At one point, Joe Paterno was celebrated enough at Penn State to earn a statue and stand as one of the greatest coaches and figures in the history of college football. Now even being associated with him in any way is a risk that no one wants to take. Gary Pinkel tried to do just that and stand up for a man he considered a friend despite the drama and events unfolded at Penn State recently and he's being taken to ask for it by a Missouri state representative.
Rep. Sara Lampe recently took the time to speak out about quotes that Pinkel made that defended Paterno's legacy during the recent SEC Media Days that concluded today. Pinkel spoke out on the first day to introduce Missouri into their new conference and he chose to remark on Paterno while doing so. Lampe was apparently not impressed.
"University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel on Tuesday called the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno a 'great football coach' and a 'great man.' Paterno may have been a great coach, but as a man he failed at what mattered - protecting children from a sexual predator.
"As the exhaustive investigation into the Penn State scandal by former FBI Director Louis Freeh proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to all but the most sycophantic of Paterno worshipers, Coach Paterno protected and covered up for a serial child rapist and in doing so enabled him to keep raping children for another decade. A great man never would have done such a foul thing. That a great football coach did should be disturbing to everyone.
"Coach Pinkel's defense of the indefensible indicates that he holds the same attitude that allowed the reprehensible situation at Penn State to occur; the attitude that building a successful football program is more important than everything else, including protecting innocent children from rapists."