A lot has been said, written and tweeted about the horrific sex scandal involving former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. The scandal has taken over the media since the allegations were revealed a few days ago. What’s shocking to me is that this scandal was revealed months ago. As far back as April, Mark Madden authored an article for the Beaver County Times alleging that Sandusky’s sex crimes had been swept under the rug by Penn State in the late 1990s in exchange for his quiet resignation.

Madden had connected the dots seven months ago and only now has it caught the attention of the mainstream media? How could it go under the radar for seven whole months? There’s an easy explanation. Sandusky points it out in his column.

“Did Penn State’s considerable influence help get Sandusky off the hook?

Don’t kid yourself. That could happen. Don’t underestimate the power of Paterno and Penn State in central Pennsylvania when it comes to politicians, the police and the media.”

The power of Joe Paterno. JoePa is a football god. Isn’t that the problem right there. A football coach that yields that kind of influence is just sad and scary. That is the culture of college sports in the United States. Something I’ve never been able to understand as a Canadian. A culture that was once galvanizing is now flawed and broken.

When the news of the allegations first broke, it was reported that Paterno was not a target and was legally cleared. Legally, JoePa had done the right thing by alerting his bosses when he first learned of the sex acts by Sandusky. Paterno may have been cleared on a legal basis, but he is just as guilty as Sandusky. Do you expect me to sit here and believe that the most powerful man in the university did not know what was going on? Isn’t it unsettling that Sandusky retired in 1999, in his coaching prime, one year after the first allegation of his deviant acts surfaced in 1998? Am I supposed to believe that Paterno, a powerful man with powerful connections, didn’t call in favors to help clean up this mess in order to protect his own legacy and livelihood?

The minute these allegations broke, Paterno had a chance to do the right thing and resign immediately. In stead in a statement released a few days later, he announced he would retire at season’s end. Personally, I found his statement troubling.

“…I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this  as easy for them as I possibly can.

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.”

Done more? What does he mean by done more? Done more, as in gone to the authorities immediately rather than his bosses? Done more as in stopped letting Sandusky have access to all Penn State facilities as early as last week? Done more as in not help slide it all under the rug to protect his legacy? What do you mean by done more JoePa?

This is a man who just doesn’t get it. A man who doesn’t get the gravity of the situation. A man who doesn’t get that these allegations are bigger than football, than Penn State, than the NCAA, than him. Yet in his statement he is still barking orders to the Penn State board of trustees.

Thankfully the board of trustees finally did the right thing and fired Paterno late last night. The firing of JoePa led to a riot at Beaver Canyon. For the life of me, I can’t understand why. I get these are just kids, of which most are probably under the influence of alcohol and do not understand the seriousness of the situation. They rioted in support of this football god. I wonder if they would still be supporting this god if it was their brother, their friend or someone they knew that had been violated?

JoePa is a football legend with a legacy many would dream of. No Pa, you don’t deserve your legacy anymore.