Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 12/28/11

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 1: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions leaves the field following the 2010 Capital One Bowl against the LSU Tigers at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on January 1, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. Penn State won 19-17. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Given what kind of year it’s been for Penn State, Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno, this old letter I saw republished on Athlon seems perfect for revisiting.  Sandusky looks guilty as sin for the crimes alleged against him, and Paterno looks like the complete opposite of the man who was named Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year” in 1986.

Think about that for a second, the man who had his name removed from the Stagg Big Ten Championship trophy in disgrace last month was once named “Sportsman of the Year.”

This is an open letter Paterno wrote to the college presidents commission in 1992 regarding the importance of integrity and and the role that coaches play in helping provide for the welfare of young people.

Yes, he’s giving advice on these topics- a man who helped enable child rape.

I hope you enjoy the unintentional dark comedy.

An Open Letter To College Presidents – 1992

By Joe Paterno, Head Coach, Penn State University

Today more than ever, college presidents are taking responsibility for the preservation of intercollegiate athletics, ensuring the integrity of their programs, at the same time, maintaining the vitality of all sports.

I don’t think any committed coach can take issue with the involvement of the presidents in the administration of intercollegiate athletics. At Penn State, we have had such institutional control, and the participation of the presidents on the national level is indeed welcome.

Having said that, I don’t necessarily subscribe to all the changes the President’s Commission has instituted through the NCAA.

Many recollect that our coaches and other athletic staff have not done a good job informing our presidents on what constitutes constructive changes. As a result, I am afraid we have created new rules and restrictions which might diminish the coaches’ ability to run athletic programs that are a source of personal growth and provide meaningful competition for our student-athletics. What we must work to establish are activities which add zest to a quality education and enrich life in the exciting mainstream of a vibrant college experience.

Eliminating an assistant coach and replacing graduate assistants with reduced-earning personnel as a cost-cutting measure would have made it more difficult for our coaching staffs to successfully assume the increasing responsibility for the welfare of our people, from guiding their lifestyles to being accountable for their graduation.

The release of institutional graduation rates increases the already significant pressure on football coaches who are held accountable for the academic proficiency of their players, a responsibility no other university administrator or faculty member, with the exception of the president, shoulders in such a public manner. The elimination of graduate assistants would have scrapped the only intern program available to young people who desire to further their education and prepare themselves to be effective coaches.

As an aside, I hope that in the drive to improve graduation rates we will not overlook the necessity of providing a meaningful education or assume that the student does not have the prime responsibility to graduate.

This was just an excerpt, to read the whole thing, go here

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, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

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.

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