Letters to the Editor

A "missing" poster was left by a visitor on the tarp covering the former site of the statue of Joe Paterno and his players outside Penn State's Beaver Stadium.
A "missing" poster was left by a visitor on the tarp covering the former site of the statue of Joe Paterno and his players outside Penn State's Beaver Stadium. (ED HILLE / Staff Photographer)
Posted: July 25, 2012

Should have given coach an asterisk

I expected that the NCAA would admonish Joe Paterno for his involvement with the Jerry Sandusky incidents ("Lethal hit," Tuesday). However, removing the Penn State victory count between 1998 and 2011 is a regrettable case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Each of those 111 victories was hard-fought and won fairly. There has been no publicized rules infraction that provided the Penn State teams some unfair advantage over their opponents.

In its rush to discredit Paterno, the NCAA has overreached and made Penn State football players over those years victims of the Sandusky crimes. A better approach would have been the use of an "asterisk" next to Paterno's name and his 409 victories in the list of winningest coaches. This would be a very strong public admonishment of Paterno.

The footnote to the asterisk would read "victory count under NCAA review." The "review" would never close, and thus the asterisk would always be a discredit to Paterno.

Albert Sinopoli, Plymouth Meeting

Emerging cultural ethic on abuse

Vicious and prevalent sexual abuse of children has been going on for centuries. Religion, sports, and family have provided some of the settings. In the United States, we started talking about it openly 10 to 20 years ago, and began to teach our children how to protect themselves. Now we have nationwide condemnation and sanctions on a mighty institution — an emerging cultural ethic. Good for us.

Ann Ehrich, Philadelphia, ehricha@yahoo. com

Time to shift focus

Joe Paterno wouldn't have cared that his statue was removed and placed in storage early Sunday morning. I can hear him saying, in his distinct, nasally voice: "What are you making such a fuss about?" He would tell his supporters to shift their focus from statues, legacies, and even football wins, to restoring the university that he loved and making things right for its students.

Rae Theodore, Penn State Class of ‘90, Royersford

Look off field for heroes

Should the university be punished? Absolutely. Is it fair that part of the punishment will fall on the current players who had no part in sheltering and hiding a child rapist? Probably not. But ask the victims what they think is fair.

Whatever happens, there will be outrage and applause. But whatever side of the debate you are on, it is time to wake up. It is time to examine a culture that demands a bronze bust for every man who achieves greatness in sports.

There are some who say Joe Paterno was more than a football coach, that he was a mentor, a man who cared about his players. However, caring about academic performance isn't what earned him a statue outside of Beaver Stadium. That sculpture is a tribute to the glory of a game.

My father didn't graduate from college. He wasn't a famous athlete. He worked midnight shifts in a dark, damp Pennsylvania coal mine to make sure his three sons could go to college. Our graduation rate: 100 percent. My father doesn't have a statue, and he doesn't need one to be my hero.

Look away from the field of play to find the men and women who are making a difference in this world. On your next trip to Happy Valley, light a candle for the victims, and have a conversation with your sons, daughters, friends, and family. You may just find the hero you are looking for.

William Hallman, Penn State Class of 2004, Miami

Return Paterno's money

As a graduate of Alabama, I don't consider Penn State one of my favorite colleges. However, considering the way the university is treating the late coach Joe Paterno — removing his statue and talking about taking his name off buildings — the school should also return every dollar he and his family gave to the school.

Michael Broom, Centre, Ala., jmbroom@tds.net

Clearing the record

An editorial Tuesday incorrectly reported the number of football scholarships taken away from Penn State by the NCAA, which is 10 per year for four years.

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