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Paterno's Passing Brings Conflicting Emotions, Narratives

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Like a lot  of people, we had a tough time resolving the legend of Joe Paterno and his actions in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, a task made more difficult by his death.

The Onion, as is so often the case, made a trenchant point.

Yet it's not as easy as that.  Take the experience of Adam Taliaferro.  It's hard to argue with his story and Rick Reilly makes an excellent point as well.

Or take the column/essay written by David Jones of the Patriot-News.

Clearly Paterno had an enormous effect on people in Happy Valley and beyond and if you wanted to argue that he was, on balance, a force for good, that's an argument you could make and you could convince a lot of people.

We also keep going back to a woman - we think she was a trustee - discussing Paterno's firing, and her comment was that when she tucked her sons in, she kept imagining the mothers of the boys who Sandusky allegedly molested tucking theirs in and the undeniable heartbreak and agony those women would feel every night.

What could be worse?

Well it's not worse but it's certainly asinine: can't anyone convince Jerry Sandusky to shut up? His comments on Paterno's passing were beyond disgusting and totally lacking in self-awareness. Guilty or innocent, a man in his position should have the good grace and common sense to shut the hell up.

At any rate, Paterno leaves behind an extraordinary legacy on both sides of the ledger and people will argue over it for years to come.

One final irony: his passing makes the cases against  the indicted Penn State officials that much more difficult as he can't testify and as we understand it, his statements about the case, even if under oath, are not admissible.

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