I know that child assault comments directed at Paterno are old hat and may seem predictable and a little cheap. But let’s be clear, here: when given the chance, Joe Paterno failed one of the biggest and yet most basic tests of humanity. This wasn’t a nebulously complex philosophical quandary or a snaking series of indistinguishable forks in the road.
Like the last decade of watching journalists and policymakers trying to decide if torture is “okay” or preemptive warfare permitted without evidence, this was one of those baldly self-evident challenges posed to an adult in society, and those who refuse to meet it should have the odium of their failure linger next to their name, into the grave and onward. Their winning percentage elsewhere is immaterial: when you add that loss to the equation, all else plummets toward zero. They failed.