Joe Paterno Legacy

1020 Words5 Pages
my Duty
Mr. Dhalgren
Honors World Literature 10
17 January, 2018
The Tragedy of Joe Paterno The storied legacy of Joe Paterno is that of both triumph and turmoil, with the later half of his legacy being tarnished by his hand in forty-five counts of sexual abuse (Wagner). His legacy is filled with both successes in the realm of sports, with him being the the Penn State football coach for nearly fifty years, winning two national championships, and in helping the lives of people, with him helping many students rise to the ranks of the National Football League and indirectly helping other students by raising money the university of Penn State (Ceddes). However, his legacy later turns sinister when news comes out that his assistant coach, Jerry
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Furthermore, before the child molestation scandal with his assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, Paterno was a nationally renowned head football coach with over four-hundred wins and two national championships (Ceddes). Along with his football feats, he bolstered Penn State’s annual revenue from football to $48 million dollars, while also creating a storied tradition of football for the university (Ceddes). Through his previously mentioned successes, Paterno has made himself highly renowned throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. Consequently, him being renowned before his situation and what happens to him after the scandal factors into him being a tragic hero because Aristotle states that “The change of fortune should be not from bad to good, but, reversely, from good to bad”(Aristotle) and “He must be one who is highly renowned and prosperous”(Aristotle). This quote is further supported by him being torn down by the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Due to this scandal, Paterno was immediately fired from his coaching job and a year later, the statue of himself on the campus was torn down (Wagner). Along with this, Paterno had to give up his wins from 1998-2011 and heavy sanctions were placed on his once beloved football program (Wagner). Joe Paterno fits the definition of a tragic hero…show more content…
Furthermore, Aristotle makes this imperative for a tragic hero in the Poetics when he states that the character “ought to be so constructed that, even without the aid of the eye, he who hears the tale told will thrill with horror and melt to pity at what takes place”(Aristotle). This quote means that the fear and pity invoked due to the situation must be so great that it must be able to arose these feelings with just a verbal description of the situation. Paterno’s condition fits this part of the definition because it arouses fear when he ignores an exorbitant amount of child rape for decades and it arouse pity due to the legacy he built and all the players or fans he helped. Specifically it arouses fear because of shear magnitude of negligence from Joe Paterno In 1977, Sandusky established a foster house for little boys and in this house, he sexually abused these children, with Paterno knowing of this situation from the late 1970’s to 2011 when Sandusky was arrested (Ganim). These sexual assaults from Sandusky even spilled into the locker room of Paterno and this is evident when “a 10-year-old boy said Sandusky gave him a naked hug in a shower”(Ganim). This incident was in 2001 and Paterno let this go for the sake of winning, therefore arousing fear within whoever hears this tale of sexual deviancy (Ganim).
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