Tag Archives: Penn State

Christine Brennan is Way Out of Line

Her column here.

The Penn State story already has become the worst scandal in college sports history, and might end up being viewed as the worst scandal in all U.S. sports, ever.

Cannot we all agree that this is a story about a sick and twisted man who happened to once be a football coach?  It is only peripherally about sports. Granted many of those who have been dismissed have had a role in athletics and Penn State, they were dismissed not because of an error or omission while engaged in sports activity.  Far from it.  They were dismissed for reasons unrelated to sports.

When a university is involved in something of this magnitude, there should be no celebration, only serious soul-searching.

This is what I meant when I wrote that the Joe Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium needs to get the Saddam Hussein treatment.  Penn State can celebrate whatever it wants to but it cannot celebrate the accomplishments of the men involved in the Sandusky case.  This should in now prevent the university from celebrating other unrelated successes.  Lines need to be drawn.  I am sure the victims and their families are not making a case against the entire Penn State community; not holding the young men on the football team responsible for what happened to them at the hands of the creep and his minions.

The school should do the right thing — something that it hasn't done much of lately — and decline a bowl bid. It should stay home in the cold and snow and continue to deal with the massive issues that have come before it.

I completely disagree.  Paterno is not the school, although he is its icon.  None of the men dismissed are the school.  The school continues on and has done a pretty remarkable job at cutting out the filth that allowed this infection to fester.

It's a privilege, not a right, to play in a bowl game, and the Penn State football program has squandered that privilege in spectacular fashion.

Once again, and with vigor, the things that went on at Penn State did not involve the football program.  It involved men who were involved with the football program. I can separate the two.  Why can't she?

 

 

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Well, At Least They Tried.

Perhaps the intervening time will have a calming effect, but we all know college students enough to know that there will likely be some shenanigans when Penn State comes to the Horseshoe this weekend.  Student leaders are urging otherwise.  From an official OSU email, comes this.

MESSAGE FROM STUDENT LEADERS

Dear Fellow Buckeyes, The past 10 days have marked a period of turmoil at Penn State University, stemming from the alleged actions of a former assistant football coach. While the media has focused on the response of PSU students, coaches, and administrators, the true victims are the children who were abused. As we have watched events unfold, it has sometimes been easy to forget that some things are bigger than a single university and certainly bigger than football. This weekend, we will host Penn State here at the Horseshoe. In 26 meetings between our two storied football programs, perhaps none has been as publicly scrutinized as this. It is important to remember that neither the athletes nor students of Penn State played a role in these alleged crimes, and that their university has been just as shocked and horrified by the news as we have — they are a proud community and they love their school just as much as we love ours. This Saturday, all eyes will be on the 'Shoe. And as we welcome one of our conference rivals, we will remember the victims first, but also keep in mind that our visitors are not the people to whom we should direct our anger. The best fans in the land live right here at The Ohio State University, and we kindly ask that those of you who plan to attend this weekend's game host our guests with the respect deserved by a fellow Big Ten school. It is important to treat visiting fans as we would hope that Ohio State fans would be treated on the road. We must remember that our actions as fans and students speak volumes about Ohio State as well. Be loud. Be proud. Be respectful. And please enjoy the game! Sincerely, Nick Messenger, President of the Undergraduate Student Government Tim Collins, President of Block "O" Neal Majumdar, President of Sportsmanship Council Jared Kamrass, Athletic Council Student Representative Ashley Ferkol, Athletic Council Student Representative

 

 

 

 

Here's hoping that they heed the message.

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McCreary Must Go. UPDATED

 

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 10: Police try to...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Ok. I lied.  I actually knew that I would have at least another post on the Penn State story.

I have said it before and I will say it again.  This is a cancer.  There are compromised parties and the university does itself and the victims a disservice by not cutting out anybody who played a role in perpetuating Jerry Sandusky's assault on kids.  As of this writing, all of the principal players have been jettisoned except for Mike McCreary, the man who actually witnessed an unspeakable act and yet did nothing.  To be sure he first consulted with his father (also a coach) and then the two of them spoke to Joe Paterno.  If Joe had to go, then certainly McCreary has to go as well, right?

If there is anybody in this mess who could have stopped Sandusky, and we certainly don't know many of the details of Sandusky's egregious behavior, it was that one time in the shower when McCreary stood by as a witness.  Either he did what he was supposed to do, or he didn't.  Obviously, a witness to a crime is normally under no obligation to intervene or inform law enforcement.  But if the school is going to dismiss JoePa for lack of effort in reporting and perhaps even faciliatiting Sandusky, then clearly McCreary is culpable by the same standard.

If Penn State seriously wants to move past this, they must get rid of all parties to this mess.  I only wish the Catholic Church would have not only exposed the priests but all of those who looked the other way.  As of now, Penn State has allowed such a man to remain on the staff.

UPDATED:  The Pennsylvania Attorney General finds inconsistency in Penn State's conduct this week.

UPDATED: A prosecutor who conducted an investigation into Sandusky's sexual behavior with a boy back in 1998 but decided not to prosecute, went missing in 2005 and has been declared legally dead.  His car was found, but he wasn't.

 

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Deconstructing Joe Paterno

What did he know and when did he know it?

Those two questions reverberate through the college football industry this week.  Joe Paterno's right hand man, Jerry Sandusky, has been charged with sexual abuse and assault of eight young boys and the university administration is taking a great deal of heat in the form of conspiracy and perjury charges in conjunction with Sandusky's activity.  In 2002, a graduate assistant found Sandusky doing indescribable things to a youngster in the locker room showers and told Paterno, who in turn passed it up the ladder.  In other words, he passed on the news of this egregious act but allegedly took no action himself beyond simply running it up the chain of command.  The university allegedly took no action toward Sandusky except to allegedly cover the crimes.  The school's official directive to Sandusky was to prohibit him from bringing children into the Penn State facilities in the future.  There was no report filed with law enforcement.

Headless Saddam Shows The Way

Image by Ammar Abd Rabbo via Flickr

There is just no way he didn't know and because of that, there is no room for sympathy for Paterno.  It's tragic that he will ultimately be shown the door in shame, forever tarnishing soiling what was sure to be a shining legacy, destined never to be surpassed.  Now he will simply be another sad figure for whom football meant more than being a decent human being.

They recently installed a statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium.  Here's hoping that statue gets the Saddam Hussein treatment.

As for the rest of this sorry institution, this statement from [president} Graham Spanier makes me outraged.

With regard to the other presentments, I wish to say that [Athletic Director] Tim Curley and [PSU VP] Gary Schultz have my unconditional support.

We aren't talking about supporting a coach trying to deal with players who sold their own property.  We are talking about men who knew that one of their own was sexually abusing and assaulting children.  Offering unconditional support to men like this makes Spanier himself an abuser of children.

For a sad but very enlightening read from the victims' perspective, read this.  Mother of victim six has this to say about Spanier.

I’m so upset.  My son is extremely distraught, and now to see how we were betrayed, words cannot tell you. To see that Graham Spanier is putting his unconditional support behind Curley and Shultz when he should be putting his support behind the victims, it just makes them victims all over again.

 

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Why Football Polls Are Stupid

PACIFIC OCEAN (May 28, 2008) University of Ill...

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I really don't follow college football too far beyond the BIG these days and so I cannot address the SEC and Big 12 schools in the polls.  But I have seen most of the BIG teams in action at one point or another this season.  It is not an easy task to rank them from top to bottom because of the disparity in the way the teams have played.  At times both Wisconsin and Michigan State have looked like world beaters.  Other times, not so much.

Currently the BIG schools that are ranked, are ranked in this order.

  • Nebraska
  • Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • Penn State
  • Wisconsin

Wisconsin destroyed Nebraska.  Granted it was in Camp Randall, but folks this was a blowout of epic proportions.  Second, in Lincoln and at night, Ohio State was dominating Nebraska before Braxton Miller got injured and Joe Bausermann couldn't land the football inside the stadium.  But for the Miller injury, Nebraska loses that game.  The only, and I mean only game worthy of note that Nebraska won was the Michigan State game this past weekend.

Michigan is seemingly a very good team with a potent offense and a getting-better-every-week defense. Aside from the fact that they haven't really had a tough BIG opponent yet, they are probably suitably ranked but for being ranked ahead of the Spartans (see below).  We'll find out in weeks 11 and 12 if they are frauds or not.  Until then they have two road games against two BIG teams that are not all that good but could pose a minor challenge.  Iowa is actually terrible, though they usually play UM close, and Illinois is coached by an idiot Ron Zook.

Michigan State defeated UM in a rivalry game for the 4th year in a row.  That is no small task, and even though it was in East Lansing, makes MSU deserving of a higher ranking.  Their offense has been terrible on the road (OSU, Nebraska), but the defense is pretty darn good.  They were the first to take down the daunting Wisconsin.

Penn State has played nobody.  Illinois was their toughest game to date and they needed a botched FG attempt to escape.  I can see them getting destroyed in their last three games.  They don't deserve a top 25 if Ohio State doesn't.

Wisconsin.  Last second losses are heartbreaking, but in each of those games they trailed by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.  Granted they came back in each game, but they didn't finish.  Perhaps if they played more than 10 minutes they would be undefeated and staring at a BCS championship berth.  Instead they are on the outside looking in and wondering where things went so wrong.

In the end, the top team was destroyed by the bottom team, the second team was defeated by the third team, the fourth team has played none of the others, yet.  Yep, polls are stupid.

 

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Big Ten Football

College football opens the season this weekend.  Since this is the first year for the Big Ten to play with a 12 team lineup and therefore a championship, I thought I would just go ahead and make my totally random and arbitrary picks for how the season will play out.

Feel free to add your own in the comments.

I'll start with the Legends Division.

LEGENDS

Nebraska (10) - loses to Wisconsin and maybe Ohio State or MSU

Michigan State (9) - I think they will be way better than people give them credit for, considering the rest of the division apart from Nebraska is lacking.  Tough early, a cruise in November.

Iowa (8) - A down year in Iowa City

Northwestern (7) - Same goes for the Wildcats as for MSU

Michigan (7) -  Still working..... May win a rivalry game this year other than UND, but doubt it.

Minnesota (5)

LEADERS

Ohio State (11) - This team ended in the top 5 last year.  Knocked down several pegs because of Pryor and Fickell.  Still a very, very good defense and an adequate offense. Despite that, I think OSU loses to either MSU or Nebraska, but beats Wisconsin in the Shoe in the game that matters in the Big Ten Standings.

Wisconsin (10) - May sweep the games against the other divisions, but lose in Columbus and title hopes get dashed.  Plenty of payback in store for them.

Penn State (8) - Probably will lose last three games, Nebraska, at OSU and at Wisky.

Illinois (8) - Tough games are at home, and they don't play the best teams in the other division.

Purdue (6) - At least half of the wins in the pre-Big Ten.

Indiana (5)

CHAMPIONSHIP

Depends.  I think whoever won the early match between OSU and Nebraska loses this one.

There you have it.   To all my fellow Buckeye fans, I am sorry to have sealed our doom.  My good friend CL picked my spirits off the ground when he basically told me everything I have just regurgitated regarding our beloved Scarlet and Grey.

  • Why I am a football widower.
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