Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday ACC Football Scoreboard

#9 CLEMSON 31, WAKE FOREST 28 – Clemson rally back to win with game-ending field goal.

VIRGINIA 31, DUKE 21 – Hoo would have thought the Cavs would be 7-3 at this point in the season?

BOSTON COLLEGE 14, N.C. STATE 10 – Wolpack need one more win to be bowl eligible and promptly puke on shoes.

FLORIDA STATE 23, MIAMI 19 – Shouldn’t have been this close. Special teams carry Noles.

Notre Dame 45, MARYLAND 21 -- Domers feasting on ACC. Play B.C. next.

To read the game recaps, click here

Saturday ACC Basketball Scoreboard

(Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
#6 DUKE 96, Presbyterian 55 – Blue Devils had a scare last night. Not today. Coach K ties Bobby Knight at 902.

VIRGINIA TECH 64, ETSU 53 – Hokies 19+ games, a stong finish in the ACC regular season and tournament away from heading back to the Big Dance.

To read the game recaps, click here.

Saturday ACC Football

Saturday, Nov 12
WAKE FOREST CLEMSON (-15.5), 12:00 PM, TV: ESPNU, (Sirius 92//XM 190)

N.C. STATE (-1) @ BOSTON COLLEGE,12:30 PM, TV: ACC Network, (Sirius 132)

DUKE @ VIRGINIA (-10.5), 3:00 PM, TV: RSN, (Sirius 136//XM 191)

MIAMI @ FLORIDA STATE (-9.5), 3:30 PM, TV: ABC/ESPN/ESPN3, (Sirius 92//XM 190)

MARYLAND vs. NOTRE DAME (Fighting Irish, 11,773 students, South Bend, IN)(-20.5), Landover, Md. (FedEx Field), 7:30 PM, TV: NBC

ACC Basketball Undefeated

(Harry Howe/Getty Images)
WAKE FOREST 75, Loyola 63 – Junior C.J. Harris has a game-high 20 points.

#1 NORTH CAROLINA 67, Michigan State 55 – The Tar Heels overcome slow start and Michigan State’s 24 offensive rebounds to win game on aircraft carrier in front of President Obama.  Kudos to Tom Izzo for pushing for the game aboard the famous Navy ship.

FLORIDA STATE  79, Jacksonville 67 – Last year’s stingy FSU defense is back.

N.C. STATE  84, UNC Asheville 75 – C.J. Williams scored a career-high 18 points.

MIAMI 69, Tennessee Tech 58 – Durant Scott (15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists)  now has made a three-pointer in 312-straight games.

GEORGIA TECH 92, FAMU 59 --  Brandon Reed scored 16 points.

CLEMSON 65, Gardner-Webb 44 – Tigers blow 13-point first half lead then rally.

#6 DUKE  77, Belmont 76 – 19 turnovers keep game close. Rivers and Curry score 16 each.

For complete recaps, click here

Pictures Of The Day

General View of the game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Michigan State Spartans during the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic on board the USS Carl Vinson. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Another general View of the game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Michigan State Spartans during the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic on board the USS Carl Vinson.  (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)
Draymond Green #10 of the Michigan State Spartans grabs a rebound in the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
 Tyler Zeller #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels shoots against the Michigan State Spartans during the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Branden Dawson #22 of the Michigan State Spartans goes up for a shot against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic on board the USS Carl Vinson on November 11, 2011 in Coronado, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Tyler Zeller #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels shoots against the Michigan State Spartans during the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama speak to a member of the U.S. military. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Military personnel salute during the taking down of the colors during the North Carolina Tar Heels game against the Michigan State Spartans during the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic on board the USS Carl Vinson on November 11, 2011 in Coronado, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Friday, November 11, 2011

All Tar Heels On Deck

Harrison Barnes of the North Carolina Tar Heels goes in for a dunk in practice during the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic on board the USS Carl Vinson on November 11, 2011 in Coronado, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Don’t Look Now, But It’s Basketball Season

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Loyola (Greyhounds, 6,531, Baltimore, MD) @ WAKE FOREST, 7:00 PM, TV: ESPN3

#1 NORTH CAROLINA vs. Michigan State (Spartans, 47,800 students, East Lansing, MI), San Diego, Calif. (USS Carl Vinson), 7:00 PM, TV: ESPN

Jacksonville (Dolphins, 3,600 students, Jacksonville, FL) @ FLORIDA STATE, 7:00 PM, TV: ESPN3

UNC Asheville (Bulldogs, 3,609 students, Asheville, NC) @ N.C. STATE, 7:00 PM, TV:

Tennessee Tech (Golden Eagles, 8,918 students, Cookeville, TN) @ MIAMI, 7:00 PM, TV:

Florida A&M @ GEORGIA TECH, 8:00 PM, TV: ESPN3

Gardner-Webb (Runnin’ Bulldogs, 4,300 students, Boiling Springs, NC) @ CLEMSON, 8:00 PM, TV: ESPN3

Belmont (Bruins, 6,374 students, Nashville, TN) @ #6 DUKE, (ESPN EA Sports Maui Invitational - Prelim.), 9:00 PM, TV: ESPNU

East Tennessee State U. (Bucaneers, 15,536 students, Johnson City, TN) @ VIRGINIA TECH, 2:00 PM, TV: ESPN3

Presbyterian (Blue Hose, 1,300 students, Clinton, SC) @ #6 DUKE, (ESPN EA Sports Maui Invitational - Prelim.), 4:30 PM, ESPNU

(Alex Gallardo/Reuters)
South Carolina State (Bulldogs, 5,000 students, Orangeburg, SC) @ VIRGINIA, 2:00 PM, TV: ESPN3

#1 NORTH CAROLINA @ UNC Asheville (Bulldogs, 3,609 students, Asheville, NC), 4:00 PM, TV: ESPNU

Morehead State (Eagles, 8,732 students, Morehead, KY) @ N.C. STATE, (Legends Classic), 6:00 PM, TV: ESPN3

UNC Wilmington (Seahawks, 11,743 students, Wilmington, NC) @ MARYLAND, 8:00 PM, TV:

Raise Your Hand If You Think…

(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
…that interim head coach Tom Bradley, a 33-year assistant at Penn State, didn’t know about the Sandusky “situation.”

That’s what we thought. 

Death Threats And McQueary’s Decisions

Former grad assistant and now assistant coach Mike McQueary will not coach Saturday when the Nebraska Cornhuskers visit Happy Valley due to death threats against him.

Yep, death threats. Welcome to America. 

Now it’s not clear if the deranged idiots who have threatened McQueary’s life are furious with him for not breaking up the horrific incident involving accused pedophile Jerry Sandusky and a still unidentified ten-year-old that he stumbled upon in 2002 or are they the really crazy branch of the scapegoat tree we labeled as idiots yesterday?  We aren’t sure which, but either way if a college football team moves you to threaten someone’s life (or poison your rival’s trees) you need to be institutionalized – mental health facility or prison, your choice.

Now, it’s clear that McQueary should have confronted the naked Sandusky mid-incident and rescued the innocent child from the clutches of a deviant.  Doing so may have spared that child and future victims some pain and suffering.  Or it might not have. 

Only he knows why he didn’t intercede, but let’s take a moment to speculate.

1) He was so shocked he simply couldn’t take any action.
2) As he was a 28-year-old grad assistant who wasn’t yet married or the father of a daughter (as he is now), he wasn’t as immediately incensed as he should have been.

Sorry, but that’s all we got on that one.

However, when he went back to his office to contemplate his next move, things for the State College, PA native got a little more complicated.  While we aren’t justifying what McQueary did next, we speculate these things influenced his ultimate decision not to contact any authority other than Joe Paterno.

McQueary was born and raised in Happy Valley, all he probably ever wanted to do was to play and then coach for Penn State. Half of his life’s dream had come true as he played QB for the Nittany Lions in 1996 and 1997.  He even set a few records.  He was halfway to the second-half of the dream having landed a position as a grad assistant, and then one night when all he wanted to do was put away his new sneakers, he encounters a horrific scene involving another long-time semi-revered Penn State coach.

(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
He was paralyzed.  We surmise he contemplated calling the police, but, no doubt, realized that had he done so and the police arrived when Sandusky’s shower rape was over, it would quickly devolve into “his word against Sandusky’s word” situation.  The grad assistant's word against the mighty long-term retired defensive coordinator who had founded a charity to help underprivileged kids. If McQueary also assumed that it was likely that the State College police officer who answered the call was also drinking the Penn State Kool-Aid, that was not a viable option.

Mike McQueary was probably just a normal guy.  A guy overwhelmed by the aura of Penn State football and perhaps intimidated by the iconic individuals worshiped by the program, the players, the students, the boosters and the alums.  Perhaps he simply didn’t see himself as a hero willing or capable of taking on such a behemoth.

We also believe this to be true:  McQueary was a product of the almighty Penn State football program and he probably didn’t believe in doing anything without the approval of his ultimate superior – the ruler of the kingdom, Joe Paterno.

We also surmise that McQueary at some point between that horrible moment in 2002 and his testimony before the Grand Jury, was concerned that any thing he did or said would end his career at Penn State.  Knowing how psychotic football programs are about loyalty, his exposing Paterno and Sandusky may well have gotten him black-balled in all of major college football.

So, we speculate the McQueary simply put himself first and made the safe play.  In a world rocked the last decade by scandals ranging from Enron to Wall Street it should be abundantly clear that a significant portion of the population subscribes to a simple philosophy of “me first.”  Like many other Americans, McQueary put himself, his family and his career in front of those of all else.

He blew it, it’s that simple. 

(Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
So, McQueary decided to sleep on it and simply inform his boss the next day. 

(And then there’s McQueary’s dad, who just raced past Cam Newton’s old man into the Worst Fatherly Advice Hall of Fame…but that a story for another day.)

So that brings us to Paterno and Scott H. Greenfield’s Simple Justice blog eloquent overviews it all like this:

A young man saw something no young man should ever have to see.  He told an old man, a legend even then, who passed him along to his technical superior because he was no more clear on what to do than anyone else.  And the superior engaged in allopathic triage, making the symptoms disappear without curing the disease, all in the hope that this would never be known.  Primary was the protection of the Penn State football program.

Which brings us to a conclusion with the help of long-time T.A.H. reader C. Gigs. Now, Gigs is a very bright fellow who usually engages us with pro-Big (L)East musings.  This will no doubt curtail as Gigs’ favorite squad Syracuse is moving over to the dark side of the ACC. Undeterred, we predict he will take the position that the ACC is NOW superior because Syracuse and Pitt are equal to (or better than) Duke and North Carolina.  We will nip this in the bud now, pointing out that Duke and UNC combined have won something like 150 NCAA basketball championships while The Orange has won three (two them prior to WWII) and Pitt is tossing goose eggs…

That aside, Gigs sent a very complementary email yesterday with this absolutely BRILLIANT observation:

BOO RADLEY (Rupert Pumpkin via Flickr)
We have, in my opinion, a cultural and societal fear of damaging the reputations of those we hold in high esteem while neglecting the protection of the innocent, weak and vulnerable which borders on pathological.  We culturally laud Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, yet we learned little from it.  Boo Radley is still in the attic.

And that may be exactly why the home grown boy who grew up in the shadow of Beaver Stadium to play quarterback for and then coach for one of the (then) most esteemed football programs in the country simply couldn’t bring himself to notify the authorities in 2002 or on any of 3,505 days since the original debacle occurred.

And that is a disaster in itself…Has anybody seen Boo?

Penn State Odds And Ends

(Getty Images)
The Media: The real media (not these silly blogs) keeps referring to it as the Penn State sex scandal.  Shouldn’t it be the “Penn State rape scandal?” What’s the point of soft-peddling it now?

John Thompson and Rick “Doc” Walker:  Both agreed on Thompson’s radio show that the course of non-action taken by Paterno and the fact that they continued to allow Sandusky access to Penn State was so unbelievable and so illogical that only one conclusion could be drawn:  Sandusky had some serious dirt on Paterno, and if Paterno blew the whistle, Sandusky was going to take Joe Pa down…

Mr. Tony: Not Kornheiser, but our local Mr. Tony called for Penn State to “shelve their football program, effective immediately, for five years. Let the players transfer.”  We disagree.  Simply put, the institution as an institution did nothing wrong, the leaders of the institution are guilty of wrong doing.  As importantly, and maybe more so depending on one’s perspective, the current players, some of the coaches, the trainers, all the other football program employees, the cheerleaders, the students, the fans,  the alums and the boosters did nothing wrong.  Why punish everybody?  How about starting an assistance fund for the victims and making Penn State football donate $1 million a year for five or ten years?
(Getty Images)

While it seems unlikely that the Suits In Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) will take any action claiming they don’t enforce the law just the NCAA’s rules, it would make sense for them to remove the transfer restrictions for Penn State’s current scholarship football players.

Speaking of the NCAA and Penn State:  One of the NCAA’s favorites is “lack of institutional control.”  That’s almost funny.  Almost.

Tee Shirt Of The Day

You can own one, just click here.


THOMAS (Kevin C. Cox)
Virginia Tech’s  6’6”, 250 lbs. quarterback isn’t getting bigger with each game, but you’ll be hard pressed to convince George Tech of that.  What the yellow Jackets do know is that Thomas, who accounted for five touchdowns in last night’s Hokie victory, is most certainly getting better.

Thomas had 209 yards pass and three touchdowns from seven completions out of a mere thirteen attempts. More importantly, he ran for 70 yards and turned the garden-variety quarterback sneak play into a game changing weapon.

Thomas, whose QB rating for the game was a whopping 265, made two critical first downs and a touchdown utilizing the sneak.  His longest rush from scrimmage (12 yards) was a keeper which gave Virginia Tech the second-half lead they never relinquished.

WILSON (Kevin C. Cox)
Too compliment Thomas, David Wilson rushed for a career-best 175 yards as the #10 Hokies (9-1, 5-1 ACC) eliminated Georgia Tech (7-3, 4-3) from the Coastal Division race.  It was Wilson’s  seventh straight 100-yard game, the longest streak of Frank Beamer's quarter-century as coach.

The teams went back and forth through the second and third quarters, scoring on eight of nine possessions in one stretch. But the Hokies took advantage of a huge personal foul on Jeremiah Attaochu and a fourth-down gamble by Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson from his own 31-yard line that didn't pay off.

To read more, click here

Blow Up Of The Da(l)y

(AP Photo)
Big John Daly strikes again and not in a good way.

Playing in Thursday’s Australian Open on a sponsor's exemption, Big John lost his cool and probably wore out his down under welcome.

After knocking his ball into a bunker on the 10th hole, Daly inadvertently hit the wrong ball out of the sand -- a RANGE ball.  Musta been one heck of a "fried egg." That’s a one-stroke penalty and the precursor to a meltdown.

Obviously frustrated (at least in hindsight) with the penalty, Daly promptly his first shot in the water at the par-5 11th hole.  No problem, right? It’s not like the big-swinging lovable dysfunctional oaf hasn’t ever hit a drive off course before.

That said, Daly promptly hit six more balls into the water. For a brief moment, it turned into a real-life "Tin Cup" moment.

The only problem was that unlike Kevin Costner's character in the movie, Ol’ Crazy Pants hit his seventh, and, what turned out to be his final, ball on the green. It too found the water.  Game over.

Daly immediately shook the hands of playing partners Hunter Mahan and Craig Perry  and stormed off the course.

TEAM DALY (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Needless to say tournament organizers who granted Daly the free pass to play and the Australian PGA officials were not amused. 

Trevor Herden, the tournament director for the Australian Open said, "I would say this would be the last time we see John Daly.”

Brian Thorburn, CEO of PGA of Australia, made it clear that Daly shouldn't even bother hanging around to play the Australian PGA Championship, on a special invitation, in two weeks.

"The PGA does not need this kind of behavior tarnishing the achievement of other players and the reputation of our tournaments. John is not welcome in Coolum," Thorburn said in a statement.

Which begs the question: Do they have Hooters in Australia?

Pictures Of The Day

Penn State Board member Kenneth Frazier has been named to chair the committee investigating the Jerry Sandusky rape and cover-up scandal.  Here, he answers questions from media after the Penn State Board of Trustees held an open public meeting in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at the Nittany Lion Inn, November 12, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Blame the media.  On College Avenue, a student (a future conservative Republican?)holds up a sign that reads "News Media Out!" on November 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
On College Avenue, a crying Penn State Nittany Lion window painting marks a store front, November 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Tevin Washington #13 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets is uplifted and slammed out-of-bounds short of the goal line by Eddie Whitley #15 and Kyle Fuller #17 of the Virginia Tech Hokies at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 10, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Head coach Frank Beamer of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrates their 37-26 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Well....No.  A sign about "Hokie Season" is held up for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to run through prior to facing the Virginia Tech Hokies. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How (Not) To Fire Your Head Coach?

Have a courier take him a letter asking him to call the office.

Have the answering say the following:

Our regular office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please leave a message at the tone unless you are Joe Paterno. If you are Joe Paterno please press 1.

When 1 is pressed: A loud voice says “YOU’RE FIRED.”

Nice, Penn State, NICE!

Look the swarm of media and Penn State’s board of directors desire to act immediately made firing Paterno tricky at best.  That said, do you really s***-can your all-time head coach over the phone?

A Few Last Concluding Words About The Sandusky Scandal (Hopefully)

While researching the story immediately below, we were taken aback by the rising number of comments defending Joe Paterno and claiming Penn State was using their historic old coach as a scapegoat.


Who thinks that?  The only people who could possible think Paterno is a scapegoat are people who: 

1) have never been a parent or who are parents and don’t appreciate that their first priority is to protect their child emotionally and physically;

2) have never been a decision maker responsible for the well-being of others or the well-being of an important institution;

3) have not taken the time to learn the details of what really happened, and how badly Paterno and the other administrators at Penn State responded to the situation;

4) doubt the validity of the Grand Jury report that cites eight victims and supports 40 criminal counts, and/or

5) are just plain stupid.  

Simply put, if your allegiance to a college football team is so strong that you can look the other way while a grown man rapes a ten-year-old boy, then you are an idiot.  If you think the most powerful man in the Penn State universe isn't responsible for doing right by that ten-year-old boy, you're an even bigger idiot. 

There, we said it. We got it off our chest.  

Now, if you're a college student, we forgive you. You're young, and in spite of  your confident belief that you "know everything," you don't know everything because you simply haven't had the full gamut of life's experiences (including parenthood, which, as it turns out, is a bit of game changer!)

For you “scapegoaters,” one last quick review:

A (we presume "credible"), grad assistant told Paterno he heard and then saw a former coach having SEX with a ten-year-old BOY in a shower in a PSU football building. A day later, Paterno told his Athletic Director what now appears to be a watered-down, sugar-coated version of what the grad assistant very VIVIDLY describes in the Grand Jury report.  The A.D., summons the grad assistant more than a week later to discuss the matter, and in spite of being told the same DETAILED story, he decided to go with the water-downed version he heard from…drum roll, please…Joe Paterno.  The rest is history.

Here’s what should have happened:

The grad assistant punches Sandusky in the face and breaks up the rape, then he immediately tells Joe Pa what he saw.  Paterno contacts the A.D. and says get over here NOW.  The grad assistant tells the A.D. what he saw.  Now pay attention, ‘cause here’s the important part.  Joe Pa should have then said “We need to call the police, NOW.”  The A.D. should have responded in one of two ways:  1) The preferred response: He picks up the phone and calls both the campus police, the city police and the state police. 2) Acceptable, but not preferred: “I’d like to speak to President Spanier before we take any further action.”  You, know “chain of command” and all that stuff.  

Either way, Joe Paterno should have insisted that the appropriate law enforcement agencies be notified and that Sandusky, a man so brazen that he would rape a child in a public place, be detained and, at the very least, questioned by authorities about the incident.  

Now, if you still think Joe Paterno is a scapegoat answer these two questions:

1) What would Paterno have done if the ten-year-old boy pinned to the wall in the shower being raped by a 64-year-old man was his son?

2) …or his grandson?  

Would Paterno have categorized Sandusky’s behavior as “disturbing” and “inappropriate” or would he have kicked his a** and then called the cops?

Over the span of almost fifty years as the head coach of Penn State, Joe Paterno became the most powerful man in Happy Valley.  Clearly, over those years he made THOUSANDS of good decisions that had positive impact on literally THOUSANDS of people.  However, he also made a series of painfully, unbelievably horrible decisions when he decided (for whatever reason) to downplay the rape of a child.  His termination was justified and inevitable.  

(Editor’s note: By way a full disclosure T.A.H. Worldwide Media Headquarters is occupied by a very funny, very charming and very innocent almost ten-year-old boy.  So, if we seemed a little pissed off about this…well, that’s ‘cause we are.)

Joe Pa: Down, And Now Out

Last night, in the face of what may well be the biggest scandal and cover-up in college sports, the Penn State University board of directors acted swiftly and decisively and relieved both head coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier of their respective duties.  It’s a shocking and sad end to what was previously believed to be one of college football’s finest careers.

Paterno’s 46-season tenure, two national championships, five unbeaten teams and the fact that he is the winningest coach in major college football history (409) will likely be overshadowed by a child sex scandal and cover-up that will make Wood Hayes’ punching of a Clemson player pale in historical comparison.

“Right now, I’m not the football coach. And I’ve got to get used to that. After 61 years, I’ve got to get used to it,” the 84-year-old Paterno said, speaking outside his house. “Let me think it through.”

Paterno had earlier in the day announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2011-12 season.
In the end, it didn’t matter.

“I’m not sure I can tell you specifically,” board vice chair John Surma replied when asked at a packed news conference why Paterno had to be fired immediately. “In our view, we thought change now was necessary.”

Of course, the decision...the right one, and the only one the board of trustees could have made...triggered a reaction from some students that proved, once again, that college-age young adults don’t know crap about the real world. (What next: Occupy Happy Valley?)

As word of the firings spread, thousands of students flocked to the administration building, shouting, “We want Joe back!” and “One more game!” They then headed downtown to Beaver Avenue, where about 100 police wearing helmets and carrying pepper spray were on standby. Witnesses said some rocks and bottles were thrown, a lamppost was toppled and a news van was knocked over, its windows kicked out.

Someday when they are the mother or father of an innocent nine-year-old boy, each one of the rock throwers and van tippers will be embarrassed by their behavior last night. 

The decisions to oust Paterno and Spanier were unanimous, Surma said. 

Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will serve as interim coach, and the university scheduled a news conference with him for Thursday morning. Penn State hosts Nebraska on Saturday in the final home game of the season, a day usually set aside to honor seniors on the team.

Provost Rodney Erickson will be the interim school president.

The Penn State trustees had already said they would appoint a committee to investigate the “circumstances” that resulted in the indictment of Sandusky, and of Curley and Schultz. The committee will be appointed Friday at the board’s regular meeting, which Gov. Tom Corbett said he plans to attend, and will examine “what failures occurred and who is responsible and what measures are necessary to ensure” similar mistakes aren’t made in the future.

In Washington, the U.S. Department of Education said it has launched an investigation into whether Penn State failed to report incidents of sexual abuse on campus, as required by federal law.
“The Penn State board of trustees tonight decided it is in the best interest of the university to have a change in leadership to deal with the difficult issues that we are facing,” Surma said.

“The past several days have been absolutely terrible for the entire Penn State community. But the outrage that we feel is nothing compared to the physical and psychological suffering that allegedly took place.”

Sandusky, who announced his retirement from Penn State in June 1999, maintained his innocence through his lawyer. Curley has taken a leave of absence and Schultz has decided to step down. They also say they are innocent.

(Editor’s Note: We feel badly for Joe Paterno. As accomplished as he is at age 84, we would have preferred that he leave center stage in a better light.  We don’t doubt that at his core Joe Pa is a good man.  He has had a positive impact on thousands of people.  But, Paterno, like all of us at some point, reached a crossroads, and he, and his PSU associates, made a series of terrible decisions that negatively impacted a still unknown number of innocent kids.  Recognizing those “crossroads” moments are the key to leading a happy, successful and productive life.  We surmise that Paterno made good and moral decisions the overwhelming majority of the time, but, ultimately, his decision to prioritize his old friend over a ten-year-old rape victim, will forever tarnish what should have been a spotless career.  It makes us wonder what else did Penn State sweep under the rug during Joe Pa’s 46-year reign?)

ACC Football Schedule

Thursday, Nov 10
VIRGINIA TECH (-1) @ GEORGIA TECH, 8:00 PM, ESPN Radio, TV: ESPN/ESPN3,(Sirius 91//XM 91)

Saturday, Nov 12
WAKE FOREST @ CLEMSON (-15.5), 12:00 PM, TV: ESPNU, (Sirius 92//XM 190)

N.C. STATE (-1) @ BOSTON COLLEGE,12:30 PM, TV: ACC Network, (Sirius 132)

DUKE @ VIRGINIA (-10.5), 3:00 PM, TV: RSN, (Sirius 136//XM 191)

MIAMI @ FLORIDA STATE (-9.5), 3:30 PM, TV: ABC/ESPN/ESPN3, (Sirius 92//XM 190)

MARYLAND vs. NOTRE DAME (Fighting Irish, 11,773 students, South Bend, IN)(-20.5), Landover, Md. (FedEx Field), 7:30 PM, TV: NBC

Pictures Of The Day

Emily Wilkens, 33, of State CollegePennsylvania, holds a sign protesting while artist Michael Pilato (R) paints over a portion of a mural that former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was featured on in downtown State College, November 9, 2011. (Reuters Photo)
State College artist Michael Pilato paints over the portion of his mural that shows former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky in downtown State College, Pennsylvania, November 9, 2011. (Reuters Photo)
Students look at the mural at the College Bookstore where Jerry Sandusky's portrait has been removed and replaced with a blue ribbon along East College Avenue in the early morning hours on November 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Reuters Photo)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Down Goes Penn State (Hard)

Let’s start with the conclusion and work backward.  A few weeks ago, we advocated that Penn State be invited to join the ACC.  We would like to withdraw that invitation and it has nothing to do with what generally is a fine institution and everything to do with the simple fact that Penn State is about to implode.

In short, the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal will cause this venerable university to suffer in every conceivable area of import in ways that will make Maryland’s problems following the death of Len Bias and the banishment of Lefty Driesell look like a walk in the park.

This is the big one.  Within a matter of days, every senior administrator at Penn State should be relieved of their duties, and in all likelihood many will be.  The Athletic Director, Tim Curley, and the senior vice president for business and finance (who evidently oversees the campus police department) are already gone.  Reports today say head coach Joe Paterno will resign at the end of the season and that PSU president Graham Spanier has already been privately terminated.

Frankly, Jo Pa should resign while you read this and every single administrator from the president down to the water boys who knew about the now infamous Jerry Sandusky shower incident and failed to report it to the campus police, the state police, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Public Welfare Department or any appropriate county child protective services agency needs to go too.  Now.  All of them. 

Everybody to a man or woman with any knowledge of this needs to be purged from the system.  No excuses accepted.  “I told my boss,” can’t possibly be an acceptable defense.

That said, we feel sorry for Penn State, its students, parents, scholarship athletes, teachers and administrators.  The world as they know is coming to a crashing halt all because a few men in powerful positions thought it more important to protect Jerry Sandusky than to protect Penn State. 

Perhaps they thought the school couldn’t thrive is Sandusky was arrested and prosecuted.  If that was their strategy, it was tragically flawed.  The first rule of bad news in the public relations world is “tell it all, and tell it now.”  Yes, booster money would have temporarily slowed and a prize recruit or two may have headed off to a rival’s campus, but the total damage would have been much less than what is now anticipated.

Their unwillingness to stop a sexual predator, who founded a charitable program to serve as recruiting grounds for his victims, is about to overwhelm the institution they mistakenly believed would protect them if they sugar-coated and then buried what will turn out to be the most devastating and horrific scandal in the history of college sport.

The simple fact that the revered 84-year-old head coach who holds the record for most career wins is at the center of the scandal is even more discouraging.  Disgraced coaches and athletic directors who have fallen victim to the mistakes and escapades of their nineteen to twenty-something charges must all want to call a press conference and say “REALLY?

(See related story below)

Yesterday, long-time T.A.H. reader, one-time T.A.H. football correspondent and de-facto president of T.A.H.’s CC Nation, John Clark (Florida State) sent a text saying he had just read the grand jury report.  To say that barrister Clark (who has two young sons) was a bit upset would be an understatement of immense proportions.  We traded some text noting our disbelief in the chosen course of actions taken/not taken by all the parties and some of that string was reflected in yesterday’s post.  (Mostly the part where we said "Effing" a lot.)

Today, we proceeded to read the 23-page Grand Jury report.  Truth be known, we have a pretty strong stomach and if one were to replace Victims 1 through 8 with consenting adults, we would not have found this diatribe so disconcerting and disgusting.  Messed up, yes, but not gut-wrenchingly foul.  However, the victims were consistently nine- and ten-year-old boys plucked from the organization The Second Mile, a charity Sandusky founded for at-risk youths way back in 1977.  Appalled, we stopped reading after 16 pages (the beginning of Victim 5).

Now, if you are inclined think the victims are liars, the consistency of the pattern described by each victim speaks volumes about their collective credibility.  If they made these stories up, they each made up a remarkably consistent version of Sandusky’s seductive habits.

If you are inclined to believe that graduate assistant Mike McQueary is exaggerating what he saw, you only need to read the Grand Jury report.  He could be exaggerating for a variety of reasons, but everything else in the report makes McQueary’s version of the events very convincing.

What’s fascinating is how clear the story seems to emerge if the Grand Jury report is accurate.  Now, mainstream media has been tiptoeing around some of these issues, but we are going to give it to you straight.  If you are under 18 stop reading this NOW and go ask your parents to explain this to you if they are so inclined.  If you are over 18, here are the bullet points:
  • ·         Jerry Sandusky played at Penn State and coached there for 23 years. He also coached high school football.
  • ·         Sandusky is married and has six adopted children.
  • ·         In 1977, Sandusky started “The Second Mile” a charity dedicated to underprivileged kids in State College, PA.
  • ·         Sandusky was the subject of a sexual misconduct investigation in 1998 and he retired from PSU in 1999.
  • ·         In 2002, Penn State grad assistant Mike McQueary heard (CONTENT ALERT) “rhythmic, slapping sounds” he believed to be “those of sexual activity.”  He saw “a naked boy” estimated age of 10 “with his hands up against the wall, be subjected to a*** intercourse by a naked Sandusky.”
  • ·         The next day, McQueary reported what he had seen to Paterno.  A day later, Paterno summoned PSU A.D. Tim Curley to his home and told him that McQueary had seen Sandusky “fondling or doing something of sexual nature to a young boy."
  • (Note to readers, there is a theme starting here.  McQueary was pretty clear about what he saw and assuming he reported what he said to the Grand Jury to Paterno, it would seem that Joe Pa started the process of watering down the allegations to what PSU officials wrongly believed was an acceptable level.)
  • ·         “Approximately, one and a half weeks later, McQueary met with Curley and Senior VP Gary Shultz and reported that he had witnessed “Sandusky having a*** sex with a boy.”
  • ·         Two weeks later, McQueary was informed by the A.D. that the Sandusky’s keys were taken and that The Second Mile was notified.
  • ·         McQueary was never questioned by University Police or any other official organization prior to speaking to the Grand Jury.
  • ·         The report says “The Grand Jury finds the graduate assistant’s testimony to be extremely credible.”
  • ·         A.D. Curley testified that McQueary reported “inappropriate conduct” and he denied that McQueary reported a*** sex and termed the conduct as “horsing around.”
  • ·         Curley informed PSU president Spanier of the info he received from McQueary (at least, Curley’s version of that info) and the subsequent action he took.  Curley was not specific about the language he used to inform Spanier.
  • ·         Schultz testified that he attended a meeting with Paterno and Curley where Joe Pa reported “disturbing” and “inappropriate behavior” by Sandusky.
  • ·         Schultz was “very unsure” about what MeQueary had actually reported and that he had the “impression that Sandusky might have inappropriately grabbed the young boy’s genitals while wrestling.”
  • ·         Schultz agreed to banning Sandusky from brining children into Penn State facilities and confirmed that he never reported the incident to the campus police agency or any other police agency.
  • ·         Spanier testified that he was made aware that Sandusky was “horsing around” with a child in the locker room, but that he did not know the incident was sexual in nature nor the name of the graduate assistant (McQueary) who witnessed the incident.
  • ·         In an odd twist on Page 11, it says McQueary and Curley testified that Sandusky himself was not banned from PSU facilities (just banned from bringing in minors) and Curley admitted that the child ban was unenforceable.
  • ·The report says, “The Grand Jury finds that portions of the testimony of Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are not credible.

As you can see, it seems terribly clear what happened here.  Immediately after Curley was informed of the allegations, he began (for reasons we can’t imagine) to start watering down McQueary’s allegations.  It appears that McQueary’s version of the events have been consistent while Paterno, Curely, Schultz and even President Spanier have done their best to minimize Sandusky’s atrocity.

The burning question is why did these presumably competent professional administrators risk their careers and the reputation of the institution they loved and served to protect Jerry Sandusky?

Is loyalty within the football community at Penn State so intense, that the insiders will overlook sexual misconduct of one of their brethren?  Has the “this is our house, we’re a family and what goes on here stays here and we will resolve it internally” mantra run amok?

Perhaps, the answer is ego.  Is the world of upper crust administration of world-class universities and their uber-successful football programs so elitist, egotistical and segregated from the real world that, like Richard Nixon and legions of powerful wrong-thinking wrong-doers, they simply believed the rules didn’t apply to them?  Is human nature the ultimate entrapment for people in power?

What made these people think that Penn State would suffer significant harm from the arrest and prosecution of Jerry Sandusky?  Had they simply called the police, Nittany Lion Nation would have suffered a black-eye that would have healed in two weeks.  Now, the university will suffer wounds that will take years to heal…if they ever do.

How could they choose to protect Jerry Sandusky over protecting their institution – an institution none of them would ever deliberately hurt in any way.  But, they did choose to protect their former coach to their own demise.  It seems unlikely, they planned a cover up via a carefully orchestrated conspiracy, but each time a PSU official minimized and watered down the events of that March night, the ultimate cover up grew larger and more damaging. In the end, the level of that damage to this prestigious university is almost impossible to predict. 

Were they lulled into believing that the institution was so big and so powerful that it could protect Sandusky and themselves?  Did they forget that it’s not Penn State’s job to protect them, but it’s simply their job to competently represent and ultimately protect Penn State?

It will take some time to sort out all these answers and some may never be known, but one read (Yes, we finished the last seven pages) of the Grand Jury report makes it clear that everybody with knowledge of what Jerry Sandusky (allegedly) did on that fateful night in March in the Lash Football Building in Happy Valley needs to step down and they need to do it now.

Call it “fire, ready, aim” or call it “guilty until proven innocent,” but the evidence presented to date, and the 40 counts of sexual abuse against Sandusky, are so disturbing and so consistent it seems wildly improbable that a Herman Cian-style unbelievable denial or the Duke lacrosse “it didn’t really happen” scenario are likely outcomes for this sordid mess.

Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post writes today that we shouldn’t blame Paterno.  Jenkins is wrong.  Her initial point is alarmingly true when she points out that pedophiles are hard to recognize, but her conclusion about Joe Pa is totally wrong.

According to Jenkins, “Try to forgive Joe Paterno: When he looked at Jerry Sandusky, he didn’t see a dirty old man in a raincoat. He saw a friend, a close colleague, and a churchy do-gooder. He saw a nice guy. You’d have seen the same thing. Think not? You think you can see a clear-cut difference between an alleged child molester and a youth coach?”

Jenkins points out that the rest of the administration at Penn State failed Paterno, and we don’t disagree.  We also don’t disagree that anyone (and in many cases everyone) can be fooled by sly predators like Sandusky. But in the end, Paterno is largely to blame – not for his inability to recognize that his friend and colleague was a sexual predator and child molester but for NOT launching an investigation when another employee reported witnessing a very specific inappropriate and illegal act against a child. 

We have all been fooled by criminals, but when a credible source reports a crime, you have to take the appropriate action or more than just the victim suffers. Joe Paterno is the most powerful (and popular) man in Happy Valley.  Sometimes, the leader of the realm has to make hard choices.  This was one of those times and the winningest coach in college football was the right man for this difficult job.  Instead, Joe Pa, who was a spritely 75 at the time, apparently prioritized his loyalty to Sandusky ahead of his loyalty to Penn State and the victim(s) of Sandusky’s crime(s).

For a man with a stellar reputation who has assembled a remarkable career, Paterno has made few missteps. It seems a shame the end of his career and his legacy will be linked to such a heinous crime and the series of horrible decisions made in the aftermath of its reporting. 

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