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Your Opinion: In defense of Coach Joe Paterno

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to the letter of Mr. Sampson criticizing Coach Joe Paterno. I was born and raised within 70 miles of Penn State. I always liked and admired JoePa and still do. Coach Paterno loved Penn State and he and his wife donated millions of dollars to the university, especially to the library.

In return, when the scandal broke, the board of trustees made Joe the scapegoat and threw him to the wolves. Of course, the media including the News Tribune, jumped on the bandwagon. Perhaps everyone needs to read the entire Freeh report, not just what the media summarized. Joe was dying and couldn’t even defend himself.

I have no problem with the NCAA penalties except for taking away the 100-plus wins. Those football players won those games through hard work, and they had nothing to do with the scandal. And to me Joe Paterno still has the most wins of any coach in college football history.

Joe loved the students, not just the football players. He was a good and decent man. I know how kind he was on two separate occasions to members of my own family, and he certainly didn’t need to be.

From what I’ve read, Coach McQueary never told JoePa the specifics of what he had seen out of respect for Joe’s age and stature. I truly believe that if Joe had known the evil things Sandusky was doing, you would have heard Joe screaming in rage not only on campus but all over the state of Pennsylvania. He loved kids too much to have them hurt in a horrible way.

I’m sure that I will get nasty rebuttals to my viewpoint but I will not respond. I, again, truly believe that Coach Paterno was a good man. I hope that someday his name will be cleared.

Mr. Sampson, my KJ Bible teaches, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Doesn’t yours?

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