“Quick hits” ah nytha quick nor hits. Twalk amongst yaselves. Discuss!
NOTE: My link to the Paterno “Due Process” petition below were originally broken. I have now corrected them. Please accept my apology for the extra work I caused people clicking on the original links — they got you to the right neighborhood, but then you had to search and go through multiple pages of results. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Merry Christmas to all!
Hey, there’s a petition circulating via the Internet about the whole issue of the Joseph V. Paterno firing and its inherent rush to judgment. None of us wanted to see the old man depart with such a stain on him, certainly, but most of us know that he was at least to some extent culpable for covering up the Sandusky mess. Whether he knew then what we know now is a big issue. It is easy to ass-ume that he knew everything, but did he really? Does anybody have a reasonable doubt that he did? The petitioner, Anthony P. Lubrano ’82, thinks that due process was circumvented in Joe’s firing.
You might recognize Lubrano’s name. It is on the baseball stadium at Penn State.
Was due process circumvented as Lubrano asserts? Of course it was! When did a businessperson ever need a full jury trial to fire someone? The Board of Trustees does not owe anybody anything. Their decision is theirs and theirs alone.
Having said that, though, I must advise you that I in fact signed the petition. I think that Joe should should tell what he knew, but I also think that he has earned a place in the annals of football history without the proverbial asterisk. How about giving Joe a belated 85th birthday present by signing it? It costs you nothing but the few minutes required to navigate to the web site and read the petition.
About two dozen well wishers gathered outside Joe Paterno’s home yesterday to sing Christmas carols and wish the ailing former head coach a happy birthday. Paterno could not come out because he was weak from the chemotherapy being used to treat his lung cancer, but wife Sue appeared briefly to corral some grandchildren playing in the yard, thanking the well wishers.
The NCAA handed down its rulings to Ohio State in the wake of Tattoogate, and the sanctions were not pretty. The University’s original position was to vacate all of its 2010 victories and give back their bowl money, but the NCAA wanted to leave a more lasting impression. Head Coach Jim Tressell, who knew about the shenanigans but failed to tell administrators until it was too late, was handed down what amounts to a Typhoid Mary label in college football, a “show cause.” Tressell is presently working as a video coordinator, whatever that is, for the NFL Indianapolis Colts. Ohio State also lost scholarships and it may not play in a bowl game after the 2012 season.
But here’s the big question. The NCAA is investigating the Sandusky mess at Penn State under the same rule as Ohio State. This Turkey is quite certain that the NCAA has the desire to set a tough precedent with Ohio State, applying the same type of harsh punishment to the rash of schools that committed egregious sins that were discovered after Tattoogate. Methinks Penn State is in for some “Law West of the Pecos.”
State College police have asserted that Matt McGloin and Curtis Drake will not be criminally charged for the fight that put McGloin in the hospital.
This doesn’t affect Penn State very much, but USC quarterback Matt Barkley has promised that he would be back for his senior year. He’s saving the NFL money for later, and here’s hoping that he can finish 2012 injury free.
Neither does this: I ran into Elayne Wershel and her daughter Billie, whom I haven’t seen for at least five years, at the Publix today. They were buying a turkey for a Hanukkah dinner. I couldn’t tell them to cook a ham instead. Tragedy.
Acting AD Dave Joyner has issued the following statement about his head coach search, after yet another week of rumors, innuendos, and no head coach:
“As we head into the holidays, I wanted to share an update on the search for the next head football coach at Penn State. We are continuing to talk with individuals that we’re interested in and work through the interview process. As I’m sure all can appreciate, this is a very important hire for Penn State and, as a result, the search committee is taking a very deliberate and measured approach to the process in order to identify the coach that best fits the requirements of the position.
“We look forward to introducing our new football coach at the appropriate time. In the interim, I’d like to wish everyone happy holidays as well as remind all Penn Staters to support our team and its 23 seniors as they compete against the 12-1Houston Cougars in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas on January 2nd.”
So, there you have it: “… a very deliberate and measured approach … at the appropriate time … ” We’re being told we’re not going to have anyone anytime soon. This Turkey’s question is, was, and always has been, who’s going to be left by the time Joyner’s committee gets to doing what it should be doing. If they get too picky, they’ll dawdle themselves into a corner, where they’ll wind up having to hire Tom Bradley because no one else is available. (Bradley was thought to be a contender for the head coaching job at Pitt both last year and this year, but Pitt went and hired Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator, Paul Chryst, this week. So, Bradley is in limbo land once again. He wants to coach at a high profile program in Pennsylvania, but how many of those are there? Thank you.)
Would it be so bad to hire Bradley? Well, yes and no. Recruiting is already screwed up by all the decommits and by Paterno’s abrupt departure. Tom cannot screw things up much more. However, the unknown lurks around the corner for Tom, because it would be doubtful that he would get more than a one or two year contract. He and all the recruits would know that he was the consolation prize because Joyner’s committee farted around while all the good coaches were hired, and as such that he would have a limited future.
But it is starting to look like that’s the way it will go. Who is available? Who has been interviewed? My sources tell me that Bradley gets his interview sometime today. There are questions to be answered, such as how could a search committee charged with straightening out the football program hire a coach who possibly had complicity in the Sanduskygate cover-up? In fact, Bradley was Sandusky’s replacement in 2000, promoted from within a very close football organization. Did he know anything at all about the circumstances of Sandusky’s retirement (which Sandusky and his lawyers deny had anything to do with the “incidents” of the time)? The committee must use this interview to determine whether Bradley would be the guy to cut the programs losses or allow things to fester.
Aside from Chryst and, of course, Urban Meyer, a veritable plethora of head coaches have been hired during this break between the regular season and bowl games. I would really, really, really want to know who the hell is left. Bradley might yet be the best choice. Of course, if an NFL guy like former Penn Stater Mike Munchak of Tennessee is secretly on the hook and waiting until the NFL season ends, then I’ll recant what I’ve said here and change my tune to say that if they’ve already selected someone like Munchak, then they’re double-dealing the people they’ve been interviewing thus far, unless they’re specifically told that there is or are one or more potential NFL candidates, which will slow the search. But the Catch-22 there is that anyone’s who’s interviewing now is not going to wait weeks and weeks for a decision, because he’s got mouths to feed and unless he already has a coaching job, he needs one!
Do you now know more than when you started reading this “quick hit”? I didn’t think so.
This Turkey was at the supermarket today observing people preparing to eat my relatives. Notwithstanding the sadness and angst this generates in my avian family, I still want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and whatever else brings you joy at this time of year. I’ll be back soon with some facts, opinions, and prognostications for the great big TicketCity.com Bowl. WooHoo!