Monday, January 23, 2012
I remember thinking that when Coach Joe Paterno was gunned down on the sidelines several years ago that maybe he was hanging around too long. An incident like that can happen to any coach, just ask Sean Payton. But nevertheless, Paterno was 79 years old at the time. Then last August when he was run-over at a Nittany Lions' practice and was relegated to coaching from the press box, I again had the thought that he was hanging around too long. To be honest, I actually thought he had already hung around too long. I had the same thoughts concerning Bobby Bowden as well. Their situations were reminding me of Baptist ministers who stay at one church well past their welcome. The only people who can make a change at that overdrawn point are the guys themselves. In Paterno's case, it would take a travesty to have him removed as the head football coach at Penn State University. That travesty did occur by the name of Jerry Sandusky. Now Joe Paterno has passed away, and I so much wish he had stepped down as head coach on his own terms. Not the terms that the Penn State administration dictated to him. His name would still have been brought up in the allegations that now sadly hangs over Penn State, but he would not have been terminated because of them. Joe Paterno was a good man, a good coach, and a good ambassador for Penn State and all of college football. It doesn't seem right that it should have ended this way for him, and it doesn't seem right that he should have died from a broken heart. Godspeed, Joe Paterno.