Should Joe Paterno be allowed to coach Penn State on Saturday?
Penn State Coach Joe Paterno has announced he will retire at the end of the football season in light of the sex-abuse scandal involving his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. But should he still be employed by the university even that long?
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss whether Paterno should be with the Nittany Lions when they host Nebraska on Saturday. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion by voting in our poll and leaving a comment of your own.
Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times
It's incredible to think the best deal Joe Paterno could cut for himself at the height of this scandal was announcing he would retire at the end of the season. A man who talked only weeks ago about having no intention of retiring actually had to get out in front of a Penn State Board of Trustees that might want him to step down immediately.
Yet, allowing Paterno to coach the next three games and a bowl game is going to be huge distraction. Paterno should probably be allowed to coach his final home game at Penn State and then step aside for remaining away games at Ohio State and Wisconsin. But even that might not sound like a good idea by the time this day, or week, is over. Things are moving that fast.
Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel
Joe Paterno is one of the greatest coaching legends in college football. He has done more for Penn State University in the 46 years that he has been coaching than anyone else. Until this point, his programs have remained clean during a time period when others have failed and his donations to help further education are legendary.
With his iconic black glasses and black sneakers, he is the face of Penn State. That’s why he should be allowed one last chance to say goodbye on Saturday. To walk the sidelines at Beaver Stadium and hear the cheers one last time. There will be boos, reminders of the mistakes he made being complacent instead of vigilant, and there will be protests. Wins and losses won’t matter in the end, and a legacy that had once written itself will now be forever tarnished. A legacy that started on a football field 46 years ago, should end on it as well.
Keith Groller, Allentown Morning Call
Some want more blood. They want more humiliation and embarrassment too. And that means they want someone to tell Joe Paterno he can’t coach on Saturday in what would be his final game on campus.
But hasn’t he lost enough already? Isn’t having 46 years of trying to do things the right way, building a reputation for your program and university and having it blow up in your face in a way no one could have imagined, enough punishment? He did not commit these crimes, nor has he been charged with one.
To this point, he is the only one who has apologized, admitted blame, expressed concern for the victims. While others are in hiding, he is the one taking all of the hits. If he wants to coach one last home game, let him coach.
Photo: Amid sex-abuse scandal involving former assistant coach, Joe Paterno has said he will retire at the end of the season after 46 years with Penn State. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press