As you may or may not know, legendary college football coach Joe Paterno died yesterday in shame and disgrace.
One of the winningest coaches in history, Joe Pa could have gone out a hero to a nation. Instead, because he placed football above people, he will go down in history as aiding and abetting one of sports greatest monsters.
Which raises a problem for Penn State, the university Paterno was coach for: how to honor him for his work without raising the whole pedophilia issue?
I have a suggestion: don't bother honoring him.
There's a parallel, albeit more minor case in professional wrestling: Chris Benoit. Benoit was a star of the then-WWF, a performer who sold many tickets with his presence on a card, and one of the most popular performers with that brand of entertainment.
He was also a steroided loon who ended up slaughtering his family, then committing suicide.
The (now) WWE has it right: they have essentially erased Benoit's name from their history for the tragic circumstances of his creation.
This is not to equate a double homicide with child molestation, certainly not to an equal degree. Society has deemed murder to be a more heinous crime than pedophilia.
But not by much.
I'd hate to think a sham sports organization like a wrestling company would get something so simple and a college which has deluded itself into thinking it does the right thing cannot. Penn State can make up a whole lot to the community if it just chooses to ignore Paterno's legacy for now. Perhaps sometime in the future, when things have calmed down and the world has forgotten the abhorrent and disgusting nature of Paterno's enabling, they can put up a plaque for the bastard.