Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was known as a great coach and a great man, with 409 wins in almost 46 seasons at Penn State. He also is in the College Football Hall of Fame. However, his reputation was tarnished last November when it was revealed that he had not gone to the police when told that his former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, had allegedly abused a child. After Paterno’s recent death, questions linger about how he will be remembered. Students at Juniata share their thoughts on Joe Paterno’s legacy:
Sarah Holmberg ’13, Altoona, Pa.:
I think people will remember the football, not the scandal. He’ll be remembered for his coaching.
Kathleen Laforce ’14, Bellefonte, Pa.:
He’ll be remembered for changing Penn State for the better and for his academic policy.
Alexis Hadden ’15, Franklin, Pa.:
Penn State football is huge in Pennsylvania. That’s how he became famous, because everybody loves the football team and they still love him.
Zach Sanna ’15, Hampstead, Md.:
I think he’ll be remembered in a positive light, but his legacy is definitely tarnished after what happened with Sandusky.
Definitely not football. They’ll remember Jerry Sandusky. I mean, anytime anyone hears of Penn State football, they won’t think of Joe Paterno, but when someone hears about child molestation, they’ll think of Jerry Sandusky and then Joe Paterno. I’m a big sports fan and from that viewpoint it’s kind of a shame. It’s highly debatable, but he will be linked to child abuse and that will be his legacy.
~Laura Bitely ’14, Juniata Online Journalist