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Penn State Universitys Joe Paterno Will Be Forced Out: Will He Coach The Last Home Game Of The Season?
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Penn State Universitys Joe Paterno Will Be Forced Out: Will He Coach the Last Home Game Of the Season?

The allegations surrounding a former member of the Penn State University football staff are ugly and date back to 1999. Two high ranking officials of the school have been charged with both perjury and a failure to report a crime as required by state law and are no longer with the school. The question now looms: will Joe Paterno, the legendary football coach still be around when the team takes the field for the final home game of the season. That game,is the traditional senior game, this year against Nebraska, scheduled for Saturday. Pending the outcome of a meeting scheduled for Friday, it may be Paterno's last unless he is gone before then.

The school has been rocked by a sexual abuse scandal that might involve more than twenty young boys assaulted by former defense coordinator with the team, Jerry Sandusky. He has been charged with sexual abuse of eight boys so far, but more allegations and potential victims are surfacing and the number of charges can climb.

At the heart of the scandal is the question: who knew what, when did they know it and why didn't they alert authorities when it happened? Paterno insists that he did not know the full story about what happened with the first of the known victims, in 2002, saying he was only told that "something disturbing, something possibly sexual in nature" had happened. That information came to him from a witness, graduate assistant, Mike McQueary. But, that statement was flatly disputed by others saying that McQueary told the entire story, in graphic details to university officials, including Paterno, face to face, the day after the incident happened.

After leaving the Penn State program, Sandusky founded and worked at a foundation called Second Mile where he was working directly with needy children and that is where a lot of the public's outrage is coming into play. If college officials had reported the crime, the number of victims might be much lower.

The police have said that Paterno met his legal obligations in the case but may have failed the kids morally by not doing more. In his forty six seasons with the school, Paterno has brought in tens of millions of dollars of support as well as spurred the team on to two national championships.

The Board of Trustees has formed a committee to perform a complete investigation into this case and more university officials may be finding themselves out of a job in the coming weeks. But the big question right now is whether Paterno will hang on until after Saturday's big game or not.

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