaschke's moral universe, that champion of promiscuity, Magic Johnson is a hero and Joe Paterno is a bum. The world agrees with you, Bill. A confederacy of dunces, indeed.

Jim Easton

Fallbrook

1-2 punch

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