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Joe Paterno Firing Raises Questions

November 9, 2011, 9:55 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Joe Paterno Firing Raises Questions
 The winningest coach in major college football history has been fired. Joe Paterno will not lead the Nittany Lions in another game.

That announcement came down a little after 9 p.m. Wednesday night, along with the firing of Penn State President Graham Spanier.

Its in response to the child sexual abuse scandal involving a former coach that's hitting more than just the world of college sports.

KELOLAND News talked with a former professional athlete who's seen it all, about the bond between a player and his coach.

“It's the last thing you'd expect when you turn your kids over to get instruction and guidance and direction, and you'd hope that's what a coach would exemplify,” Coach Brian Hansen said.

Hansen should know. He spent 15 years in the NFL and now heads South Dakota's Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“I had a lot of great coaches that have a lot of Superbowl rings, but Bob had a greater purpose in mind,” Hansen said.

He's talking about former USF Coach Bob Young, whose name adorns the field just outside of Hansen's office. And Hansen says that the scandal that's rocked the Nittany Lions proves coaches aren't always screened properly, even at the highest levels.

“Parents should have a voice in what they're seeing and coaches should be held to a higher standard," Hansen said. "There should be expectations that should be met."

Hansen says most South Dakota sports programs do meet very high standards, and parents here need not worry about their children's well-being. But doing the extra homework when putting your kids into a program is always a good safeguard.

"We're blessed in South Dakota with guys that do know what it's all about," Hansen said. "They have the greater purpose in mind and they do impact kids in a positive way."

In the end there's really no way of knowing, but being a protective parent, or at least asking a few questions, can make all the difference.

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