Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Penn Staters Showed Their Colors

Penn State won the ESPN Wear Your College Colors Contest and the $10,000 prize for the general scholarship fund!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Cartoon

I saw a comic strip last Saturday that made me think of the "leadership" we have currently at PSU.  As I have been prone to do in the past, I changed the words a little to make it more Penn State-y.  But given the delicate nature of the situation, I decided to ask permission from Scott Adams to use his Dillbert cartoon in this manner on my blog.

Unfortunately, he responded:
Hi Todd,
Thanks for asking. I don't approve mash ups of Dilbert but I'm glad you enjoyed the original.
I'm hurt.  I've never been turned down (by a cartoonist) before.  What's even more interesting, you can do "mash ups" of Dilbert cartoons on their site . . ."if you think you are funnier than Scott Adams."   So with that inspiration, I made my own comic strip.  My artistic abilities are exceeded only by my singing talent.  Thankfully, this is my blog and not America's Got Talent.  
Before you say it, I will:  Scott Adams doesn't have to worry about me taking his day job!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Next Chapter

One Pride.  One Purpose.  One Family.  ONE TEAM.

UK Sports Editor Blasts Freeh

Neil Monnery describes himself as a ‘Former Sports Editor now SEO & Search Marketing Guy. Hospital Radio DJ, Sports Fan, Sleep Lover, Liberal, Freelance Writer & Broadcaster.’  I don't think he's found himself yet, have you? 

But he has found some things to say about the Gospel According to Freeh.
Reading the Freeh Report and somehow not throwing up all over my desk and surrounding carpet is I think an achievement in itself.

The Freeh Report is full of holes and did not speak to many of the important people involved due to various reasons. Basically if I was using another American scandal I’d say it was the Mitchell Report which was ready to bury people based on just one source – Brian McNamee.

This time round Louis Freeh is ready to bury people on the strength of 14 and 11 year-old e-mails that may or may not be out of context. We all know that if this was a prosecution case in a criminal trial then no-one would be found guilty but the court of public opinion is a very different one to that of a court of law.

Now I am still what you call old school. You are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and deserve to be treated as such. You are not innocent until a report into your conduct which only looks at a small portion of the evidence deems you as such. That isn’t how we do it in the democratic world – well it isn’t how it should be done anyway.   There is surely plenty of blame to go around. We just don’t know where the blame should be laid yet. We all have opinions but opinions and knowledge are two very different kettles of fish.   When people like Mike McQueary, Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz etc… start speaking publicly and/or under oath then we might start getting the full picture. Until then we have seen half the story and to form an opinion based on half a story is not much further elvolved [sic] than what happened at the Salem witch trials.
 Monnery also takes a good jab at Rick Reilly, who was particularly outspoken against Paterno recently.

But Rick--and others--would call us Paterno apologists.

I am an apologist . . . I'm very sorry that due process has been ignored and our society feels this crushing desire to harm innocent people without said due process.

A LITTLE More About Paterno

A photographer close to the Penn State program for many years writes on his blog about Joe Paterno after reading Posnanski's book . . .
No matter which camp you reside in, this book will not change your mind or sway you in any direction. I am a photographer and this is the only Paterno book I have ever read. I am not a writer or a book reviewer. I am a man that spent 25 seasons (somewhere north of 200+ games) covering Penn State football from as close as you could get.
Of course, that is less than 100 games since the NCAA sanctions!
If you are looking for the Holy Grail answer as to why Joe did what he did or didn’t do, you will not find it here. The Book did one thing for me, and that was all I was looking for. It filled in some of the blanks. We all know the core story: Brooklyn, Brown, Engle, George, Sue, Coach, Bear, champions, players, education, age. This was the hit music we heard over and over and it became lore. The book feels like the Album to those greatest hits. The songs you didn’t hear when you were only listening to the hits.

In all the years I covered Penn State football with all the people I knew, players, coaches, reporters, photographers, workers, fans, students, and everyone else you can think of after doing this for 25 years, I was as stunned as anyone when the Sandusky story broke. I didn’t hear a rumor, a whisper, a sentence, or a single word about Jerry Sandusky. Nothing. I was very close to the program and gained the trust that you only get from being there that long. I heard nothing.

After reading the Sandusky report and asking his kids about public opinion of him, and they were totally honest, he said: “How could they think that? They really think that if I knew someone was hurting kids, I wouldn’t stop it? Do they know me? Do they know [sic] know what my life was about?” Exactly. That is exactly how I feel. He never liked Sandusky, that was known, for a very long time, by people anywhere near the program. He would never protect anyone who did that to kids. He would walk to the police station and report it, in person, if he had any idea what was going on. That’s what I think. Read what you want, believe what you want. Many times, in this book, Joe speaks to you about this. If this man was acting all his life doing everything he could the right way, turning boys into great men, and working to improve everything around him. Why would he protect someone hurting children? He wouldn’t. It’s that simple.
Too simple for the haters though.  And to this day, I still can't understand how turning Sandusky in would have been bad publicity for the University, or the football program.  On the contrary, they would have been heroes for bringing the monster to justice.  Don't you think if Paterno/Curley/Schultz/Spanier knew what we all now know that they wouldn't have put forth the effort to stop him?  Paterno and Spanier have said that in fact.  Curley and Schultz will echo those sentiments during their trials probably.  The motive for a cover up is highly suspect.

Pat Little concludes with:
So, how do I feel about Joe Paterno?

That’s easy.

I miss him.
I miss him too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Other Ohio

In past years, I have previewed the season as a countdown from the game I felt would be the easiest to win to the game that I felt we were most likely to lose, or the most difficult game to win.

But as I look at this year's schedule, and contemplate the team we have, I realized something crucial . . .

The Old Paterno playbook.

I have no idea what to expect from this team.

For the first time since I have been following Penn State football, Joe Paterno is not at the helm.  And while there were games he missed the past few years due to health issues (or being unceremoniously fired without due process) his fingerprints were always discernible on the game plan.

With Joe, there was a certain constancy that was on the one hand comforting, and on the other hand terribly frustrating.  There was always a quarterback controversy--you never knew for sure who was going to start.  O'Brien has eliminated that doubt.  Barring an injury, McGloin will start the game.  It's crazy shit.  The man picked a starting QB.  Before fall practice even began.  I know!  Can you imagine this?!

I think it is safe to assume that we are going to see a different kind of offense.  While that may not necessarily mean a pass happy, fun and gun, kind of up-tempo offense that scores oodles of points, it is going to be different than the stodgy, vanilla excuse for an offense that has mired Penn State teams down since Fran Ganter "resigned." 

I expect the defense to be pretty good and perhaps more aggressive than what we Penn State fans are accustomed to.  Even though Bradley is no longer the defensive brain, the heart of those defenses--the defensive line and linebackers--should be solid, though depth issues may become a problem.  But those two areas should be okay due to the retention of Vanderlinden and Johnson.

Our kicking game took a hit with the transfer of Fera, but special teams can only be an improvement, as they have been sorely lacking for the past, oh, two decades?  I think we pretty much brought up the rear in kick off returns the past few seasons.  But I don't see a dedicated special teams coach, and I am not sure who or how many coaches will be involved in that aspect.  I still think things have to be better in this department, but maybe that is just wishful thinking.

With these issues in mind, I realized the task of assigning priority to games on a countdown became an exercise in futility.  Without some specific knowledge of how we stack up against teams, it is very difficult to predict outcomes.  We could beat Ohio State and lose to Indiana.  It's going to be that kind of year, I'm afraid to say.  Probably not, but I can wishfully think so here.  Actually, if we are going to wishfully think anything, then we'll think undefeated season.

So with a new staff and a boatload of unfair sanctions, I decided not to present a countdown, but instead to preview each game in order.  We are going to take this season one game at a time.

First off, the Ohio Bobcats.

This is the game of Successors.  Frank Solich succeeded Tom Osborne.  Bill O'Brien succeeded you know who.  Of course, Frank was modestly successful and still got canned, and Ohio is where he fell.  The verdict on O'Brien may take years to determine.

Ohio is picked by the Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook to win the MAC.

Ohio has a young team coming off perhaps the school's best season ever in the modern age of football.  According to SB Nation:
Solich has built the Ohio program the way he learned to at Nebraska: stock up on locals, redshirt like crazy, and bring in just enough outsiders to make things interesting.

Ohio has won at least eight games in four of its last six seasons, and not only did it bring home its first ever bowl win last December (in dramatic fashion, no less), but it did so with a ridiculously young squad.
Matt Zemek breaks down the Bobcat team and concludes that returning junior QB Tettleton is a key.
Bringing Tettleton back is big for the Bobcats and head coach Frank Solich, who has never had as good of a returning starting quarterback in place during spring camp in his eight years in Athens, Ohio. Tettleton threw for over 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns last season, and was second on the team in rushing in 2011. Despite all of this, the offense has some retooling to do in 2012. The Bobcats need to replace two wide recievers including LaVon Brazill, and need to place two tackles on the offensive line.
On the defensive side of the ball, Ohio's 4-3 front seven lacked a bit of toughness last season, unable to apply consistent pressure on the quarterback. The biggest question mark for the Bobcats is that for the first time in four years they are without a stud middle linebacker. They lost Noah Keller to graduation. Despite this, they still do return nine starters on defense, including the entire secondary. If Solich and his staff can find someone to plug in the gaps at the middle linebacker position, they should be in good shape to once again challenge for the top spot in the MAC and claim the East Division flag.

On special teams, consistent junior Matt Weller returns to handle placekicking duties. The Bobcats must find replacements on kick returns, at long snapper, and at punter this spring.
This could be a dangerous first opponent.  But when I look at the out of conference schedule, only Navy didn't go to a bowl game, and of the three schools playing in bowls last year, only Virginia lost.  I vacillate between us going 4-0 and 0-4. 
But the die-hard, Kool-Aid drinking fan in me insists that we win this opening game, which may feature one of the largest opening crowds since Arizona came to Beaver stadium in 1999.

The game is key for a variety of reasons.  First, it is Bill O'Brien's debut.  Secondly, the whole world will be watching to see what happens at Penn State in the after-math of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. This game could set the tone for the whole season. 

I think our guys are going to come out on that field, to a full or nearly full stadium of fans anxious to put the past nine months behind us and MOVE ON, and score a solid victory for the Blue and White.  A win will do wonders to ease the pain of this past off-season.  Erickson can even apologize afterward if he feels the need--and he will.  The players can't control the sanctions.  They can't control the media.  But they can control their own destiny. 

Bobcats Like to Crack Nuts!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Holding Out for a Hero

The more I read about this whole situation at Penn State, with the mad rush to pass judgment and punish without due process, the more frustrated I become.

Not one NCAA rule was violated.

Not one Penn State employee has been convicted of any crime or wrong doing.

Yet, we have what we have.

I keep hoping each day that something will surface to change the risen tide of public opinion and emotions that swept over Penn State like a tsunami.

But I am deluding myself.

We no longer have men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Will Rogers or John Wayne.  Or, dare I say it, Joe Paterno.

We live in a country where the President isn't impeached, because he changes the definition of sex.

We live in a country where the Supreme Court fails to protect its citizens, because we define the unconstitutional behavior as a tax.

So why should I hold out any hope that Penn State and Joe Paterno will ever see truth and justice.

Instead of writing off the wrong as a misinterpretation of a word or calling it a tax, we call it a "consent decree."  And we do nothing to stop it.  Truth is, the very people (lawyers, politicians, media, etc.) who have allowed this kind of thinking won't allow it to be stopped.

Be honest.  If you have no legal training, had you ever heard of a consent decree before this?  How many member institutions have ever signed a consent decree with the NCAA?  It's very existence is proof in itself that this whole approach by the NCAA was shady--or why would they need a consent decree in the first place?  Res ipsa loquitur to quote the legals.  The thing speaks for itself.

One might argue that this is a special case, and should not be compared to other situations using the same criteria.  To some extent, that is true.  There is no other instance that I know of where a volunteer organization imposed penalties on someone or something for a crime that has not even been settled in court yet.

But either way, a consent decree is simply another way of changing the rules to justify an unjust situation.

It shouldn't have been offered.  It shouldn't have been signed.  The NCAA has no authority to do what it did, but will now hide behind their redefinition of the situation.

And no one will stop it.

I am holding out little hope.

Where have all the good men gone

And where are all the gods?

Where's the street-wise Hercules

To fight the rising odds?

Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?

Late at night I toss and I turn and I dream of what I need

I'm holding out for hero.

I just don't know how long I can hold on.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Poll Results

John Ziegler has released a poll of 1,000 adults presumably from around the nation.  I must say, I am not surprised by the results.

The first question asked which school fired the coach of a major men's sport for sexually abusing boys.  A staggering 68% (that's 680 out of the thousand polled for you math whizzes out there) thought the correct response was JOE PATERNO.  Less than 1% answered correctly--Syracuse.

52% thought the media handled the coverage well.  Of course, knowing that 68% of the respondents are already clueless, this conclusion is pretty much worthless.

28% thought that Joe Paterno had molested children.  Of the 55% that answered correctly that he did not, I wonder how many of those were in the 68% who thought he was fired for abusing children.  It's not mathematically possible to get those results without some people answering with conflicting responses.  But hey, they are as consistent as the NCAA is!

Only 9% answered correctly about whether Victim 2 (the shower victim witnessed by McQueary) came forward and testified at Sandusky's trial.

This must be a happy country, because they say ignorance is bliss!

Who Lacks Institutional Control?

Does the NCAA even know what it is doing?

According to the NCAA website, their mission statement says:
“Our mission is to be an integral part of higher education and to focus on the development of our student-athletes.”
Another site, covering UW sports and which coincidentally questions the jurisdiction of the NCAA in the Penn State case, quotes another mission statement of the NCAA:
The NCAA's mission statement reads: "Our purpose is to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so the that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount."
What happened at Penn State is unspeakable, beyond belief, words can not describe how horrible the actions of Jerry Sandusky and everyone who covered up his actions were. Everyone involved should be punished to the absolute fullest extent of the law. That being said, punishing the football program does not fall within the NCAA's jurisdiction and would only serve to punish the fans, the new coaching staff, the players and possibly even many other Penn State student-athletes in other sports. All of which, had nothing to do with a scandal that happened 14 years ago and was covered up by people who are being prosecuted for their crimes.
My God!  Doesn't that make sense?  Let the courts punish the school for crimes, and let the NCAA mete out punishment for rules violations.

But apparently, the NCAA is confused about their role in all this.

Take this article in the USA Today about UCF's recent sanctions for instance:
The NCAA report notes, "A head coach is not required to investigate wrongdoing, but is expected to recognize potential NCAA violations, address them and report them to the athletics administration."
Doesn't that make sense?  A football coach is a coach, not a criminal investigator.  IF only Joe Paterno had reported the incident to the athletic administration, then the NCAA wouldn't have had a problem with how things were handled.  Wait?!  He did report it.  That was even in the Gospel According to Freeh.  Now I'm confused.  Is the coach supposed to report it or not?  But at least UCF was still sanctioned.

Unlike UNC, where a case of academic fraud is going to be swept away because--get this--the NCAA doesn't have any jurisdiction?  Read about that baloney here:
The University of North Carolina has essentially admitted that dozens of courses taught by African-American studies professor Julius Nyang'oro were, to use non-academic parlance, baloney.
The school has not argued that athletes made up a high percentage of the students enrolled in those baloney courses.
Going a step further, a report engineered by a faculty committee concluded -- though not yet fully endorsed by the university -- that academic counselors assigned to specific teams perhaps pushed athletes to those baloney classes.

And the NCAA apparently has no jurisdiction in this matter.
Which is why, dear folks in Indianapolis, people just don't get you sometimes.

It would seem to the layman that the intersection of athletics and academic dishonesty is exactly the right spot for the NCAA to step in.

The NCAA has no problem telling high schools -- where it has zero jurisdiction -- what qualifies as a core course and what doesn't. It has no problem telling high school athletes whether their coursework is legitimate enough to pass the NCAA eligibility smell test or is subject to review.

Yet when it comes to the legitimacy of classwork done on a college campus, where technically the NC(as in collegiate)AA has some sway, it lets the individual institutions police themselves.
That is not only hypocritical; it is illogical.
And believe it or not, that is ESPN calling out the NCAA for their baloney.

So in cases of academic fraud-which is okay as long as everyone, not just athletes, are involved--the NCAA doesn't have jurisdiction.  But in cases where a school has been a role model for academic integrity and sportsmanship, they nearly destroy the program because of legal actions beyond the scope of their mission.  Don't forget, their mission is for the development of student athletes.  Does the penalty at Penn State serve that mission?  More likely, it will hurt the student athletes at Penn State in the long-term, but apparently, that is no longer important to the NCAA as long as they can enforce laws without involving the court system.  And maybe a coach should report a crime in certain circumstances, but not others.  It all depends on how Mark Emmert is feeling when he gets up that morning.

And how does allowing athletes to take bogus courses at UNC, for whatever reason (it's okay if EVERYONE does it!) help development of student athletes?  Isn't that your bleeping mission, Mark?????

So I ask you . . . who lacks institutional control?  Penn State or the NCAA?

Maybe both.  And we all know that two wrongs make a right (and three rights make a left!)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Don Emmert Made Us An Offer

Truth or Resignations!

Is the truth painful, or funny.  You decide!

Pledge Your Allegiance

If you are so inclined, vote for PSU in the TASS ESPN contest.  Penn State was currently leading the Aggies 25,142 votes to 21,766 when I cast my ballot.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

No Vote

Although the BOT met and discussed the matter, no official vote took place due to procedural issues.

Per Rachel George of the USA Today:
The board met via conference call initially with a plan to vote to ratify the binding document signed by President Rodney Erickson in July. But the university's charter requires a 10-day notification before a public meeting in person for the board to vote.

Instead, it heard explanations from Erickson as well as Gene Marsh, an attorney with experience dealing with NCAA sanctions who advised Penn State during the process. It almost unanimously voiced support for Erickson.
Surprise!  Surprise!  Surprise.

Hail Erickson!  Hail the NCAA!  . . . HELL NO!

But apparently, the Board's action (or inaction) depending on how you look at this, will not affect the appeal and possible lawsuit initiated by new Board member McCombie.
Paul Kelly of Jackson Lewis LLP, McCombie's attorney, also represents a group of eight players and one coach who are appealing only the NCAA's decision to strip Penn State of its 112 wins in that 14-year span. Kelly did not expect anything the board did Sunday to affect that appeal.

Saturday, McCombie agreed to suspend his appeal if the board would follow the suggestions of fellow trustee Joel Myers. On Friday, Myers emailed the board to recommend a three-step process for proceeding: Review the legal advice Penn State received before Erickson signed the consent decree with approval from the board's executive committee, but not the full board; review the Freeh Report; and review the sanctions.

The Gospel According to Freeh
 "While Trustee McCombie fully supports President Erickson and his commitment to protecting the current and future interests of Penn State University, he still intends to challenge the unfair, unwarranted and unlawful actions of the NCAA and the excessive sanctions imposed," Kelly said in a statement.
As for the Freeh Report (ptooie, I spit on that report), here is a detailed analysis by Eileen Morgan you might find worth reading, unless you've already accepted it as Gospel handed down by Moses.

 The 1998 shower incident was handled and investigated by local law enforcement and no charges were filed by the District Attorney office against Sandusky.

 The 2001 shower incident was reported to Paterno who reported to his superiors, including head of University Park Police. Paterno’s superiors inform Sandusky’s foundation Second Mile (who also are responsible for the boys) and they do nothing.

 There is no evidence, besides Freeh’s baseless speculations and opinions, that the top four men at PSU covered up and knowingly allowed Sandusky to molest children for 14 years.

 Did the PSU officials make a grave mistake? Yes and they will probably never forgive themselves for it. Was it out of total disregard for the safety of children just to avoid publicity? No.  The ‘publicity’ they speak of in the email is regarding Sandusky’s known behavior to shower with boys. It was NOT the publicity of Sandusky molesting boys, because they never knew that until 2011.

 If there was a cover up, it seems to be coming from someone much higher on the food chain. However, the entire Freeh Report, from the time of the leaked email to the day he released the report, has been maliciously geared to blaming Joe.
Or, you can just baa, baa, baa and believe the Gospel of Freeh like all the other sheep.  The choice is really up to you.

The Other Culture

While we have heard a lot about the "football culture" at Penn State and how this "caused" or "enabled" a sexual predator, what we haven't heard much about is the real culprit in this epidemic infection. . .

The Media Culture.

If you have the time, read Dr. Maglio's article about this unspoken culture:
The Board of Trustees, especially board member Pennsylvania Governor, Thomas Corbett, has an obvious and serious conflict of interest in this affair. There was no mention of Governor Corbett’s, then State Attorney Corbett, two-year investigation into Sandusky’s sexual abuse allegations that faded with no charges filed. There was no mention of Governor Corbett receiving $650,000 from the current and past board members of Sandusky’s Second Mile Foundation, his conflict with President Spanier over university funding, his being displeased with Joe Paterno for not endorsing him for governor and his direct and personal involvement with firing Mr. Paterno. These pertinent facts should have been examined and included in the report.

This dubious investigation into the reasons for Sandusky being able to roam at will on the Penn State campus had an agenda. It protected the hides of powerful and famous board members who made hasty, stupid decisions to shield themselves from any accountability in the prolonged charade by scapegoating a legend. The Freeh stamp of approval connecting Joe Paterno to the Sandusky cover–up was a proactive means of attempting to block

looking into any board involvement in this scandal. This was a disgraceful verbal public lynching of an American hero. Mr. Paterno’s statue was removed from PSU and his record of most wins for a major collegiate football team was unjustly stripped from the record books. The hideous piling on by the NCAA was a devastating punishment without a single violation of their stated rules.

Our media culture has been killing our heroes one by one.
And why do you ask?

Because tearing Joe Paterno down sells newspapers and ad space.  It's all for the money.  How noble is that?

Friday, August 10, 2012

More Appealing

A group of former Penn State players and one coach (not named Paterno) have also entered an appeal to the NCAA.
A group of former Penn State football players is appealing the NCAA sanctions against the university, saying the association didn’t follow its own policies and denied the right of those affected to be heard. 

The appeal is the latest action taken by those involved with the university but unhappy with President Rodney Erickson’s decision to sign off on the NCAA sanctions. 

The former players filing the notice are: Michael Robinson, Anwar Phillips, Josh Gaines, Shamar Finney, Richard Gardner, Gerald Cadogan, Anthony Adams and Justin Kurpeikis. Bill Kenney, assistant coach from 1998 to 2011, is also party to the appeal.

Read more here:
This is on the heels of appeals filed by the Paterno's and several board members.
Apparently, the board will meet Sunday to vote on whether Erickson had the authority to sign the consent decree.  I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that they will vote to support the consent decree. 
Because God forbid we actually support our students and athletes.  While the crimes committed against Sandusky's victims are heinous, it does not make sense to punish everyone for the failure of a few.  And while it could be argued that any NCAA sanction punishes innocent people for the sake of punishing the school, this situation is different because Penn State didn't violate a single NCAA rule!  If a school breaks the rules, then punishment is justified.
But unfortunately, the BOT has blinders on. They have bought into this philosophy that you can't support the victims AND the school at the same time.
That is like saying you can't support America if you disagree with the president.
Guess what Trustees?  You CAN support your University (which is YOUR job!) and still express remorse and disgust about what happened.  You can do it--yes you can!
But they won't.
Because it wouldn't be politically correct.

Read more here:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fighting Facism


The Paterno's have filed an appeal with the NCAA disputing the sanctions levied against Penn State by the Nazis NCAA, who unilaterlly and without any jurisdiction whatsoever decided to overstep their own by-laws and begin punishing criminal cases in the United States of America.
The estate undertakes this appeal to redress the enormous damage done to Penn State, the State College community, former, current and future student and student athletes, Joe Paterno and certain others involved, as a result of the unprecedented actions taken by the NCAA.

As will become evident in a thorough and impartial review, the NCAA acted hastily and without any regard for due process. Furthermore, the NCAA and Penn State’s Board Chair and President entirely ignored the fact that the Freeh Report, on which these extraordinary penalties are based, is deeply flawed because it is incomplete, rife with unsupported opinions and unquestionably one-sided. The NCAA and Penn State’s leadership, by accepting and adopting the conclusions of the Freeh report, have maligned all of the above without soliciting contrary opinions or challenging a single finding of the Freeh report. Given the extraordinary penalty handed out, prudence and justice require that scrupulous adherence to due process be observed and not completely ignored.

Both the University leadership and the NCAA have said that they had to take extreme and immediate measures to demonstrate respect for the victims and minimize the chance of any similar misconduct from occurring again. These goals are the right ones, and they embody objectives we fully endorse. But those objectives cannot be achieved by a truncated process that wrongly assigns blame by substituting opinion for fact.
A--freaking --Men!

Herr Emmert:  "Penn State ist nicht so gut!"
On the heels of this, several members of the Board of Trustees have filed an appeal as well, as a precursor to a lawsuit against the NCAA!
A Penn State Board of Trustee member filed an appeal Monday afternoon with the NCAA over sanctions levied against the university after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.
Three other trustees joined the appeal, which states a consent decree that university president Rodney Erickson signed with the NCAA agreeing to the sanctions is "null and void" because Erickson "lacked the legal authority" to enter into such an agreement without the board's approval.

Trustees and a person with first-hand knowledge of the discussions said the move is a precursor to a federal lawsuit asking a federal judge to invalidate the sanctions, because trustees expect the NCAA to reject the appeal.

The appeal, sent to the NCAA from attorneys hired by Ryan J. McCombie, a retired Navy SEAL who joined the 32-member board in June, also challenges the NCAA on the following fronts:
  • The NCAA did not give Penn State trustees and the university due process when it did not follow its usual investigation and enforcement procedures.

• The consent decree is fundamentally unfair because it relies on the Freeh report, which "contains findings and conclusions not that are contrary to the evidence presented ..."

• The sanctions are "excessive and unreasonable" because they inflict "permanent damage to an entire generation of student-athletes and coaches who were innocent of any wrongdoing during their time on campus ..."
Let the games begin!  At last, we have some leadership!  I personally have not spoken to a SINGLE person who didn't feel the NCAA is in this way over their heads with absolutely no authority to sanction Penn State the way they have and for the reasons they have.  But no one seems to want to do anything about it.

Til now.

I wish this double front assault on Fascism well and may they bring home victory!

Framing Joe Paterno

A website has been created, Framing Joe Paterno, by an amazing group of individuals including John Ziegler, Marc Rubin, Barry Bozeman, Ray Blehar and Wlater Uhler.  I have linked articles by some of these individuals here on this blog.

Their mission (to boldly go where the media has never gone before!):
This website is dedicated to the notion that an out of control news media has created a false narrative in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, which has effectively framed Joe Paterno for crimes he didn't commit and of which he may have had very limited knowledge. This has resulted in an unjust destruction of a man's entire life work and legacy, while doing incredible damage to a university and football program which may not have deserved the unprecedented and illogical punishments they received. At the very least, since the source of the entire case against Paterno has yet to even be asked about the emails he wrote, we have witnessed a colossal rush to judgment.

This site is NOT a defense of child sexual abuse and, to be clear, Jerry Sandusky was obviously guilty of most of what he was charged with doing. This site is also NOT remotely based on a conspiracy theory, but rather the notion that an incompetent, ratings driven media, along with some devious politicians, all acted in their own perceived self interest to tell this story in way not consistent with the facts.

We ARE dedicated to exposing the truth in this case and this website may be the home of a proposed documentary film on this subject, "The Framing of Joe Paterno... How an Out of Control Media May Have Railroaded an American Icon."

This site is intended to combine the efforts of the most ardent "Web Defenders" (since the mainstream media won't allow anyone to take a position like ours) of Joe Paterno, including John Ziegler, Marc Rubin, Barry Bozeman, Ray Blehar, and Walter C. Uhler. If others would like to join us in this cause, they are welcome to do so.
I highly recommend the site if you have the time and inclination!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Football Culture

Apparently, Penn State's Rise & Rally insulted some folks.  Well, at least one.

Enter Dan Bernstein, CBS Chicago's Senior Columnist.  It starts from the infamous, and obviously infallible Freeh Report:
“One of the most challenging of the tasks confronting the Penn State community is transforming the culture that permitted Sandusky’s behavior,” it said on page 18. “It is up to the entire university community – students, faculty, staff, alumni, the Board, and the administration to undertake a thorough and honest review of its culture.”
From this premise, he concludes:
Now, it seems like they needn’t have bothered, a day after they allowed 3,000 fans to gather at the football office for an organized pep rally. The marching band played, defiant placards waved, Sue Paterno appeared like some kind of deposed queen of the rebel alliance, and Freeh and Emmert were nowhere to be heard.

Wait – they can be seen, though, on the new t-shirt marketed to fans that has their faces next to that of PSU president Rodney Erickson. The back of the shirt says FOREVER 409 – a rejection of Paterno’s wins since 1998 being officially vacated – and the front says “THE FREEH STOOGES.”
Personally, I think the Freeh Stooges is quite ingenious and entertaining.  Far from insulting.  If you don't want to be called a stooge, then stop acting like one.
This was no fleeting little flash-mob, either. It was sponsored by four local businesses and organized by two former players with an internet radio show. Called “Rise and Rally,” it was created to “help a team going through some hardships,” according to a story in the Daily Collegian.

On the organizers’ Twitter page, they referred to “what these guys have had to endure and overcome,” as if they, too, had been somehow victimized.
I'd make him stop, but I cannot.

Now I'm not even going to begin to equate what Sandusky's victims suffered, to what the University, players, professors, students and fans are going through right now, but I am insulted that anyone insists that those in the Penn State community aren't victims.

We are victims of an over-zealous media with questionable goals, the least of which is the well-being of Sandusky's victims.

We are victims of a lack of current leadership.

We are victims of an NCAA that felt compelled to overstep their jurisdiction and impose ridiculous fines and sanctions on a group of coaches, players, and fan base that had nothing to do with Mr. Sandusky's sexcapades.

The widow of a man killed by a drunk driver is a victim.  The wife of Jerry Sandusky is a victim.  Their pain and suffering are different, but our language does not allow for such nuances in the word VICTIM.

But those of us who are suffering and will suffer under these penalties are shamed into silence because we didn't suffer the same anguish that Mr. Sandusky's victims suffered.

I'm sorry.  I didn't know that, in America, your victim status had to be sanctioned by CBS.  Or ESPN.  Or the NCAA.

But what of this FOOTBALL CULTURE of which you speak?  What in bloody blazes does that mean?

The Penn State Football Culture.  Can you get "Gone-to-USC-a" from that?
 Because I donated money to Penn State and went to games, that I sanctioned or condoned Mr. Sandusky's behavior?  I enabled him?  That by some convoluted logic in some parallel but bizarro universe, I am responsible for what happened?

Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black, Mr. Bernstein?

Isn't the media responsible in part (perhaps a large part) for Penn State's level of national recognition?  Likewise for Paterno.  In fact, the attention garnered by Mr. Sandusky's victims is due almost exclusively to the media, and in particular, the sports media. 

Are Sandusky's victims any more harmed than those of a pedophile priest?  Or those raped in Africa on a daily basis?  Or this woman in Claysburg?  The article states:
In 1994, she pleaded guilty to corrupting minors, according to court documents.

"I wouldn't let him walk outside," former neighbor Rick Sawyer said of his son, now 9. "She'd be down at the bus stop."

Despite the rumors and strange behavior, several neighbors said they didn't know the full extent of Partsch's alleged crimes until she was charged last week.   "We knew there were a lot of kids going down there," said one neighbor. "I'm just glad we kept our kids from going there."
Where is the moral responsibility for those neighbors?  Why aren't their careers being erased as though they never happened?  

How is that situation any different than Mr. Sandusky?  Substitute her house for the PSU showers and Mr. Paterno for one of the neighbors who didn't know the extent of what was going on, and deep down, you have to admit there isn't much difference.   

Except that Partch's victims won't get millions of dollars for their pain and suffering.  If Mr. Sandusky was Joe Schmo and the attacks occurred in a shack in Timbuktu, none of those victims would likely even be able to find a lawyer if they wanted one.   

The first instance for Partsch was in 1994! They started investigating last September, but here it is July. How many more victims were enabled by the lack of action by neighbors or authorities trying to "make their case"?

Sandusky's victims suffered because HE chose to act on his urges.  Not because Paterno invited him into the showers.  Not because he coached at Penn State as a defensive coordinator.  Not because fans love to watch Penn State football.  The football program had nothing to do with this.  Had he chosen the Smeal Business College to attack his victims, would we be talking about closing the school of business down?  Don't hurt yourself pondering that one--the answer is no, silly.  Don't be a stooge.  

There is not one shred of evidence that Paterno or any of that group were fully aware that sexual abuse was occurring.  Graham Spanier went on record admitting that he was abused as a child and that if they had ever had evidence that sexual abuse was occurring, they would have acted.  

Punishing the current players, coaches and fans does not help the victims.  It creates more victims, innocent only of a crime of passion for their school.  Some of these players may have come to Penn State just because it was Penn State.  Or because of Joe.  But God forbid, some of them might have actually come because they love to play football and wanted to get an education.  And if you want to argue that they can still do this, then ask yourself why some are leaving.  Do you wonder if they feel victimized?  Or are they not worth your time, O' self righteous ones?  

Maybe you can sit in self-righteous judgment and delude yourself into thinking that punishing Penn State is going to make a difference in the world-wide war against child sexual abuse.  If people in State College stop watching football, this will never happen again!  Well, just don't open your mouth too wide, because it'll fill up very fast with the sand you have your head shoved into.

At first, I was angry at Bernstein.  

In the end, I feel sorry for him.