It seems to me that the calls for Joe Paterno’s resignation are grossly unjust. At this point (as far as we know) he is the only one to have done the right thing. He did exactly what the law required him to do. Once he told his superiors about the incident (as the law directed him to do) it was their obligation to call the police. There are those who say that Paterno should have called the police himself. This is understandable, but the law mandates that once a staff member tells a member of the administration that an alleged sexual incident has taken place, it is their obligation to call the police. Therefore by contacting the administration he was by default calling the police.
For those in the media who are calling for Paterno’s resignation, I wonder how many of them would have turned in their friend and colleague of thirty years without witnessing the incident themselves. Our first instinct in this type of situation is to not believe the allegation, especially if it appears to go against the character of the person being accused. Our next instinct is to protect our friend by saying that the accuser must be mistaken. It takes a lot of character to turn a friend of that duration in to the authorities.
It does not appear as if the administration will stand up for Joe. If not, I think the best ones to make a stand are the students. I think 10,000 students should go to where the media is camped out on campus, and make their voice heard in a peaceful and respectful manner, in support of the one man who I, and I’m sure others, believe has done more for the university than any other person who has been associated with Penn State in many years.
As an aside, I must admit that I feel as if I’m living in an alternate universe. I have never heard of people wanting someone who followed the law to be fired.