JoePa Nominated for Medal of Freedom
Last Thursday U.S. Representative Glenn Thompson sent a letter to President Obama nominating Coach Joe Paterno for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Medal of Freedom is the highest honor that the United States government can award to a civilian. Last year, 16 people were named as recipients of the award including Sen. Edward Kennedy, Billy Jean King and Stephen Hawking.
“Rarely has the award been made to someone who has personified sportsmanship on the field of play and academic achievement in the classroom,” Thompson wrote in the letter. “It is our hope, that this year the Medal of Freedom does just that by honoring Joe Paterno for his contribution to the coaching of football, his commitment to the academic integrity of the young men under his charge, and his deep dedication to education in general.”
Seventeen additional bipartisan signatures were included in the letter, mainly from the Pennsylvania delegation. Thompson listed Paterno’s many accomplishments in the letter. “He has amassed nearly 400 wins, more than any other coach in Division I history. His program has never been on probation. There has never been an accusation of corrupt recruiting and, in what is depressingly rare, his players stay in school and graduate.”
With increasing pressure from the public for Congress to focus on more substantive legislation, the question becomes, should the Pennsylvania delegation be requesting an award for JoePa in times like this?