D-Line Takes Disciplinary Hit

by Ben Goldfarb on July 30, 2008

in Penn State Football

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.

jed July 30, 2008 at 4:30 pm

“ruffled the feathers at Old Main”?….Are they against Paterno’s move or ruffled by the coverage…….just asking

jed July 30, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Is old main upset by Paterno’s move or the poor press?…Just asking

jed July 30, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Sorry…didn’t mean to post twice

jd July 30, 2008 at 5:14 pm

paterno, in that god-awful special, did mention that there were a few still in his doghouse, and that he isn’t sure about them.

i think now we know who he was talking about.

personally, i still believe joe runs this program his own way. can anyone find any precedent of joe capitulating in such a way to other university authority?

The Nittany Turkey July 30, 2008 at 6:29 pm

My feeling is that Paterno made the move without succumbing to any pressure, either perceived or real, from either the administration, the press, or the public. The timing was suggestive, but I agree that it is hard to see the stubborn old guy bowing to pressure from anybody but Sue.

Perhaps he has just awakened from one of his somnolent lapses and he wanted to start the season with an attention getter. More likely, Baker and Taylor screwed up yet again, possibly at that pool party ruckus, bringing this down on themselves. Those two jerk-offs should have been gone long ago, no matter how the courts treated their cases.

I think Spanier is unhappy with the notariety, but I also believe that he has an agenda that arguably includes replacing Paterno after this year. The kind of negative publicity generated by ESPN’s hit piece certainly cannot thrill him or anyone else in the upper echelons of the administration and will undoubtedly precipitate some form of damage control to save face for the university while Paterno plays out his option. By the time the post-season paths forward talks begin, this particular piece of yellow journalism will have been lain to rest—unless, of course, there are more untoward incidents. I would love to be a fly on the wall in that meeting room.

—TNT

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