Wednesday, November 9, 2011

2 Demises, 1 Day

What a day. Leave the house for one crummy job fair and all of metro Hades breaks loose.

First, in light of the heinous, criminal things that Jerry Sandusky did years ago, Joe Paterno announced he's hanging up the whistle at Penn State at the end of the season. Funny thing is, that season -- the regular season at least -- could end in the inaugural B1G TEN Championship Game. The Nittany Lions have a two-game lead in the Leaders division with 3 to play (granted they're grinders Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin). I can't wait for that circus to roll into Indy. Merry Christmas, Hoosiers!

There's folks that want Joe Pa out like, 5 minutes ago, and start the house-cleaning toot sweet. That's fueled by the same emotion as the kids rallying in State College Tuesday night to show their love for Joe Pa.

CALM THE HELL DOWN, EVERYBODY. Think rationally for a second.

If you relieve Paterno of duty immediately, what's the very first effect? You penalize his players, who did no wrong, before there's any benefit to the program. They deserve the chance to play in the first Big 10 title game, win it and go to the Rose Bowl. Deny them that because Jerry Sandusky is (allegedly) a perv?

We've also got to assess Joe Pa's level of culpability -- which he couldn't do on Tuesday because the school canceled his weekly press conference, even though he was open and willing to talk. The court of law won't rule on this for months, but the school had a chance to gain favor in the court of public opinion -- and flushed it. Controlling what you can control sometimes involves talking about it.

But back to what Joe knew, when he knew it and who he told. Here's my best guess: Paterno found out what happened back in the mid-90s. He reported to his AD at the same time he confronted Sandusky and said, "Fix this." Then he went back about the business of being the head coach.

Where'd he go wrong? Is he supposed to go to the media and say, "I got a molester on the staff, you get that?" Sandusky resigned in 1994 before he could have been canned. That's not to say Paterno has no level of guilt here, but it's of the coulda-used-better-judgment level than the raping-kids-in-showers level.

It's very, very sad that Joe Pa is going to go out of a very, very storied career this way. You've never heard about him doing things the wrong way before, and fate hasn't shined on him bright, with three undefeated seasons that didn't result in a national title. He deserves better, but so does Penn State.

Then this afternoon, UCF athletic director Keith Tribble and top football recruiter Dave Kelly "resigned" when the results of an NCAA investigation said they broke recruiting rules. I say they "resigned" because they were probably told to do so, or be sumarily fired in a very ugly way.

Under Tribble, UCF Athletics became less about being a fun, little school and more about becoming a money machine. It's what it takes to be a part of big time college athletics in this day and age, and you wonder who a good hire would be to maintain that vision.

I guess if it's gonna rain, then let it pour. The football team is in the midst of completely underwhelming its preseason expectations. The only pull from the doldrums is talk of a new conference.

Big East? Forget it. I think the Knights finally qualify to apply to the SEC.


  1. Joe Pa deserves to be let go, ASAP, regardless if this unfairly penalizes his players. Sandusky has incidents dating back to the early 90's. Such things are not taken into consideration when NCAA infractions occur, so they shouldn't be considered when dealing with this situation either, IMO.

  2. Tribble was worthless and simply riding the coattails of Orsini who really set up the framework for UCF's rise. Our biggest loss is Kelly who was our best recruiter.


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