We've all heard the old line "the game has passed him by", but most of us think in terms of a coach who can't keep up with the game on the field. However, in Joe Paterno's case, it was the game off the field that passed him by.
The 84 year-old legendary coach is from an era where all bench bosses had to do was coach. They answered to no one and didn't need to deal with outside issues or the 24 hour news cycle. So it's no surprise that Paterno was ill-equipped to deal with the modern tragedy that is child sex abuse. That's not to say that the child sex abuse is a new problem, but that there's an expectation that a coach, when informed of an assistant commiting the horrific act in the team showers, needs to do more than pass the information up the chain.
This is not to excuse Paterno for his lack of action, but to put it in proper perspective. Paterno made a mistake of mammoth proportions. By not living up to his accepted position of not just being a legendary head coach but a role model, he allowed this monster named Jerry Sandusky to continue his serial raping of small children. The former defensive coordinator should be locked under the jail and never be allowed to see the late of day again.
As for Paterno, HIs legend is tarnished at least for the rest of his lifetime. That's his punishment for looking the other way. Let's hope all of us have learned from this terrible lesson.