This Sunday, former Penn State head football coach passed away from lung cancer. The 85-year-old was fired in November after the media exposed his mishandling of the Jerry Sandusky child-sexual-abuse fiasco.
The town of State College is mourning the loss of their iconic football coach, a man who served as their hero for the 46-years he spent with the Nittany Lions, a man whose name remained untarnished until just recently. An enormous statue of Paterno stands in the center of town, exemplifying his status among the local community.
The public opinion has undertones of skepticism. Many wonder if it really was lung cancer that caught up to Paterno, or if it wasn’t the enormous stress he had endured. A Penn State professor vocalized this sentiment, saying “I can’t help thinking that his death is somehow related.” The lung cancer was diagnosed shortly after the decision was made to fire Paterno.
Jerry Sandusky, the assistant coach who has been charged with sexually abusing at least 10 boys, has spoken out to voice his condolences and best wishes for the Paterno family. Sandusky is currently awaiting trial on multiple charges of criminal sexual conduct.
The Penn State Board of Trustees released a statement saying, “We grieve for the loss of Joe Paterno, a great man who made us a greater university. His dedication to ensuring his players were successful both on the field and in life is legendary and his commitment to education is unmatched in college football. His life, work and generosity will be remembered always.”