The Jan. 23 Associated Press story about the death of Joe Paterno seems to indicate that only his family and football were important to Joe. The reporter didn't get even half of it right. Having only met Joe once, I can still say for certain there was enough room in his heart to love other things as well.
First among these were his players. He took interest in each and every one of Penn State's footballers. He worked overtime to see that his players graduated. He stayed in touch with literally thousands of his players after they left Penn State. And when one young man was seriously injured, Joe and his wife, Sue, were at his bedside often.
Another great love of Joe's life was Penn State itself. There might have been some benefactors who did more financially for the university, but there weren't many. When I attended Penn State, the library was not considered to be one of its great assets. Thanks to Joe and Sue, it now is. Other areas received their attention and are now better for it. Joe didn't just leave an admirable athletic legacy, but an academic one as well.
In the end, Joe made a mistake. I do not and cannot condone what he failed to do, but I am reminded of Anthony's oration for Caesar: "The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones." I, for one, am determined that it won't be so for Joe.
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Hilton Head Island