Legendary NFL coaches, players talk PSU scandal

November 8, 2011 9:15:15 PM PST
Some of the greatest players and coaches in NFL history gathered in Society Hill this evening to honor the career of former Eagles Head Coach Buddy Ryan.

But the turmoil in Happy Valley was not far from everyone's hearts and minds.

Most of the Eagle greats Action News spoke with say their biggest concern is over the well-being of the children reportedly involved.

"If anything happens to a kid with somebody in that authority position, to do something to violate a kid, I don't think there's a crime much worse than that," former Eagles receiver Mike Quick said.

But legendary coach turned football commentator Mike Ditka says he doesn't understand why so much of the story is revolving around Head Coach Joe Paterno.

"I think it's very unfair, but that's the media; he did what he was supposed to do and unfortunately, great people get dragged down when stupid people do bad things," Ditka said.

Which brings up the question of how this will affect Joe Paterno's otherwise unrivaled legacy.

Iconic Eagles Head Coach Dick Vermeil shared his thoughts.

"I don't think there's anything that could discolor the quality of Joe Paterno's legacy; he is what he is because of what he is and what he's been," Vermeil said.

Former Pro Bowl tight end Keith Jackson says he hopes Coach Vermeil is right.

"When you talk about a guy that's a legend, that's done it right all the years, you never hear anything bad, it's just hurtful to see what's happening now. He's just a guy who you want to respect and see go out the right way," Jackson said.

In fact, all of the former players and coaches Action News spoke with agree that as the years pass, Joe Paterno's legacy will not be defined by this dark chapter in Penn State's history.

But few of them believe he'll be able to weather this storm and return as head coach next season.

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