Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel once opined succinctly about political opportunism: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
In the wake of the Penn State debacle, the Big Ten appears to have taken Rahm’s advice to heart, if we are to believe a breaking AP story:
The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that the Big Ten is considering a plan to give its commissioner the power to fire coaches in the wake of the Penn State child sex-abuse scandal.
An 18-page plan being circulated among Big Ten leadership would include giving Commissioner Jim Delany the authority to levy sanctions including financial penalties, suspensions and termination of a school employee. The Chronicle said it had obtained a document laying out the details.
The Big Ten did not respond to requests for comment today.
So, now the Big Ten presumably wants to gain the power to usurp the authority of member university presidents in order to make its own personnel decisions on their turf? What’s next? The Big Ten has to be involved in their hiring, too?
That 18-page plan better damn well provide some extreme circumstances for triggering the removal of a coach by the Big Ten. Certainly a criminal act should result in the coach being dismissed, but that’s a no-brainer. No university president would ever allow a convicted criminal to coach. So, what circumstances would prompt a coach’s dismissal by the B1G? Should we judge someone before he is tried in a court of law? Should we react based upon Freeh Report allegations? I’m laughing.
Sanctions and financial penalties I can see. Personnel actions, no way.
Perhaps the NCAA and the Big Ten should spend their time developing a plan to divorce big-time football programs from universities and run their own NFL farm systems. The concept of a student athlete who performs at the highest level is in serious doubt at the Turkey coop. Yes, there are a few — damn few — who turn out great, but come on. Listen to some of our own Nittany Lion seniors talk. They’re barely literate, ya know what I’m sayin’? The charade of supposedly providing poor, minority lads a free education in return for representin’ on da field is a joke. In most cases, da kid is an indentured servant who winds up with a half-assed education. If he’s good at football, the gods will go to great lengths to make him appear to be a scholar. You know dat.
I know, I know. Penn State has always been the model, graduating more football players than anyone else and producing guys like Mike Reid, etc. Yeah, I know. A lot of good ones would have succeeded with or without football. However, would Penn State (or anyone else’s) football be successful without coddling some hard-core functional illiterates through their so-called education while they major in Parks & Recreation Management? This Turkey does not think so.
I say to the NCAA and the university presidents, either spin off the Junior NFL for some sort of annuity from the lucky purchaser, or raise the academic standards so that “student athlete” is no longer oxymoronic. Incorporating high-priced entertainment into the higher education milieu promotes corruption and distortion of values. That’s why football coaches are more powerful than university presidents in some cases. Not to mention any—just sayin’.
Some more stuff in the same vein to ponder while you wait for the whistle to blow and you don’t feel like shooting any more paper clips at the ceiling. (You should be ashamed of yourself! There are loads of unemployed people out there who would love to be shooting paper clips for their meager penance.)
Remember Pat Forde? He has turned up as Yahoo Sports’ expert. Pat thinks it’s time for schools to seize control of athletic programs (novel concept though it is), and guess who should lead the way?
Meanwhile, Ray Ratto writes that Peterno [sic] put the brand ahead of human decency. Ray’s about as subtle as a two-by-four between the eyes, and maybe he can’t even spell Paterno, but this is worth a read. Thanks to reader Joe for digging it up.
Here’s one that will piss you off. Alabama Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban calls the Penn State scandal “A very, very criminal situation.” (I previously thought that that particular label should have been hung on that jackass on Jersey Shore, but that show has been cancelled, so I don’t care anymore.) Saban, in his articulate, cogent manner (note irony, please) added, “… that reflects poorly on a lot of things.” He’d like to tax the tickets and give the proceeds to some child abuse organization. He claims that he could have never gained as much power at Alabama as Paterno had at Penn State.
Wow, thanks and a big tip of the helmet to David Regimbal of Land-Grant Holyland, an Ohio State Buckeye blog, for his sensitive and objective article, “When Penn State Comes to Town.” You’re used to sarcasm from this Turkey, but I’m swallowing the vitriol to state unequivocally that this piece deserves your attention, especially if you think everyone out there is using Penn State’s scandal to take potshots as anything even remotely associated with PSU. Good job, David!
Back when the Turkey was a mere fledgling, Penn State freshmen had to learn the words of the Alma Mater. For some reason, and at some point in history, things got pretty loose and irreverent in Happy Valley, somehow causing the mutation of the Alma Mater’s opening line from “For the glory of old State” to “We don’t know the g*ddamn words”. In this time of Penn State soul searching, it is particularly important for students and alumni to carefully consider the real words. Justin Cortes of Onward State wrote a good article on the subject, interpreting and commenting on each line.
In our final impactful piece of the day, the editorial staff of the Collegian asks Penn State president Rodney Erickson to give up the open records exemptions granted to the university by the state, and permanently maintain the transparency that he promised for the investigation.
Well, that’s all she wrote — he wrote — for this edition of Sudden Impact. I didn’t touch at all on the potential “death penalty” for Penn State by the NCAA, as it is all speculation at this point. It is not looking good, though, based on the hints and quips one reads. The NCAA wants to see documentation of substantive, positive, preventive change in Penn State’s response, which is forthcoming next week. It would be an excellent show of good faith to the NCAA if somehow between now and then, Erickson would take the open records issue seriously and perhaps three or four trustees would admit to malfeasance and resign. In my mind, that’s worth a stay of execution.
Think Rec and Parks Management has been replaced by majors like Kinesiology and Integrative Arts (whatever that is), but your point is well taken. Many Penn State football players were enrolled in some pretty easy majors. The only difference is that Paterno probably had a higher proportion of his players in more difficult majors like engineering or finance than most of his coaching peers. Speaking of which, I wonder if ANY of Bobby Bowden’s players could read and write above the 10th grade level.
I live near UVA and one of the standard coaches’ compliants is that UVA is at competitive disadvantage with the other ACC schools except GA Tech because they don’t have any majors to accomodate the truly illiterate. Sociology is the major of choice for jocks but, even though they don’t have to worry about science (Sociology being the total negation of science) or math, they still have to be able to write coherent sentences.
As far as Delany goes – screw him and the rest of the Big 10. We never really fit in with those Midwestern cow colleges. If they decide to suspend Penn State, it’s time to apply to the ACC and rejoin Maryland, Pitt and Syracuse. It would mean much less money for the athletic department, but maybe that would be a good thing.
The Nittany Turkey says
Hmmm …. The ACC. Interesting concept. The Big Ten was Paterno and Tarman’s great project. Perhaps the new broom could sweep that clean, too. What a longshot it would be.
I’d hope if it ever came about that Penn State would wind up at a competitive disadvantage for the same reason as UVA. I’d rather see that than wind up like Free Shoes Uni.
And speaking of Bowden, he sure turned on his ol’ dadgum pal Joe when he died, didn’t he?