Flaim’s Forum: Step Up Paterno

I don’t want this blog post to be overlong or protracted. My colleague and friend EB wrote eloquently about the Penn State scandal and I agree with his premise that everyone must go. You can read his post here. But I felt the need to write quickly upon hearing that Penn State had cancelled Joe Paterno’s scheduled press conference earlier today.

My point is simple, step up! Don’t run away from the media scrutiny. Don’t hide behind legal advice. Don’t consult with public relations experts. Step the F*@! up and answer everybody’s questions.

Joe Paterno is an icon in football. His legacy as a coach is undeniable. As far as the choices he has made regarding this scandal, they are nothing short of deplorable. The Harrisburg Patriot-News just reported that Paterno was disappointed that the press conference has been cancelled and that he was prepared to take questions regarding the scandal.

Guess what Joe Pa, all you have to do is stand outside your house ala Terrell Owens and answer questions there. It doesn’t have to be a university sanctioned press conference. I am sure lawyers have told you not to comment because of the ongoing investigation but I don’t care. Step up and step up now!

Penn State is certainly worried about liability. They may think Paterno may make things worse for them legally or maybe they’re trying to protect him. Supposedly the trustees are working on Paterno’s exit as I type this blog post. Regardless, Paterno can grab a microphone and answer questions right now. Why prolong this and drag it out longer than necessary?

Paterno is front and center but I have to admit I am most troubled by the inaction from the graduate assistant Mike McQueary. Some have defended him giving him credit that he reported what he had seen to Paterno. Still, I cannot understand how he could not physically intervene when he saw the 10-year-old boy being raped by Coach Sandusky.

As much as I want to hear from Paterno, I really want to hear from McQueary. Here’s a guy who witnessed this unimaginable horror. McQueary didn’t step up in 2002. He can now.

Quit worrying about liability. Quit worrying about public relations. You have a choice to make right now. Step up and do the right thing.

John-Paul Flaim

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