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Sound Off: Joe Paterno, What is Napa's Take on Him?

After the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal rocked college football, many questioned the final-lasting legacy of the Penn State coach. What do I think? Paterno cannot be honored anymore.

Napa is known to be a high school football town, seeing as two of its three high schools have won section titles in the last 10 years and Friday nights have always brought out the town to a football field at one of it's local high schools.

That being said, what does Napa think about the Joe Paterno/Jerry Sandusky cover-up scandal at Penn State University? What do you think should be done with anything symbolizing Paterno on the state campus?

Here’s my take on the situation.

The results of the “Freeh Report” conducted by Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI and hired by Penn State trustees to investigate the scandal, found that Paterno and others at the university quietly kept down accusations of Sandusky’s pedophilia/sexual abuse of young boys, and left them vulnerable to Sandusky’s will by doing so.

They did this for the sake of football excellence, but at the expense of children’s innocence. Paterno had a major influence in university until the day he died that essentially made him the school’s leader. He made sure the word about this didn't get out.

Football was placed in front of disgusting and heinous crimes for years. The question is how does that eliminate the decades of success and clean track record Paterno had prior to the Sandusky scandal?

A friend of mine told me this great quote the other day, “You can have one giant, great tasting bowl of ice cream and one little ounce of garbage could get into it and the entire thing is ruined.”

In Paterno’s case, a dump truck just placed its load on top of the container of ice cream.

It doesn’t matter what is said or discovered about Paterno at this point. His legacy is destroyed. Whenever “Paterno” is mentioned among all-time college football coaching greats, so will the words “scandal,” “cover-up” and “Sandusky.”  Anything honoring Paterno will be frowned upon by someone instead of being accepted by all.

Paterno is Penn State’s “You-Know-Who,” a nickname made famous in the Harry Potter book series. The character, actually named Lord Voldemort, strikes fear into wizards to the point they cannot mention his name. How can people there say “Paterno” without thinking he could have been the ONE person to stop all of this by saying something years ago? It should downright scare those who live around or attend Penn State.

One last point. In regard to the “ice cream” quote above, a New York Times article says the flavor “Peachy Paterno” is still being sold at a Penn State creamery.

There’s no way any normal person can think of anything being titled alongside the word “Paterno” as tasting “peachy” anymore.

What do Napans think about Paterno now? Sound off in the comments!

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Derry July 17, 2012 at 02:21 PM
He was a vile worm who valued his precious child's game over the safety and innocence of small children. There's a special place in Hell for those who remain silent in the presence of evil. He had the chutzpah to preach morality while ignoring the most depraved acts occurring within yards of his office. Melt down that monstrosity of a statue.
Dani Brown July 17, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Absolutely disgusting. He profited from abuse of children and deserves his name tarnished, statue removed and ice cream banned. What he did is inexcusable.
Scott Yeager July 17, 2012 at 04:51 PM
It's absolutely beyond comprehension what went on at that university. How do you rationalize what they did as being anything but despicable?
Jennifer Wesley July 17, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I followed the case from the point the Grand Jury report was released. I cried as I read it, and it disturbed me for days afterward. I could not wrap my head around how certain people put a football program ahead of the safety and welfare of children. Paterno and the entire Penn State chain of command in this case is to blame for allowing these events to take place. A Bay Area sports broadcaster said on the radio last week after the Freeh Report was released that "Joe Paterno is lucky he's dead." I agree.

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