Finally, a high profile college football coach made a statement about the late, great, legendary coach, Joe Paterno. Before you read on, I was not a big fan of Penn State football. Liked Joe Paterno, but thought Penn State football was overrated over the years. A Woody Hayes guy all of my life, I really admired Bo, too. As far as Coach Paterno, as a high school head football coach I never met him or followed his program closely, like I did Bo and Woody, but I respected his program. Gary Blackney echoed many coaches, when he once told me that he used the Penn State program as the model.
Today, in the Dispatch, Gary Pinkel, Missouri football coach was quoted, "He was a great man, and you can't, however you analyze this, all of a sudden erase all that this guy's done. You can't do that. Nobody can do that." Let's give it up to Coach Pinkel!! Someone in the college coaching profession has the nerve to say something positive about Joe Paterno.
I admit that I do not read all of the "media brown sugar (BS)" about the Penn State situation. The whole Jerry Sandusky thing makes me vomit. He is a very sick man who may even be "clueless" now. But this blog is about Coach Paterno and not Jerry Sandusky.
Mixed emotions on whether to take down Joe Paterno's statue outside Beaver Stadium. A Penn State representative said a decision will be made in the next 7-10 days. One part of me says, "tear it down." Joe Paterno "guys" are not going to quit admiring him or showing him love, just because some 7-foot statue is taken down. Joe Paterno is always going to be Joe Paterno. The other part says. "do not tear it down." One mistake in ethical judgment should not destroy the legend. Plus, it will continue to give the "silly media" something to write about.
At McD's this morning, I asked my 83 year old, very conservative friend about the Joe Paterno story. He quickly reminded me, "former President Thomas Jefferson had children from some of his black servants. They have not torn down the Jefferson Monument . Paterno did not break a law. He reported the situation to the Athletic Director. Again, I do not know the details and have not really followed the situation closely. Of course, ethically, he should have done more."
Last week, I was told of some of the behind the scenes work in the Jim Tressel saga. The bad part is that I believe what I heard. Coach Tressel helped saved some people. Obviously, as Shultz (Hogans Heroes) said, "my lips are sealed." Do not know why I mentioned this in this blog. Well, I guess I mentioned "cover-up" earlier.
Tear down the statue, erase all of the records, tear-up all of the t-shirts, burn all of his autographs and autographed pictures, ostracize his family, make him the butt of jokes. Coach Paterno will still be loved by many. A tremendous college football coach who influenced the lives of many people, who gave millons back to Penn State, and who, along with Woody and Bear, was huge in making college football popular. Again, Coach Paterno will still be loved by many.
The Board of Trustees at Penn State, just like the ones at Ohio State University, are victims of public and media perception. A simple 7-foot statue is not going to do anything to lessen the love people have for the "high water pants coach with the black rimmed glasses." Joe Paterno will always be Joe Paterno and will still be loved by many.