Arguably the best college football coach in memory.
And it all ends like this.
With Joe's legacy permanently damaged.
As it should be.
There were many many people involved in this cover up...but Joe had the power to do something even when his 'bosses' didn't. Joe was the most powerful man on that campus, he had the most visible personality. He could have done something. But he chose not too. I'm sure he rationalized it all by saying he had followed the law and legally done what he was supposed to. And yes. He did. He reported it to his 'boss'.
We'll never know what he was thinking at the time. Probably about how this could ruin his teams reputation. But it's not the teams reputation that's in tatters, it's Joe's. Don't allow Joe's misconduct to sully those teams. He may have coached them, but those young men did all the work and should remain proud of their time at Penn.
As for Joe? There can only be guilt. He says he wishes he had done more. Are those the words of a truly repentant man, or the words of a man who can't admit his priorities turned his moral compass off?
There is no excuse for any of the adults involved to have brushed this under the rug. The ones who are now being told by the grand jury that their testimony is not credible.
But for Paterno to have turned a blind eye to the allegations, to have not followed up on activity that had been observed and reported in his locker room? I hope he (and all others involved in the cover up) has to look those victims in the eyes at the trial. I hope he sees the pain and fear his inaction caused them...particularly the ones that were abused AFTER the reported incident. The ones he could have saved.
I hope that every day, until the day he dies, he sees them in his head.
Because I know those victims live with the memory of the abuse. Every. Day.