Let me start this article by saying this; this is an opinion article, which means this is my opinion. I respect the opinions of everyone so please respect mine.
Now on with the article. Obviously, I'm a huge Florida State fan which means my fanship lies with Bobby Bowden as well as Jimbo Fisher now. I will never stop supporting that University and because of this I have to weigh in on the Joe Paterno and Penn State situation.
Joe Paterno has been labeled a legend and rightfully so. He's been the face of Penn State and arguably college football for over six decades now. He's been labeled as a man of integrity, a leader, a pioneer and a creator, but now he's known as one thing—a failure.
Why is he a failure? Because he didn't do the right thing. He waited nine years to report a horrific act. He waited to save his image, to save the image of Penn State and to protect a friend and a colleague and the resounding question is why? How could you do something like that not just as a coach, but as a human being. As someone that has feelings and has a purpose in life.
Not all of the facts are out yet about the situation dealing with former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and his actions with raping young boys. Not only did he rape or molest young boys, he did it on Penn State's campus in the football showers. That locker room will forever be plagued by this until it is torn down.
Then there's Mike McQueary, who at the time was a graduate assistant. McQueary walked in on this particular incident and instead of reporting it to the authorities, he went to his father first and then to Paterno. What is wrong with you McQueary?
Here's where Bobby Bowden comes into play. Every scandal involving a Florida State player was turned into the NCAA immediately. The situation with Peter Warrick and Dillards. Warrick was benched for the National Championship game against Oklahoma. The online scandal dealing with athletes receiving answers to tests from a professor, that was dealt with right away and Bowden was stripped of wins that he earned as a coach and the team earned, but still it was the honorable thing to do.
Should Joe Paterno be fired and stripped of his wins?
Bowden is a man of integrity and there's no doubt that if something like this happened on his watch, he would've gone to the authorities immediately. That's the difference between Paterno and Bowden. Paterno has a God complex. He feels he is the most powerful figure and in his mind, he's untouchable. That isn't the case anymore.
Paterno withheld information for nine years. That means that the little boy who was raped or molested in those showers has not had any justice for nine years. That little boy has been scarred and not for nine years, but for life. It doesn't matter what it makes you look like as a coach, but as a person, Paterno looks like an awful person. A terrible human being.
On top of all of this, Paterno held a Penn State rally on his front lawn last night leading Penn State supporters in a Penn State chant, a rally cry per se. Then he announced his retirement at the end of this season. What a joke! He should be fired. He should be stripped of every single win that Penn State has accumulated dating back from the exact day of this incident and honestly, he should be facing some kind of legal consequences for not turning this in the moment he heard of it.
Paterno's legacy is forever tarnished and as a college football fan, it's hard to like him. It's hard to respect him and it's hard to give him credit because of his moral character.
The difference between Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno is that Bowden has and will always be a man of integrity. A man that people can follow and trust that he will always do the right thing.
Bowden's best friend is former defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews, a legend in his own right. If Bowden heard that Andrews was doing acts like these, he would turn him in without a question, because that's the man that Bowden is. He isn't blinded by his own success. Instead he embraces the fact that he's been blessed to have such a great career. It's his faith that keeps him grounded. Paterno doesn't have that and it's a shame that this man is praised for his leadership when the reality is, he's a giant failure.