AN OPEN LETTER TO THE STUDENTS OF PENN STATE
I think I speak for a majority of the population outside of State College when I say this: stop. Please. Just stop.
This is not about saving a legacy. This is not about allowing an icon to gracefully exit stage left. this is not about Joe Paterno the Coach, Joe Paterno the CEO, football, athletics or sports in general.
This is about Joe Paterno the man.
A man that said "I wish I had done more."
Not could. Had. Telling. It means he knows. He knows he could have prevented something. And that "something" is the systematic rape of children. There's no way to dance around it. That's what happened. And you are partially at fault, Joe.
I'm disgusted, sickened, heartbroken, furious and any other similarly defined emotion that you can think of. This is one of the worst things that I have heard. I say that understanding that tragedy sometimes takes lives, but the pain of the immediate victim leaves then as well. In this case the victims, including their families, live on. They have to continue their lives knowing this happened. Knowing that they were betrayed by the people they trusted the most.
These were kids in need of help. Kids that needed an authority figure they could count on. I feel that this was the ultimate betrayal.
I could go on and on, and I may on another day. But as I write this I continue to get angrier and angrier, so it's probably in my best interest to stop.
So in closing, I would ask this of the students of Penn State: Contribute to the cause. Contribute your time, energy, dollars - whatever you are capable of. It matters, and you may ultimately save a life in the process. Something that will not happen by holding what equates to a pep-rally for Joe Paterno. A man that enabled a child rapist because he was a friend.
What you are doing is inappropriate, and in my opinion, shameful.
Demand accountability, not ridiculously ill-advised compassion.
The world is watching. Make us proud. Give us hope.