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Mike Krzyzewski Defends Joe Paterno, Implies Age is a Factor

With all that has gone on regarding the Penn State scandal, I must admit I’m a little surprised that more people haven’t pulled out the “poor old man” card for Joe Paterno.  The American public has a tendency to view senior citizens as children at times.  Despite the fact that the Jerry Sandusky scandal has allegedly been ongoing for years, it came to light at a time when Paterno is an 84-year-old man.  Paterno’s age is undoubtedly a factor in earning him sympathy from certain people, and with the way Mike Krzyzewski spoke about the situation you might think he is one of them.

“Well, I think, unless you’re there, it’s tough to comment about everything,’’ Krzyzewski said according to the New York Times. “I just feel badly for him and whatever he is responsible for, it’ll come out and hopefully it’ll come out from him.

“I think one thing you have to understand is that Coach Paterno’s 84 years old. I’m not saying that for an excuse or whatever. The cultures that he’s been involved in both football-wise and socially, have been immense changes and how social issues are handled in those generations are quite different.

“But as we judge, remember that there’s just a lot there. There’s a lot, lot there. I think he’s a great man and it’s a horrific situation.”

Coach K may insist he’s not using Paterno’s age as an excuse, but he brought it up for a reason. We aren’t talking about smoking cigarettes. This is child molestation. How has culture changed in the last 30 years regarding how issues of child molestation are handled?  If at any point age limited Paterno from doing his job properly — not just coaching football — then it was his responsibility to retire.  The fact that he is 84 is completely irrelevant.  At this point it’s tough to see JoePa as a “great man” considering he allowed a “horrific situation” to develop under his watch.

H/T to Deadspin for passing the story along.



Around The Web

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Social issues have changed? Come on Coach K, that’s weak.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Social issues have changed? Come on Coach K, that’s weak.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Social issues have changed? Come on Coach K, that’s weak.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ALO4GXKSD76ZLFGE3NJUDYSZME Betsy Forinash

    Are you kidding?  I’ve just read 4 different columns by you in the last 10 days, making excuses for Paterno’s bahavior:  he didn’t know then what we  know now , he was just following the chain of command, maybe he didn’t feel equipped to deal with the situation, it’s just that as a society we are bad at reporting crimes, he’s not qualified to lead a sexual abuse investigation… I don’t agree with Coach K’s comments, but how is it really different than your “I don’t know what I would have done and neither do you”?  If you don’t like people making weak excuses for Paterno, stop doing it yourself. 

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Four different columns? I wrote one or two late last week, before most of this information began coming out. I was proceeding with caution at first. But now, after reading all this information and digging around, everything points to there being a coverup and I’ve changed my stance. I’ve written much more. Have you kept up with that?

    I really didn’t think it was possible for so many people to put the importance of a football program ahead of the well being of young, defenseless boys, but that appears to be the case.