To those that seek to use the Paterno family response to the Louis Freeh report to bolster their view that the legendary late coach should be absolved of any responsibility for stopping Jerry Sandusky, I would cite coach Joe Paterno’s own words, a self-indictment from his resignation announcement on Nov. 9, 2011: “This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
Paterno served to acknowledge that he failed to act fully and appropriately, and one would wonder how he could ever have spent time with or looked at Sandusky again. I believe that Paterno was perhaps the greatest college football coach that ever lived and was a man that instilled many good values in his players. He never lost his modesty, remaining for decades in the home in which he lived at the dawn of his career. On the other hand, he became the de facto, all-powerful leader of Penn State University, which I believe enabled him to scuttle appropriate punishment for players that had committed serious infractions of school policy.
I feel great empathy for his surviving loved ones, given that he passed away while under a cloud and is not here to defend himself. It is sad that “Coach” will be prominently remembered for “wishing he had done more” to stop a beast.
Upper St. Clair, Pa