We're quick to blame in America. We're also quick to want to move on. I think that Charles Pierce nails it in this piece. It's worth reading the whole article, but this section is dead on in my mind:
"There will now be a decade or more of criminal trials, and perhaps a quarter-century or more of civil actions, as a result of what went on at Penn State. These things cannot be prayed away. Let us hear nothing about "closure" or about "moving on." And God help us, let us not hear a single mumbling word about how football can help the university "heal." (Lord, let the Alamo Bowl be an instrument of your peace.) This wound should be left open and gaping and raw until the very last of the children that Jerry Sandusky is accused of raping somehow gets whatever modicum of peace and retribution can possibly be granted to him."
The Associated Press is reporting that Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has decided to retire at end of the season.
The AP source says Paterno will announce his retirement later Wednesday.
[BH: EDIT w/ Paterno's Statement:
"I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief," Paterno said in a statement released just after initial reports of his pending retirement.
"I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.
"That's why 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. My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this university."]
This time about Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno.
"Joe Paterno has also been ripped in various places for not doing enough, for not reporting the incident to the police himself, for not stopping a longtime coach who, if the charges are true, is a monster. I have heard from many, many people who have strong opinions about Paterno and have reached conclusions, and I understand.
But this is where my thoughts trail off… I’m writing a book about Joe Paterno. I need time. This story, for me at least, needs time. This thing is so vile, so grotesque, that it is human nature to want everyone to pay. Innocent children were hurt, scarred, and as a parent this is something so horrible that I cannot even think of a penalty harsh enough. There is no way to see this thing clearly now, not for me, anyway.
Writing about Joe Paterno is a challenge for many reasons, but probably the greatest challenge is that his personality attracts extremes. He is called saint. And he is called hypocrite. He is a hero. And he is a villain. He is real. And he is a phony. And I believe deeply that he is none of these things… it wouldn’t be much fun or a challenge to write about him if he were a simple label or a simple man. I came to State College to write about a real man. I won’t tell you anything surprising: This terrible, evil story has made it harder."