In a column published Friday afternoon, ESPN's Rick Reilly weighed in on Joe Paterno and the cloud of shame hanging over Penn State University. Reilly, a former Sports Illustrated columnist, profiled Paterno in 1986 when SI featured him as Sportsman of the Year. Reilly essentially retracts every word of his ten-page portrayal, but a quote from a mysterious PSU professor is what stands out in Reilly's piece. The midnight caller offered a stern warning about the dangers of hagiography -- the study of saints:
You're going to be just like the rest, aren't you? You're going to make Paterno out to be a saint. You don't know him. He'll do anything to win. What you media are doing is dangerous.
Reilly admits to poo-pooing the accusation, but a quarter-century later, those haunting words ring loud and clear.