Joe Paterno died on January 22nd, and whatever was left of his tattered legacy died today.
After an exhaustive 8-month investigation, Louis Freeh's report demonstrated conclusively that Paterno not only knew Jerry Sandusky was a child rapist in 1998, but that he, along with Penn State's president, vice president and athletic director, actively conspired to cover up Sandusky's crimes to protect his own football program. In doing so, Paterno allowed Sandusky to victimize more young boys for 10 more years.
Paterno failed the most important moral test of his life, and that failure overshadows every good thing he may have done during his six decades at Penn State. Today's report concluded that the culture of big time football, and the power that comes along with it, was a crucial factor in creating the environment that allowed these horrific crimes to go on for so long.
And that is why today should also be the day Penn State football died. The NCAA, faced with the most egregious example of "lack of institutional control" imaginable, should give Penn State football the death penalty for at least ten years. The Big Ten should expel Penn State from the conference, and every team scheduled to play the Nittany Lions should refuse to take the field.
For years, Penn State University sacrificed young boys to save Penn State Football. Now, it is time to sacrifice Penn State to save Football's soul.