Jay Paterno, the son of late football coach Joe Paterno, was elected to Penn State’s Board of Trustees on Friday. It was a move that showed, unequivocally, that the university clearly does not care what the public thinks about its history.
Paterno was the top vote-getter in the election, despite the fact that he sued the school several years ago. That lawsuit blamed Penn State for the fact that he wasn’t able to get another assist coaching job after departing the Nittany Lions. Paterno and his family also joined Penn State in a lawsuit against the NCAA. So his relationship with the school has been odd to say the least.
Paterno was an assistant coach at Penn State under his father from 1995 to 2011 after playing quarterback for the Nittany Lions 1986 through 1990.
At best Paterno’s father ignored blatant warning signs as far as the Jerry Sandusky scandal goes and at worst he enabled the man and actively covered for him. We’ll never know the exact details, but the fact that Penn State is willing to put Paterno’s son on its Board of Trustees is, frankly, shocking.
Penn State is still willing to glorify Joe Paterno despite what happened on his watch. Now it has given a position of power to his son, who has always denied his father did anything wrong. This is an absolute slap in the face to all of Sandusky’s victims who the school claims to care about.
Why on Earth would Penn State do this? Does the school not understand how it looks? Does it think enough time has passed and all the sins have been forgiven and forgotten? That simply can’t be the case. Instead, what is obvious now, is that the university simply doesn’t care what the rest of us think. And that includes Sandusky’s many victims.