Joe Paterno Fired: Can Penn State Rebuild?

Daniel BrommerCorrespondent INovember 9, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 09:  Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno watches his team during practice on November 9, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

It was made official Wednesday night that Joe Paterno would not be allowed to coach the rest of the year. He was dismissed amidst arguably one of the biggest scandals the NCAA has ever seen.

By now, everyone knows all of the facts, and of course, there is going to be sides to this. Paterno supporters are outraged that a man of his stature would be treated like this. On the other hand, there are those who support those families of the victims that were sexually abused.

Let's not lose the focus here, Paterno is not the criminal here. That man's name doesn't deserve to be mentioned anymore, instead what Paterno didn't do was act right away. Instead he waited and brushed the incident off for nine years. That's far too long.

Did Penn State do the right thing? Absolutely, but at the same time, why does Mike McQueary still have a job? Wasn't he the witness? There's something wrong when he gets to keep his job even though he could've done something. In fact, he was more entitled to do something than Paterno. He was the witness.

Still, Paterno didn't act, and for that, he is tarnished. He will never be viewed the same again. It's a sad story when this man was looked upon to be a teacher for young kids, to mold young men and to not create successful football players, but to create successful human beings. This was a man who clearly cared about his body of work, otherwise he wouldn't have stuck around for so long. Paterno is a coach who will be regarded as one of the best ever, if not the best ever, but what comes along with that is a giant black spot.

Paterno's failure to act after speaking with Athletic Director Tim Curley shows that he truly didn't care. Fans are crying out for justice for him, what about the justice for those young boys? Those boys will never be the same, and even after all of this is said and done, they will still have to live with the fact that they were sexually abused in the confines of Penn State University.

It's a sad day, but not for Paterno. It's a sad day for the victims and their families. This will not bring them justice. This will not bring them comfort. Instead, this just shows what should have been handled nine years ago. This shows that the failure to act by a "legend" means that the situation was meaningless in his eyes.

Penn State did the right thing, and now, they must look forward, but can this storied University and the football program be rebuilt? This program needs to find a leader who will be honest, but that's going to be very difficult. Wasn't Paterno the posterchild for honesty and integrity?

Now, more than ever, is the time when we need to start questioning the character of the coaches that we send our boys and girls to. We need to be absolutely sure that nothing like this happens and that starts right now for Penn State.

The next hire for the football program can't be an overnight thing. It can't be the hottest coach out there or someone with a sparkling resume. It has to be someone who will have the courage and the integrity to do the right thing no matter what...period.