By Bonnie Rochman
As Penn State reels from a sex-abuse scandal that led Wednesday to the ousters of Joe Paterno, the winningest coach in major college football, and university president Graham Spanier, parents are left wondering whom to trust.
We’re pondering what to say to our children about the X-rated details and how to say it. We’re uneasy because every day, we cart our kids to soccer practice, to Little League, to gymnastics, leaving them in the hands of adults we often don’t know very well but assume have our children’s best interests at heart. In theory, they do.
In a report on Paterno’s dismissal on Wednesday, TIME’s Sean Gregory plucked a salient quote from Paterno By The Book, the coach’s 1989 autobiography. “Coaches have the same obligations as all teachers,” wrote Paterno, 84. “Except that we may have more moral and life-shaping influence over our players than anyone else outside of their families.”