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Horror in Happy Valley: Paterno must go
November 9th, 2011
02:00 PM ET

Horror in Happy Valley: Paterno must go

Editor's note: Tune in to AC360° at 8 p.m. ET for the latest in the child sexual abuse allegations against a former Penn State assistant football coach.

Roxanne Jones is a founding editor of ESPN The Magazine and a former VP at ESPN. She is a national lecturer on sports, entertainment and women's topics. She is the author of "Say It Loud: An Illustrated History of the Black Athlete" (Random House). She is CEO of Push Marketing Group.

(CNN) - We are ... Penn State.

I cannot recount the thousands of times that I have proudly proclaimed that chant throughout the years. I belted it out as a Penn State cheerleader, later as a proud alum standing in Beaver Stadium among nearly 100,000 raucous fans, and more recently on Saturday afternoons sitting solo in my TV room watching my Nittany Lions roar in those classic no-name jerseys.

Those words still give me goosebumps nearly 20 years after I left State College, Pennsylvania, lovingly called Happy Valley. Looking down from my perch on other colleges over the past decade, I've watched major programs crumble as their dirty little secrets were revealed. And through all those college scandal headlines - paying players, inflating SAT scores, falsifying classroom grades - I have held Penn State up as a shining example of all that is good and right and pure about college sports.

We are the good guys.

We have Joe Paterno.

We are ... Penn State.

But today, I'm putting my pompoms down. I'm done covering up Happy Valley's secrets. And it's time for others in the program, starting with Coach Paterno, to do the same thing. And then, Joe has got to go, immediately.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Opinion