Is Joe Pa in trouble at Penn State?
Posted: Wednesday July 30, 2008 06:54AM ET
Penn State football received the "Outside The Lines" treatment Sunday, and it made the once-admired program looked like a renegade outfit with its revered coach seemingly out of touch with his team and its players. The show found that since 2002, 46 Penn State players have been charged with 163 criminal complaints. Forty-five of those complaints resulted in guilty pleas or convictions. Of the 46 players charged, 27 pleaded guilty or were convicted. More recently, to show the problem is getting worse, 17 players were charged in 2007 with 72 crimes. Nine charges resulted in guilty pleas. The numbers screamed about a lack of control by the coaching staff and a lack of discipline by the players. To those who have followed Joe Paterno closely in recent years, his response was expected. "I think you've done an awful lot of probing which bothers me that you might be on a witch hunt," he said. Asked about the widely held belief that he has given up day-to-day control of the program, Paterno said, "I have the same hands on that I've always had." That's quite a statement coming from a coach who freely admits he often works from home. To prove that he doesn't have control of the program, interviewer Steve Delsohn pointed out to Paterno that in its investigative report of the brawl Judicial Affairs wrote that two players said "all members of the team [were] sent a text message from the head coach threatening to remove them from the team if they came in to Judicial Affairs to speak to its director." Paterno's response to that attempt to circumvent the judicial process was that he doesn't know how to text message and that "I don't even have a computer." ..............
I believe Joe Pa is getting "old" and that he's becoming increasingly out of touch with the nuances of today's college football world. Regardless he'll always be considered one of the best coaches of all time and one who did things the "right" way.
Where this plucked my string, is that I feel Tom Osborne did things the "right" way also. No more or less than Paterno. Yet, up until the last couple of years, the attitude given to Joe Pa has always been that of "sainthood" where as with Osborne its "all Lawrence Phillips, all the time". Anyone who still wants to refer to Paterno as St. Joe should be willing to put Osborne right along side (regardless of this article).
When we people talk about the "Mount Rushmore of College Football Coaches" I always hear Paterno and Bowden's names mentioned. I see no way one doesn't logically include Osborne with these two.