Never Forgotten: A legend is lost

Thick rimmed glasses that sparkled in the sunlight set over Beaver Stadium.

Khaki pants rolled up revealing jet black Nike cross-trainers.

The once jet black hair is now replaced by the gray that only age and wisdom can bring.

The shirt and tie peers beneath a jacket that resembled the man. It bore the two words that would make this man a legend: Penn State.

Behind him were 100,000 screaming fans dressed all in white.

This was Penn State.

This was Joe Paterno.

Sunday morning, Penn State University lost its icon; an icon that became tarnished due to allegations revolving around his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky.

However, as days and weeks go by, the Penn State community and the state of Pennsylvania will mourn the loss of a man, who, despite his misdoings was a legend in his own right.

Scouring the campus of Shippensburg University searching for feedback of the coaching legend, SU students conveyed both positive and negative portraits of this man.

“Joe was a legend. He pretty much set the standard for greatness in college football. I was upset to hear about his death. He has already had a huge impact on college football and I believe his legacy will be something for other coaches to aspire to,” SU student Phillip Wigfield said.

Wigfield was not the only one who shared a positive light on Paterno. Other students and faculty around campus agreed with Wigfield on the basis of Paterno being a legend.

Running backs coach from the SU football team J.C. Morgan said, “When my career is done, I wish I have had a fraction of impact that Paterno did. You are not going to see anybody be at a university as long as he was again.”

On the other hand, others around the SU campus were not as warm and fuzzy to the ole ball coach.
Some SU students displayed little to no compassion over the loss of an iconic figure. Whether that was because of their dislike for Penn State, or for Paterno himself, students chalked his death up as just another old person that died.

Death happens.

It is a rite of passage. You live, you die.

Every day many will die; however, people like Paterno come few and far between.

For the students at SU who sat on their mom or dad’s laps while Penn State was on, who braved the cold to see their favorite team play, or who bled blue and white, will remember the icon that was Joe Paterno.

Paterno impacted students at SU and will be in the hearts of many, whether at SU or across the country.

“It’s always sad to see someone you grew up with die, and I know State College is mourning the loss as well,” Wigfield said.

For SU students and Penn State fans alike, the khaki pants, the thick rimmed glasses and the raspy voice will fade into the hearts of his fans. A legend has passed. Celebrate his accomplishments.

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