University administrators are making a grave mistake in allowing Paterno to wait until the end of the season to retire
The Penn State scandal isn't a sports story, though much of the media has turned it into one by focusing on the best-known person connected to it: Joe Paterno, the winningest coach in college-football history. It does, however, share one important aspect with college sports' most troublesome and ongoing issue, the exploitation of college athletes: Both highlight the spinelessness of college administrators.
For decades now, whenever colleges have been faced with the revelation of students having accepted money from boosters, or gamblers having fixed games, or coaches having abused their power—or when they have faced the much larger issue of students' earning power being exploited by the universities' athletic departments—the official response always come down to university officials wringing their hands, making weepy speeches, and, ultimately saying, in effect, "Someone should do something about this."
Yes, you'd think someone would. You'd think that the university—the presidents and administrators and boards of trustees in charge of America's higher education—would take action, that they would stop letting their athletic departments, freely operating behind the fraudulent label of amateur athletics, dictate university policy.
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As of today, which is either day five or year nine of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, depending on when you start counting, it is being reported that Joe Paterno will resign—at the end of the football season. This Saturday the Nittany Lions play their final home game of the year against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. In all likelihood this would have been Paterno's last home game anyway, as he is 84 and some brave Penn State alumni have been hinting for more than a decade that it was time for him to bow out for the good of the program.