Should Penn State have let Paterno coach Saturday?

Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Baltimore Sun.

Deserved an encore

Matt Murschel


Orlando Sentinel

Joe Paterno is one of the greatest coaching legends in college football. He has done more for Penn State University in the 46 years he has been coaching than anyone else.


Until this point, his programs have remained clean when others have failed, and his donations to help further education are well-documented.

That's why he should have been allowed one last chance to say goodbye Saturday, to walk the sideline at Beaver Stadium and hear the cheers one last time. There would have been boos and protests. Wins and losses won't matter in the end, and a legacy that once had written itself will be tarnished forever. A legacy that began on a football field 46 years ago should have ended on it as well.

A huge distraction

Chris Dufresne

Los Angeles Times

It's incredible to think the best deal Joe Paterno could have cut for himself was announcing he would retire at the end of the season.

A man who only weeks ago talked about having no intention of retiring actually had to get out in front of a Penn State board of trustees that told him to step down immediately. Yet allowing Paterno to coach the next three games and a bowl game would have been a huge distraction and could not have been allowed.


Paterno probably should have been allowed to coach his final home game at Penn State, then step aside for remaining away games at Ohio State and Wisconsin. But even that didn't sound like a good idea by Wednesday night.

Time to cut the grass

Teddy Greenstein

Chicago Tribune

Joe Paterno used to answer questions about when he'd retire by saying: "What do you want me to do on Saturdays, cut the grass?"


He needed Penn State as much as Penn State needed him. But now the school needed him to vanish. It's a harsh reality for a man who also should be associated with loyalty, excellence and playing by the NCAA rules.

But Saturday is Senior Day in State College, and the players deserved to have some of the spotlight shine on them.

When Penn State officials tried to run Paterno out in 2004, he insisted: "I'm going to retire when I think it's the best time for Penn State football. Period."

It was time for him to go. It is time for Paterno to cut the grass.

Hadn't he lost enough?


Keith Groller

Morning Call

Some wanted more blood. They wanted more humiliation and embarrassment too. And that means they wanted someone to tell Joe Paterno he couldn't coach Saturday in what would have been his final game on campus.

On Wednesday night, someone did.

But hadn't he lost enough already? Isn't having 46 years of trying to do things the right way, building a reputation for your program and university and having it blow up in your face enough punishment?

He did not commit these crimes, nor has he been charged with one.


If he wanted to coach one last home game, they should have let him coach.