Overheard on CNN.com: Readers weigh in on Paterno
Penn State head coach Joe Paterno is facing calls to resign amid a sex abuse scandal.
November 8th, 2011
04:33 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers weigh in on Paterno

Comments of the day:

“JoePa needs to GoPa.” –Peter
“I always thought we were innocent until proven guilty?” -Flipturn

Penn State coach under fire

Amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abused young boys in a Penn State football facility – one incident was reported to coach Joe Paterno – some are calling for the 84-year-old head of the Nittany Lion’s resignation or firing.

But CNN.com readers were torn. Although many said Paterno should have done more than report the incident, others said they believe Paterno did what he thought he was supposed to do.

Withpeace said, “Sadly, it comes down to choices. Joe Paterno chose to set the standard of excellence – a code of honor – for Penn State. Yet, when a true test of moral and ethical judgment was put to him ... he failed and betrayed every honorable thing he ever did. In the end, all we have is our honor and Mr. Paterno is not an honorable man for allowing children be put in harms way to save a monster.”

Joan said, “He should admit that he didn't do enough, and apologize at the very least... then at the end of the season he should retire. He's had a great run... leave with dignity but leave none the less. His reputation will always be scarred by this and rightly so. How would anyone feel if their child had been victimized and it could have been stopped if he had been more forceful and followed through with making sure there was an appropriate investigation? Very disappointing to say the least.”

College players dad said, “There is no way in hell I would want any of my sons currently playing for other teams to be recruited by any college team with a coach that lacks moral grounding such as Paterno is showing now. Parents with sons that have committed to this program should think twice about sending them to Happy Valley this fall. FBS, the NCAA and college sports in general are a mess. This is just another example of it all.”

Calijoe said, “On the story as I have it so far, Paterno should definitely NOT quit. He was given a single unsubstantiated, uncorroborated report. He reported it to the athletic director. His actions were correct. That said, America and its press love vengeance, so he'll probably be forced out.”

Jason, Chicago IL said, “Paterno stood by while one of his coaches was raping children. ‘Stepping down’ is the very least of what he should do.”

PSU Alumini said, “Joe did report this incident. It was brought it to the attention of his superiors. Joe Paterno has done nothing wrong. He is not guilty of any wrong doing. This is just a smear campaign to destroy his reputation. Be very careful ‘Mass Media.’ This is called slander and defamation of character. Legal action will be taken against you.”

Jnpa responded, “@PSU Alumni...I totally agree. The witch hunt is on for Paterno. Everyone wants to bring down a ‘big guy.’ ”

Earl Weaver said, “I'm very disappointed in Paterno. A feeling I never thought I would have. Joe is the last person on the planet I would ever think would be associated with something like this. It would be like a scandal involving your grandfather. Unfortunately, it's all about winning. Joe needs to step down. So sad.”

Tom said, “I'm no Penn State fan by any means but this it total BS! The man did not witness this alleged incident. He was told by a graduate assistant of the incident. Remember the blade of justice is double edged and anyone who knows anything about employee law etc. knows that there are strict policies about how these things are to be handled. Knock this witch hunt off and focus on the perv who did the deed!”

Al T responded, “Well, gee Tom. I would think, and I hope most people would think, that you err on the side of protecting a child. Now I'm starting to think that I'm in the minority on this one. The janitor didn't do it. McQuery didn't do it. Paterno didn't do it. Curley didn't do it. Schultz didn't do it. Spainer didn't do it. Obviously, you wouldn't have either. Thus, again, the reason why such a travesty can occur.”

Jnpa said, “It has come to a point in all these discussions and media columns that Joe Paterno is as guilty as Sandusky. People are getting it all wrong. Some even think that Paterno was the one who saw them, and others feel that Paterno is the athletic director. I think things are getting completely out of hand.”

Clarke said, “Well, Joe told his boss which is correct. His boss dropped the ball and when that happened, Joe should have then taken action. I wonder if it had been their own child what would they have done. They should both step down or be let go. Shame on them.”

Stef said, “He did the very minimum by reporting to his superiors...the minimum, something he would NEVER accept from one of his players, thus allowing this freak to continue to abuse kids. Shame on him. And I say this as a Penn State alumni.”

JOHN LANE said, “Shame on Penn State if they force out Joe Paterno. He will be the fall guy at 84 years old, when the head of the athletic department WAS TOLD BY PATERNO AND DID NOTHING. BUNCH OF BS!”

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. Proverbial Shoe

    Some crusty old mans spooge found dripping from a young mans ass isn't "heresay" you idiot. It's evidence that could be used to convict for statutory raype if the Supreme Court allowed it. gn, eat sh!t and bark at the moon.

    November 8, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DougP

    'Report an incident?' You don't get it. Reporting an account by a staffer of such an assault to a superior and then willfully leaving it at that is not an acceptable standard for an educator. Ask any teacher or coach. I can't imagine any educator I've ever worked with acting like any of these people did. Reading the grand jury's findings and the accounts of the parents involved in the original 1998 complaint (which Sandusky actually confessed to) it's clear Paterno, Spanier and more are going to lose their jobs and rightly so. And then likely Penn State will be sued over and over. Get used o the idea. Your conspiracy theories are not going to help anyone.

    November 8, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Reynold's

    Attention: your foil cap needs replacing. Please report to retrofitting as soon as possible. Thank you.

    November 8, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Reynold's

    Innit? Lmao!

    November 9, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. Proverbial Shoe

    No, you've been had. You are completely ignorant of laws protecting openly gay men sodomizing younger men. Brush-up on your knowledge of Supreme Court opinions that protect these men from even being charged with statutory raype. Your used toilet paper hat has flowers and *polka dots*. on it just as does the Supreme Court's stained cap. .

    November 9, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Reynold's

    Your name rocks, by the way.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. PAD

    First off, if Sandusky is guilty, he needs to accept his fate and punishment.
    Bigger issue is, a trial being conducted through the media when it has been clearly stated on several occasions by the Attnorney General from Pennsylvania that Joe Paterno did everything he was supposed to do by reporting the case to his superior. Mr. Paterno was reportedly assured that it would be followed through with. After the initial reporting is completed, the normal process is for investigations and disciplinary actions be kept on a confidential level. Mr. Paterno could very well have followed up with Mr. Curley and been told that it was handled-end of story. Can someone please tell me where the guilt is for Mr. Paterno–HE"S THE ONLY ONE WHO REPORTED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He did what he was supposed to do.
    However, there are two from the university who chose to turn their heads-which Paterno didn't. Those two, plus add Spanier to the mix, will now do everything in their spineless bodies to through a man under the perpetual bus to save their own hides (or what are left of them).
    Mr. Paterno should not resign. He has not been charged with a crime, nor has he participated in a cover up or given fraudulent testimony. He is the stablizing force of that univeristy and if that force has ever been needed-it's now.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • BMcGee

      "Reporting" the incident means reporting to the Police, not your boss. He was legally obligated to report suspected child abuse to the police, and failed.

      November 9, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. common sense

    If you see, and or, have someone report the raping of a child.
    Do you?
    A) tell your boss
    B) tell the police

    THE ANSWER IS B IDIOTS!!!!! All those involved are disgusting degenerate wastes of life who put their own interests over the safety of a CHILD. End of story.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. beachrat

    Innocent until proven guillty only goes in a court of law. What is sick about this whole thing as far as Paterno is concerned, he knew, reported it to higher ups, and they did nothing, at that point he should have done something, reported it to the authorities, and not let this predator continue his sick behaviour.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. Pete

    Proverbial Shoe, I can't follow your posts! Huh? Hag? Is that your codeword for f*g? Wth?

    November 9, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. Pete

    common sense, that works in the real world, but uni life is a very different story. You don't call the police, you call the uni security, and it goes from there...obviously if the uni chooses. Yeah, they screwed up big time on this one, though.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dean

    Joe Paterno should NOT resign. He should be fired immediately, along with Penn State's President and every other Penn State administrator involved in the cover-up of this situation. They consciously chose to elevate the protection Penn State's precious reputation ABOVE the protection of young children.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mmmmm

    Happy Valley Stadium misnomer for G-ayValley Stadium...

    November 9, 2011 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. MEME

    At the start, there was one GA that saw something in 2002. How many people saw something before 2002 and did not say anything. Are they not to blame also? I do not believe that the 2002 incident was the only one seen by someone.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. michaelfury


    November 9, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
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