The legacy of Joe Paterno has suffered well-deserved, irreparable damage as a result of his failures related to the Mike McQueary story.
And in “Paterno,” by Paterno’s handpicked biographer Joe Posnanski, another part of his legacy comes into serious question: Paterno, the brilliant, legendary coach. Here are some quotes from the book.
Penn State fan Donald Smith: “Let us give credit to Jerry, not Joe, for all those wonderful years. No, I’m afraid time has not passed by Joe Paterno. It has simply laid open before the world that Joe is an average coach who had some terrific assistants.”
Former player Brandon Short: “Most people don’t realize how much Jerry meant. He was just as much a part of Penn State as Joe Paterno.”
Palm Beach Post: “The retirement of Jerry Sandusky removed a crucial pillar from the program’s foundation.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer: “The loss of longtime defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who retired after the 1999 season, was a bigger blow than most people realize.”
An unnamed fan: “With each Penn State loss, the picture becomes more clear: Jerry Sandusky was the head football coach for the past 25 years and Joe Paterno was apparently the director of marketing.”
Posnanski concludes that “These are only a few of hundreds of things written and said about how Sandusky’s retirement had exposed Joe Paterno.”
And some interesting evidence exists supporting these observations. Sandusky “retired” in 1999. Beginning with the 2000-2001 season, Penn State had four losing seasons out of the next five.