All good company men, whether in football or at a large corporation, are loyal to the organizations they work for and follow the directives of the executives above them. Joe Paterno is no different. As more facts emerge, I believe we will learn that the institutional failures at Penn State reach far above Paterno.
This is an article from the Dec. 12, 2011 issue
Beth Jesurun, Bryan, Texas
Penn State appears to have been more concerned about protecting its image (This Is Penn State, Nov. 21) than in doing what is right. I believe that has also been Paterno's pattern throughout his career. It seems to me that he only wanted to take responsibility for the actions of his players and coaches on the field and refused to address their potentially serious problems off it.
Steve Ferrier, Lawrence, Kans.
The failure to properly report the heinous acts that are alleged to have happened at Penn State is as shameful as the acts themselves. If we don't do whatever we can to protect our children, then what does that say about who we are?
Matt Travis, Baxter, Iowa
I think the media has used a 23-page indictment to create myriad conspiracy theories and destroy a great man like Paterno. No one can possibly say for sure how he would have responded if he were in Paterno's shoes. Paterno's admission that he wished he had done more is a sign of human decency, not an admission of any moral transgression.
I agree with Jack McCallum's assertion that Paterno can't get his reputation back (A Legacy in Tatters, Nov. 21). But given everything that has happened, one has to ask: Was that reputation ever deserved in the first place? Is the Paterno we saw before this scandal the real one, or just an idealized front? I don't know the answer, but the fact that it seems appropriate to ask says a lot.
Robert Steckel, Amherst, Va.
I want to thank Tom Verducci for his input on the Penn State scandal (A Place Apart, Nov. 21). As an alum I believe it is difficult for outsiders to understand the loss that we, the PSU family, feel as a result of the administration's failures. Many on campus saw JoePa as a father figure. And while I think he made an error in judgment, I still believe that he is a man of high morals.
Rhodes Less Traveled
Your article about Yale quarterback Patrick Witt's bypassing his final interview for a Rhodes Scholarship (SCORECARD, Nov. 21) in order to play against Harvard was inspiring. It also pointed out the shortsightedness of the scholarship committee. Witt should have been be applauded for his commitment, not penalized. He could have easily been a great spokesperson for the Rhodes.
No Ordinary Joe
Richard Hoffer's tribute to Smokin' Joe (1944--2011 Joe Frazier, Nov. 21) was a sad testament to our obsession with celebrities and their flashy personalities. Frazier was a great boxer and the one man who always pushed Muhammad Ali to the limit, yet Ali got all the glory. After looking at your small article on Frazier in the back of the magazine, I couldn't help but feel Frazier had been slighted once again.
John Kilbride, Houston
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What do you think of Tiger Woods's victory at the Chevron World Challenge?
Kelly Nishihama: Sweet! He is not even back at the top of his game and he still gets a win. I always believed he'd come back, unlike all of the haters.
Wade Denniston (@wdbowler): It was great seeing Tiger finally win again. I missed that famous fist pump of his. Here's hoping for many more victories in 2012.
Trey Hickman: I think his first win in over two years is nothing more than an anomaly, not the beginning of a climb back to the pinnacle. Let's see what happens next year.
John Spence (@LoudChiSportFan): Awesome. I like #Tiger when he wins because he makes the PGA relevant. When Tiger is good the rest of the field plays better.
Brendon Shay Sawyer: I stopped watching golf because he started slumping and the game got boring. Watching Tiger and Phil Mickelson go at it for the top spot was exciting. I hope we can see that rivalry start up again.