It was misguided and reactionary to take down the statue of Joe Paterno outside of Beaver Stadium.
The statue is no longer about glorifying an individual who was, at one time, a legendary Head Coach. The statue, until they took it down, was to serve as a reminder that this can never happen again. The administration at Penn St should be forced to walk past this statue every day on their way to do whatever the hell it is that they actually do, and remember that they, as well as Joe Pa, did nothing. They need to be reminded every single day, that they let one man get so powerful, to the point that they let him and his minions do the wrong thing.
I find it funny that in America the President is limited in power, by design, but a football coach in a one fart town has more power than the leader of the free world. Shouldn’t we take a lesson from the Founding Fathers here? They wanted to limit power, to avoid a “Kingdom,” and unfortunately, that’s exactly what we have created in College Athletics.
People will say, “Oh, they could never forget what happened at their school.” Really? How quick were we to get annoyed with the random TSA screenings less than a decade after 9/11? If we have moved on from that, and believe me, you have unless you have a close personal connection to NYC/DC or the victims, then why wouldn’t we forget about this?
You can’t tell me, that while schools will limit the power of coaches in the short term, that it won’t revert back to the status quo in about 5-10 years. Its human nature. The statue prolongs the memory loss. The statue serves as the daily reminder that some things are more important than football.
Just like I firmly believe that there should be a giant picture of Osama Bin Laden at every Airport Security Checkpoint that keeps the TSA Agents on point, and the idiots who complain in check, there also should be the statue of Joe Pa outside the stadium.
This is not just a Penn State issue, and this is not just a Child Abuse issue. This is an issue about power. Every single major D-1 college has a problem with power. From Nick Saban at Alabama, to Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel, to Lane Kiffin all the way down Derek Dooley (My word, why did we hire him?), all of these schools have issues with who has the power.
Whether it takes term limits on coaches, or AD’s, or the Chancellor, we need to make sure that one coach doesn’t get more power than they should. Because it will happen again.
The next Joe Pa is out there. Unfortunately.
Follow RJ Choppy on Twitter @RJChoppy
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