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Joe Paterno — Where Do You Stand On the Issue?

Long time, and much loved, Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno has found himself embroiled in controversy this week.

After authorities announced recently that his former Assistant Coast, Jerry Sandusky, had been arrested and charged with the sexual abuse of eight (EIGHT!) young boys, it came to light that not only had JoePa known about the suspected abuse of at least one child, but he had failed to report it to the police. People are coming to his defense, saying that he was only required to report the abuse to school officials, which he did. Supporters argue that the fact that University officials didn’t report the crime to the authorities isn’t his fault, and he should not be held accountable for their actions. Or non-actions, as the case may be.

But this brings up an interesting point. Does someone, especially someone who is involved in youth sports, have an obligation to report suspected child abuse to the police?

Personally, I find it reprehensible that he kept his mouth shut and didn’t make a bigger issue out of this situation. His silence, and that of school officials, after being alerted to an eye-witness account by a graduate student, effectively condoned Sandusky’s behavior and allowed this man to (allegedly) continue molesting young boys. For years.

How they can excuse their actions is beyond anything I can comprehend. Some people are calling for JoePa’s immediate retirement as Head Coach, others are arguing that, as a College Football Legend and beloved Penn State figurehead, he should be allowed to remain as Coach for the rest of the season.

You can read more about the story here.

What are your thoughts? Should he have done more? Should he be “forced” to retire immediately? Because he did what was required by law, and University policy, should he be left alone and allowed to continue coaching, if he so chooses?

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