As recently linked emails how, there is no doubt that he wielded enough clout at the school to have the officials defer to him on their decision. When Beaver Stadium was renovated, Paterno allegedly did not have the press box upgraded because of his distaste/grudges with the media. And when the city wanted to expand the airport, he reportedly nixed that- wanting the community to stay as much insulated and cut off as possible, as to further consolidate his power.
And there is a certain sizable segment of the populace in this region who seems desperate to cling to the belief that Paterno was this saintly grandfather of all that’s noble and good about not only college athletics but higher education. That he could not possibly have been involved in the cover-up of a pedophile’s hideous deeds.
Those people will never believe what I have to say here because they are zealots in need of a hero, even if it’s someone they never knew.
In covering the man and his football program for 21 seasons, the single most dominant thread is this: his ambition and drive. He would allow nothing and no one to disparage the institution he had built without some form of retribution. And he had complete power over his domain.
He could be a vindictive man. At times, he was pointlessly petty and nasty.
Paterno was the man truly running the University and town. In the same manner Dick Cheney and Halliburton truly ran the United States for eight years while George W. Bush was president. Not only was Paterno the guy truly calling the shots, he had a special way of dealing with scandal, and crisis- his way or the highway. He didn’t outsource anything when it came to trouble within his domain.
The e-mails obtained by CNN from a source familiar with the investigation, and first reported by the Wall Street Journal, show Paterno wielded power that went well beyond the realm of football or even the athletic department.
In a 2005 e-mail from Dr. Vicky Triponey, then vice president of student affairs in charge of disciplining students, to athletic director Tim Curley and others, she summarizes a meeting they had with Paterno in which he tells her that he wants to be the sole disciplinarian of his players.
She criticizes Paterno for wanting to limit the Campus Code of Conduct to incidents that take place on campus and keeping disciplinary matters involving his players private. “Coach Paterno would rather we NOT inform the public when a football player is found responsible for committing a serious violation of the law and/or our student code — despite any moral or legal obligation to do so,” according to her e-mail.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too