Nittany Lion head coach Joe Paterno dismissed defensive tackles Chris Baker and Phil Taylor from the team today, stating that he was “fed up” with their shenanigans. The two have been notoriously involved in off-field incidents over the past couple of years.
No one seems to know what specifically set Paterno off this time, but I can guess that the recent Outside the Lines report on Penn State’s off-field issues might have had something to do with it. Additionally, a Collegian report regarding a ruckus at a pool party stated that football players might have been involved. So, let the conjectures begin.
While I don’t think Paterno would cut these guys loose as sacrificial lambs if they hadn’t done something else to merit scrutiny, the ESPN-generated notariety has undoubtedly put the program on edge. Certainly, it has ruffled feathers in Old Main.
In my naivete, I’ll view the dynamic duo’s dismissal as a much needed tightening of the reins and a step back to sanity from the laissez-faire of recent years. If accomplishing that requires dismissing half the defense, I’m all for it. In spite of PSU being ranked the third best party school in the country, let’s get discipline back into the football program and let’s see the resurgence of the football team as a collection of positive role models instead of the gang banger crap we’ve seen over the past decade.