Friday, March 16, 2012

Don't Name Penn State's Football Stadium After Paterno

Beaver Stadium - Pennsylvania
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ESPN is reporting that there is support among Pennsylvania registered voters for naming Penn State's football stadium after Joe Paterno. Sportmentary is against renaming the stadium after Joe Paterno.

I understand that Paterno was a great coach; An Hall of Fame NCAA football coach. That doesn't mean he deserves to have a stadium named after him. My opinion has little to do with my personal beliefs about the scandal that rocked State College, Pennsylvania. While I personally feel that Paterno should have done more to follow-up on the scandal that rocked the University, he did do what was legally expected.

The reason I'm against the renaming of the stadium after Paterno is that the University trustees said their reason for firing Paterno had to do with the fact that Paterno didn't do more to follow-up on the allegations of sexual assault by Jim Sandusky. They believe that Paterno had a moral duty to do so.

If the trustees of the University feel that Paterno failed in his duty to the University and the victims involved, how can they rename the University's football stadium after the disgraced head coach? I don't think they can. Yes, Paterno has now left this world, hopefully he's in a better place. Fans and the NCAA can still recognize his accomplishments but renaming a stadium after him is ridiculous.

If the University renames the stadium after him, it would make their decision to fire Paterno, seem baseless. They would look like frauds who made up a reason to explain the firing of the University's beloved coach. I personally don't have an argument or any criticism over the reason the trustees gave for terminating Paterno. I do think they must now stick by their decision and not cave into pressure for renaming the stadium.

The trustees obviously felt strongly or felt public pressure to fire Paterno. They now say that the reason is that they felt that Paterno's moral character was absent in the handling of the Sandusky sexual assualt scandal. If that's true, you shouldn't name a stadium after someone who allowed the victimization of boys to continue.

The University needs to keep the victims in their thoughts. They feel that Paterno was somehow responsible for this tragedy and it become worse than it had to. If that's how they really feel, the renaming of a stadium after someone who was complacent in the continuation of sexual crimes against minors, it would be a travesty and slap in the faces to those young men who continue to endure scars from this tragic episode in their lives.

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