Editorial: Ignoring vigilance at a cost | CraigDailyPress.com
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Editorial: Ignoring vigilance at a cost

Our View

A lesson learned from the sad ending of Joe Paterno’s career and life is we’re best served not allowing individuals, no matter how great their accomplishments may be, to become bigger than institutions they serve. The scandal that claimed Paterno is also a sobering reminder to parents that boogeymen lurk, and there’s no such thing as being too vigilant.

Our View

A lesson learned from the sad ending of Joe Paterno’s career and life is we’re best served not allowing individuals, no matter how great their accomplishments may be, to become bigger than institutions they serve. The scandal that claimed Paterno is also a sobering reminder to parents that boogeymen lurk, and there’s no such thing as being too vigilant.

It’ll be interesting how history chooses to remember Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno: all-time coaching legend, two-time national champion and molder of men, or disgraced employer and en-

abler of a predator.



Most likely it’ll be a bit of each, with the late hall of fame coach securing a legacy of success and longevity on the field, and late in his career and life an ignorance to maliciousness off it.

When it comes to the latter, we’re talking, of course, about the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.



Sandusky, a longtime assistant coach under Paterno, is the alleged villain of possibly the most notorious scandal in the history of college athletics.

The circumstances of his alleged crimes are so heinous and believed to have occurred over such a long period, that fallout first claimed the once untouchable Paterno’s job, and as some believe, his life.

The editorial board discussed the tragic end to Paterno’s life and career during its meeting Monday, wondering whether anything could be gleaned and applied to our local community.

The editorial board believes the Paterno situation illustrates two points.

First, it becomes dangerous when an employee, official or representative of some kind becomes bigger than the institution he or she serves.

Like what happened with Paterno, pouring so much foundation into someone’s pedestal generally leads to heartbreak.

When idolatry reaches such rare air, there’s only one direction left for someone to go — down.

Next, we think the circumstances of Sandusky and his alleged actions, along with him being allowed to operate without scrutiny, serve as a reminder that wolves are all around us.

The world is a dangerous place and without due diligence and precaution, parents can learn this in a very hard and unnecessary way.

We’ve had predators in our community before. We have them here today. We must be wise to protect against them.

If allegations against Sandusky, as well as those leveled against ex-Syracuse basketball coach Bernie Fine, are true, they should be viewed as sobering examples to parents that potential danger lurks at all levels and places, even ones as unthinkable as major sports programs constantly under the media’s microscope.

We certainly don’t believe the abuse allegations against the two coaches are cause to become irrational, but rather worthwhile reminders that bad people live in our society today and they don’t come with nametags identifying who and what they really are.

The evils of the world demand vigilance. It’s a sad but entirely true fact.

Sandusky’s innocent victims and Paterno’s fall from grace are examples of what can happen when this is ignored.

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