Among all of the fallout surrounding the Penn State sex scandal of the now-infamous Jerry Sandusky, the termination of coach Joe Paterno, the latter’s subsequent death, etc. etc. ad nauseam, Penn State’s official reason for firing Joe Pa has been absent until today.
Officially speaking, Penn State fired the iconic coach last year for his “failure of leadership“. Specifically, neglecting to intervene in order to stop Jerry Sandusky’s alleged sex abuse of young boys, according to a report that the university’s trustees released today which detailed the reasons for their decision. Paterno did perform the “minimum legal duty” by reporting Sandusky to the athletic director, but the board says that after days of agonizing discussion, it ultimately decided that Paterno’s failure to intervene more significantly “required his removal as football coach.”
Due to the enormous media encampment outside of Paterno’s home, the board was unable to deliver the news to the coach in person, and opted for a telephone call. The board asserts that they meant to apologize for resorting to a phone call and not delivering the news to him in person, as well as attempt to reassure Paterno that his contract and pay would remain intact, but they never got that chance.
“Coach Paterno ended the call,” the report reads.
The board has also said that Paterno will be named head coach emeritus, but that further tributes will await an independent counsel report into the case. The full report from the Penn State Board can be found here.
Do you think the board had no other choice but to fire Coach Paterno?