I'll get to my thoughts on Paterno in a second, but my first instinct is absolute disgust at the whole situation. First and foremost, I will never understand rapists, let alone child rapists. They are horrible, horrible people and I will never, ever be able to wrap my head around what kind of person can inflict that kind of pain upon another human, especially a child.
But beyond that, what kind of a person walks in on a man sodomizing a kid - sees that happening face to face in a university facility - and simply walks away? I have to think that many of us (most of us?) would rush in. I'm not particularly strong or brave but if I walked in and saw a grown man raping a twelve year old kid, at the very least, I would make a ruckus and call 9-1-1. Probably both. How could you see that happen, turn around and walk away? What kind of person does that?
So now at Penn State there is one retired coach raping kids in university showers, and another coach that sees it and walks away. At the (very, very) least, the second coach reported it to Joe Paterno who in turn reported it to his boss. Who apparently... did nothing much.
Now I don't think JoePa is a criminal per se, but I also think he knew about this for nine long years and didn't do enough. By a long shot. And this man was the head of the football program in a place where the football program runs the show. What happened to this kid (these kids) was horrible and wrong and there were adults - like Joe Paterno- in place that could have and should have stopped it. And they didn't. And I think that is reason aplenty to punish them.
And that's where it is. A few layoffs. A tarnished legacy. Little boys lives changed forever.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - Edmond Burke