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Urge to Rip Joe Paterno Leaves Society Ignoring Most Important Lesson: Stop and Report Serious Crimes When you See Them

The outrage over the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal (and by sexual abuse, we mean he allegedly forced kids to participate in oral and anal sex) has for many people turned into an excuse to do something they’ve wanted to for a long time: push Joe Paterno out at Penn State. The lynch mob is out in full force with “bold” columnists and their followers demanding JoePa’s head.

Before going farther, let me make one thing clear: Joe Paterno did not do enough to stop Jerry Sandusky from abusing children. He obviously did not take the anal rape allegation seriously enough. But before you destroy the character of every person involved, ask yourself one question: What would you have done if you had witnessed one of the Sandusky sex acts with a child, or if you were told about it?

I have a strong feeling you wouldn’t do everything you’d like to think you would have.

Of all the people who had heard about Sandusky or saw questionable behavior or actions, the Grand Jury Presentment indicates that only ONE person reported anything to the police. It was the mother of an alleged victim whose son was forced to shower with Sandusky after an athletic workout. It was in 1998, and she told university police that Sandusky had showered with her son and made him uncomfortable. Sandusky admitted to showering with the boy and making physical contact with him in the shower, but nothing was done.

Nobody from Sandusky’s family reported any suspicious behavior. Nobody from the Penn State program said anything either. Even before the 2002 rape that the graduate assistant saw in the shower, a janitor is said to have seen Sandusky having oral sex with a young boy in a shower. The janitor supposedly told all his coworkers about the disturbing event he witnessed. None of them reported the crime to anybody. They feared for the safety of their jobs and did not stand up and do the right thing.

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Joe Paterno: I’m a Cheerleader

Joe Paterno has said some pretty funny things in his day, but I’m not sure anything is funnier than what he said on Tuesday. As The Wiz of Odds pointed out to us, Paterno downplayed his role in the Penn State offense during his weekly press conference.

“I don’t do much play calling anymore,” Paterno said. “I’m a cheerleader.

Just to be clear, JoePa was not joking. Oftentimes you read something and you’re unsure of the context. We found video of Paterno answering the question, and he said it with a straight face. Nobody laughed, either:

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Joe Paterno Injured in Practice After Being Blindsided by Player

Joe Paterno is 84 years old but has no intention of leaving the game of college football, even if it presents a danger to his health. While most coaches struggle with the stress of the game, JoePa seems to have issues avoiding contact on the field. The Penn State coach needed knee surgery after one of his players rolled into him during a 2006 game. Looks like something similar happened during practice Sunday.

According to Penn State, Paterno “was injured when he was blindsided by a player running a drill on the practice field. Paterno walked away after the collision.

Paterno conducted Monday morning’s coaches meeting via speaker phone from Mount Nittany Medical Center, where tests are being conducted to determine the extent of the injuries.”

Apparently he sustained a hairline fracture but won’t need surgery. He injured his shoulder and … wait for it … hip, confirming all stereotypes about the elderly. Looks like Penn State will have to make sure he totes his milk I.V. wherever he goes on the football field so as to avoid future injuries. And don’t be surprised if receiver Devon Smith gets kicked off the team for the hit — can’t mess with the boss like that!

Joe Paterno Used Skype to Chat with Recruit Noah Spence

Joe Paterno is old. Very old. He’s 84 and people have called for him to step down at Penn State at various points over the past 10 years. I thought he should have stepped down after the team went 3-9 and 4-7 in back-to-back seasons in ’03 and ’04, but he stayed on and the team reeled off three 11-win seasons in their next six years. We also learned that his relatively low annual salary is probably why Penn State hasn’t felt an urgency to get rid of him. Anyway, the same guy who once had this hilarious interview where he claimed he couldn’t hear the radio host for two minutes straight actually uses advanced technology to communicate with recruits.

Penn State Rivals passes along the story of Joe Pa speaking with five-star recruit Noah Spence using Skype. Big Ten Blog share details on the conversation:

“It was [Paterno] and Coach Johnson in his office, right next to each other,” Spence told Rivals.com. “We were in my computer lab — me, my dad and coach. It was real fun. It was entertaining, I didn’t know JoePa was that funny. He’s a real cool guy though. He talked about him being around and everything, which was great, that was our main concern with the program. He talked about me playing early and everything like that. It was nice.”

JoePa using Skype? And being funny and entertaining? You have to be kidding me! This isn’t the first time we heard about Penn State using technology to help the program, but I just can’t picture Paterno using Skype. I’m surprised it wasn’t too confusing for him. I just wonder what his screen name is. JoePapabear84? Joeknowsfootball? Hornedrimglasses4life? Come on Joe, let’s Skype together man, that would make my day!

Joe Paterno ‘I Can’t Hear You’ Interview Reminds Us He’s Getting Old

Make no mistake about it, what Joe Paterno has been able to do as the head football coach at Penn State is truly unbelievable.  I’ll be happy if I’m not drinking my meals through a straw a week before my 84th birthday, let alone still capable of coaching a football team that’s loaded with underclassmen to a 7-5 record.  JoePa obviously has some years of signal-calling left in him, but the signs of old age are quickly setting in — and I don’t mean his Coke bottle glasses.  Sports by Brooks called our attention to an interview Paterno did with Steve “The Big Dog” Duemig of WDAE-AM in Tampa last week, and let’s just say it’s a reminder that JoePa is almost 84.  Check it out:

Come to think of it, that wasn’t much of an interview at all.  Maybe skip the radio and phone interviews from now on?  Again, no one respects Paterno more than I do, but this is absolutely hilarious.  If Saturday Night Live were to plan a skit about JoePa, they couldn’t possibly come up with something better.

Must Have Collectible: Autographed Joe Paterno Coke Bottle Glasses

I used to think that a Ryan Leaf Colts jersey was the greatest sports collectible around. I may have to change my mind. If there’s something that I’d love to have in my memorabilia collection, it might be this pair of Joe Paterno’s horned rims up for sale. Joe Pa donated his coke bottles for a charity auction that supports Penn State Public Broadcasting.

I’m not sure what that would fetch but I’m guessing the LBS minions could put together enough scraps to gobble that thing up. I’d probably put it next to my autographed Red Auerbach cigar, in between the Paul Bryant hat and Jim Tressel sweater vest in the memorabilia room. I’m pretty surprised that the glasses aren’t thicker — I’m calling it a phony.

Joe Paterno Goes All Godfather on Reporters About a BCS Berth

GodfatherPenn State may be 10-2 but their strong record is deceiving given the weak state of the Big Ten. Working against them is that they lost to Ohio State and Iowa at home, while both of those teams also finished 10-2 on the season. That’s going to make it difficult for the Nittany Lions to become the conference’s second BCS Bowl team behind Ohio State. Even if that’s the case, don’t expect Joe Paterno to get too fancy lobbying for his team to get into a BCS game:

“What do you want me to say?,” Paterno asked reporters outside Spartan Stadium. “Pick us. Maybe I could get on the phone and call somebody and say, ‘you owe me one,’ or ‘you might find a horse’s head in your bed’.”

They say Joe Pa doesn’t do too much coaching-wise these days, but whatever he doesn’t do Xs and Os-wise he makes up for with his funny quotes. It was prior to the Illinois game that Paterno messed around with a local reporter who was trying to do a story on Joe Suhey. Score one for the Italian from Brookyln.