Let Joe coach

By Jake Mokris
Teen Takeover staff
Joe Paterno is 79. He has been coaching football for 40 years. His team just won the Orange Bowl, finishing the season as third in the country. Coach Paterno has been rather cranky lately, and he made some crude comments on Florida State player A. J. Nicholson’s alleged sexual misconduct.
Because of all this, many people claim that Joe Paterno should retire. But are these good reasons for him to retire?


He is not incapable of coaching; the opposite is true. If anything, Paterno is extremely qualified to coach, for he has more coaching experience than almost all other coaches. If he were 50 right now, instead of 79, absolutely no one would be asking him to retire after his team ended its season as third in the country. Yes, Joe Paterno should tone down his crankiness and refrain from making crude comments, but on the other hand, everyone has his quirks.
Almost all the arguments as to why Joe Paterno should retire can be summed up to one short sentence: He’s old. But is that a good argument? And what is the definition of “old

About Scott Fisher

I'm opinion page editor and blogging coordinator for the York Daily Record/Sunday News and Yorkblog.com. Phone: 717-771-2049. Email: sfisher@ydr.com. Twitter: twitter.com/YDReditpage.
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7 Responses to Let Joe coach

  1. C Eaves says:

    Jake,
    You are right when you say everyone thinks “old people need to retire and sit at home doing what they like. Well, some individuals like to work and Coach Paterno does. I’m one of the indivduals who are called old. I don’t feel old and I still enjoy working and playing golf.

  2. Kate says:

    I don’t know where you got your information sir, but you are quite wrong that retirement is a hidden racist facet of eugenics.
    Retirement is an English construct from the days of “Lords of the Manor” where if a servant managed to live to age 50-60 (depending on time/place and trade) they were given a small cottage on the edge of the Lord’s lands and allowed to live out their remaining life in comfort since they were past the age where they could be useful to the household.
    Retirement has little or nothing to do with Eugenics. You are thinking far too 21st century about things, and obviously from the point of view of someone upper-middle class who doesn’t have an understanding of the toll that manual labour takes on a body over the course of a lifetime.
    Telling me that I am a racist (subtly, to be sure, but still there) because I would support the retirement of someone who has recently started portraying erratic behaviour that he was not know for before (a sign at least of losing the will to be flexible, but also an early warning sign for age-related dementia) is crude of you.
    You have apparently no knowledge of what you are speaking about. If you want to talk football, great! talk football. But trying to get into other people’s heads about the basis of their understanding of the retirement system, psycho-analyzing us and then telling us that we are wrong… with nothing to back you up… well that’s pure arrogance.
    And insulting people who might not hold your view and calling them racist? It’s below you sir.

  3. Kathy says:

    Certainly, any older person, unable to work, or who wishes to retire, should be able to retire.
    However, our society is prejudice toward older people.
    This past year saw the deaths of Pope John Paul II and Chief Justice William Rehnquist. These two men were “old” and in frail health. For some time before their deaths, people held opinions that they should retire or step down. As Kate states above, maybe people believed “they were past the age where they could be useful.”
    We’ve all heard about people who have been forced into early retirement. And, we’ve heard about people who “go down hill” quickly after retirement. We know that work is good for us, but many of us think that an older person is not as capable or as good of a worker as a younger person.
    This past summer, I accompanied my 84-year old father-in-law to medical appointments for cancer treatments. I was very embarrassed by the fact that the medical workers would direct their comments and questions to me and not my father-in-law. (Of course, I’m sure there are many instances where older people need a medical advocate, but this wasn’t one of them.) On one occasion, I wanted to report a local pharmacy for age discrimination for telling my father-in-law that his medication card was expired. We went to a bigger pharmacy that readily accepted the card. My father -in-law is very smart (Ivy League graduate, Pearl Harbor veteran) and does physical labor at home.
    We, as a society, need to examine our views about old-age, just as we do about race, religion, and ethnicity.

  4. Jake says:

    When I said that “Eugenics is inherently racist,”
    I was not implying that the people that say Joe Paterno should retire are racists; my meaning was that “Eugenics is inherently racist.” I was noting an aspect of eugenics. I do believe that calling for someone to retire just because that person is elderly is discriminatory.

  5. Kate says:

    “When I said that “Eugenics is inherently racist,”
    I was not implying that the people that say Joe Paterno should retire are racists; my meaning was that “Eugenics is inherently racist.” I was noting an aspect of eugenics. I do believe that calling for someone to retire just because that person is elderly is discriminatory. ”
    I would agree with you that calling for a retirment due only to age and not any other factor is discriminatory, but calling for a resignation when there has been erratic and unacceptable behaviour is not generally considered to be discriminatory. In fact it’s just cause for dismissal for many companies.
    Now if the coach does not wish to retire, and the company that he works for does not feel that his behaviour reflects on his position or his job performance and therefore is not a workplace issue then that’s great for all concerned. It’s between the two parties involved.
    My problem was with your article, not with the possible resolution of the Coach Paterno issue. You moved in a logically incoherent line from age being a meaningless social construct to that meaningless social construct going against biblical teachings, to that social construct being part of a hidden agenda of eugenics. If you did not want people to think that you were speaking of race then why include the line “Eugenics is inherently racist, taking into account people’s nationality, ethnicity and health.”
    After that you told the reader to “… go re-evaluate your views on age and retirement, and let Joe Paterno coach.”
    In the logic laid out in your article, if I believe that there are reasons for a social construct to treat younger people and older people differently (as I do) I am supporting the rest of the things that you find so abhorent (as do I) in your article.
    I support people working for as long as they are able, I also support companies who under increasing economic pressures need their employees to function at near peak efficiency and I understand that those two ideals can come into conflict.
    However, you did not adress the sticky or difficult issues of age and the workplace, instead you claimed (falsely) that retirement is based on eugenics and that those who support the retirement of Coach Paterno (which I may or may not)support eugenics (albeit unknowingly). Taking an isolated 4 words from their context and defending them and them alone is a strawman argument that answers nothing that I brought up.

  6. Nathan says:

    Let Joe make up his own mind; it’s his own decision.

  7. Bubba says:

    Take a chill pill, Kate.

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