As recently as Nov. 4, 2011, a memorial service for Joseph Vincent Paterno probably could have been held in a packed Beaver Stadium, the massive football monument on the outskirts of State College, Pa.
There are 107,282 seats in the house that JoePa built, and he had 100 times that many admirers. His legacy was beautifully uncomplicated, his approval rating very near unanimous. He was not just the winningest coach in major-college football history; he was a winner with a documented adherence to rules and an embrace of academia. He was the heroic figure with no overt flaw.
Who didn't respect and admire Joe Paterno?
Then the Jerry Sandusky scandal exploded Nov. 5, 2011. Paterno was fired on a surreal Wednesday night in State College, on Nov. 9. A 61-year career at Penn State was deconstructed and terminated in four days. It seemed impossible, but horrific tales of child abuse, allegedly perpetrated by a former Paterno assistant in the Penn State football facilities, were more powerfulRead More »from Paterno passing also means death of an ideal