Recently one of the most controversial people in sports due to the child abuse scandal, Joe Paterno has made it in the collegiate spotlight thanks to his career as a football coach at Penn State. On Sunday, Joe Paterno died after suffering from lung cancer.
Age 85, football coach Joe Paterno died this Sunday after struggling with lung cancer and the stress caused by the child abuse scandal. News about his death made it across the collegiate sports world and hundreds of candles and flowers were placed at the base of Paterno’s statue at Penn State’s Beaver Stadium.
The campus at Penn State was roaming with news regarding JoePa’s death since Saturday night, when an inaccurate report was published on a school student web site, called Onward State.
The statement released by Paterno’s family writes that the coach “died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been”.
“A man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community” are words that successfully describe Paterno who made a dramatic impact in the world of college football. Washington Post writes that Paterno’s ascent in the world of sports have “formed one of the most tragic narratives in modern athletic history and constitutes something of a conflicted legacy”.
“He was the most successful head coach in the history of major college football”, writes Washington Post, “but the circumstances of his dismissal led to a stain both on the football program and the man who ran it for so long”.
Joe Paterno was fired age 84 after the child abuse scandal has surfaced in the media. One of his former assistants, Jerry Sandusky, had been observed abusing a young boy in a shower at the Penn State’s football facility. Although Paterno claimed he did not know how to handle it at the time, the college’s board of trustees decided to hold him accountable for his abdication of leadership.
All in all, after Joe Paterno’s death, the history remains to tell the story. The teams he coached won 409 games during his 46 season tenure as head coach at Penn State. His record places him as the “all-time winningest coach in major college football history”, as Washington Post says.