When it comes to the statue of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, for the first time in a long time I donít have an opinion as to which side is right in the matter of whether it should stay or go.
Unless remote island life has been your cup of tea for the last several weeks, you must have heard about the investigation conducted by former FBI agent Louis Freeh into Penn Stateís Jerry Sandusky scandal and Joe Paternoís involvement or lack thereof.
With evidence now linking Paterno and several Penn State officials to having knowledge and being a part of a sexual abuse cover-up, the question has risen as to just how much should Penn State distance itself from its one-time, legendary coach Paterno. All eyes are on the statue of Paterno.
Iím not saying there is no right answer in the matter. I think very much there is, however, itís not for the majority to decide, but rather the minority should hold the deciding vote. We should ask the victims and their Families.
I have heard it from both sides this week and for the first time, I didnít really know how to weigh in on this subject. I donít pretend to understand like those who are from Pennsylvania. Admittedly, Iím just an outsider. To me, itís just a statue that means a great deal to a lot of people.
We should pose the question to the victims and their Families and patiently await an answer. Let them be the guiding light on what should happen next.
Shouldnít the victims and their Familiesí legacy be the one that now takes precedence over all other debates? When does giving those affected the most throughout this become as important as statue placement?
My mother always told me if I didnít know the answer then be smart enough to ask someone who did or at least could point me in the direction of someone who can.
To me, the victims and their Families not only have the right to answer, they might be the only people to have the right answer for the right reason.
While the supporters and detractors of Paterno continue to be at each otherís throats, lost in all the need to bicker back in forth is and continues to be the need to give the victims and Families a voice.
Let them sit at the table and cast their vote as to should the statue stay the same or make a change. Whatever they decide, whether to keep the statue of Paterno or have it removed, I think that is the kind of foundation of healing that could start a new tradition at Penn State.
(Editorís note: This commentary was written before the decision was made to move the statue of Joe Paterno.)