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Coach K on Paterno

As a Duke fan I obviously love Coach K. He is kind of the Paterno of basketball, or was until the whole Penn St thing blew up. But while I think his talents can be applied outside of basketball, I don't worship the guy as a person and think he is some Ghandi-like human being. Here is proof that he has his own biases and shouldn't be worshiped as someone above the rest of us:

“Well, I think, unless you’re there, it’s tough to comment about everything,’’ Krzyzewski said. “I just feel badly for him and whatever he is responsible for, it’ll come out and hopefully it’ll come out from him.

“I think one thing you have to understand is that Coach Paterno’s 84 years old. I’m not saying that for an excuse or whatever. The cultures that he’s been involved in both football-wise and socially, have been immense changes and how social issues are handled in those generations are quite different.

“But as we judge, remember that there’s just a lot there. There’s a lot,lot there. I think he’s a great man and it’s a horrific situation.”

Technically, he has a point. We probably don't know every single fact. But there seems to be a lot of evidence. And as for Paterno specifically, which is what he is talking about, we certainly can and should comment.

What is there to feel badly about Paterno for? I assume he is saying this as a friend who feels bad for him. But who gives a shit about how a rich and powerful man feels when numerous children are claiming they were raped? I get you would feel bad for your friend. But that doesn't really matter in a situation like this, especially when his inaction is part of the problem.

He's right that the culture is different. And again, that is a big part of the problem. When you put yourself at the top of a hierarchy whose purpose is to, in part, establish morals for a group of young adults, you become morally responsible for what goes on within that hierarchy to some degree. And regardless of the specifics or how old he was, Paterno doesn't seem to have fulfilled his obligations as the leader.

He may have been a great man in every facet other than the Sandusky situation. But that's a pretty big fuck up. And I think it seriously calls into question his "great" status. In fact, I think it automatically disqualifies him from that status. And I think Coach K might realize that if he stepped away from the situation and looked at it from a perspective not so focused on his friend.

I"m disappointed in these remarks. They are too deferential to a friend while not being mindful enough of how badly Paterno likely fucked up. Yes we don't have every shred of evidence available. And Coach K has a point there. But we seem to have a lot to go on. And it wouldn't have been difficult to make that point while not appearing insensitive to the victims. Confirmation bias exists everywhere. But my love of Duke and Coach K isn't enough to cloud my judgement on this situation.