The college football world had a big loss this weekend with the passing of Joe Paterno from complications with lung cancer. He won the most games in all of Division I football and was apart of the Penn State family since the age of 23.
Since his passing news has been of how he was a coach, teacher and person, but some stories have come out that have taken the window from Joe Pa and his life to how Penn State handled his firing earlier this college football season.
But one of the more interesting stories to come out involved Joe Paterno and the hiring of Lloyd Carr at Michigan. Back in 1995 Michigan athletic director Joe Roberson called about what to do with interim coach Carr. Paterno told Roberson to hire Carr, which turned out to be a great decision for Michigan football.
Here is an excerpt from Carr from the story by Mark Snyder of the Free Press:
The most difficult time I ever talked to an opposing coach was after the game, win or lose. I have some memories that Joe was after games. I always admired the way he was. I don’t think he ever overreacted to losing a game and I don’t think he blamed his players. He was really a great model for the sportsmanship in the role of a coach at that level. He understood there’s a lot of high school players and coaches watching him. He took that part of his profession seriously. He was a great example for all over us in the great majority of situations he found himself in.
Paterno was so respected amongst the Big Ten that he even played a part in a rival hiring a coach. Regardless of how his time ended at Penn State and the scandal that forced his firing, Paterno should be remembered as the man he was on the field and on the campus of Penn State.
I honestly don’t know how to end this post, my plan was to say that what Jerry Sandusky did should not tarnish the reputation of Paterno and all the good things he did. But the truth is no matter how you remember Paterno he will always be connected to Sandusky and what that man allegedly did.
Personally, I just hope people will take the time to just remember the man that he was before the scandal broke, no matter how difficult that may be.