November 22, 2011

"Joe Paterno clashed repeatedly with the university's former chief disciplinarian over how harshly to punish players who got into trouble, internal emails suggest..."

"... shedding new light on the school's effort to balance its reputation as a magnet for scholar-athletes with the demands of running a nationally dominant football program."


MikeDC said...

Could someone explain to me why a university needs its own mini-FBI? How's about they just refer criminal cases to the criminal justic system and abide by their results?

traditionalguy said...

A university is a institution of a world to itself that creates its own Community with its own rules.

That said, Criminal violations have to be handled with referrals to the Criminal Law institutions outside the College.

But this was about discipline within the Institution. What crimes were present or not present is not clear here.

AllenS said...

Did anyone try to read the comments to this article?

edutcher said...

If you make a military unit, especially one in a combat theater, analogous to a college football team during the season, Paterno sounds like a unit commander who "understands" his men better than the bastards outside the outfit.

Charlton Ogburn's book on his service with Merrill's Marauders or James Jones' "WWII" underline the point.

Problem is, it's only an analogy and Paterno was still working within a civil framework.

ALH said...

"nationally dominant" football program???

They are not even dominant within the BigTen.

Seven Machos said...

Isn't it obvious at this point that Paterno is a completely self-centered, narcissistic asshole> He allowed this Sandusky character to exit gracefully. He coddled criminals on his team. He coached well past any reasonable retirement age solely to get the Division I wins record.

It's really a great tragic story (in the dramatic sense) that all this came out right after he broke the record (though the timing of that itself is suspect). Also, clearly Paterno was from a different era. The good news is that this kind of thing doesn't go on at other schools because schools aren't afraid of their coaches. That time has passed.

Craig said...

My college roommate got his lights punched out by a cornerback forty years ago at a campus fair and concert. We'd been tossing a football back and forth and attracted some attention because I was making all my catches one handed. The fight was short, only two punches thrown. My roommate caught them both with no hands. Spent four hours in the ER getting an x-ray of his cheekbone. Didn't file charges, but did complain to the athletic department. Hearing was held six months later and the head coach made an appearance. The player was penalized with no varsity game time for the entire season. He was red-shirted. Three years later I watched the guy on national television. He blocked a last minute field goal attempt, securing a win in the Cotton Bowl. If he hadn't been red-shirted he'd have graduated the previous year.

Milwaukee said...

Perhaps Penn State's string of wonderful years is sort of like Bernie Maddoff's string of wonderful quarters of success: Things were hidden which will tell a different tale. Paterno wanted total control, and sounds like he would brush things over with a boys-will-be-boys attitude. Not good.

Rick said...

The occupiers, too, want to take care of handling misdeeds of their members.

David said...

Just who was this woman, and what was her job? She pretty clearly did not like it that Paterno had power that she lacked. How did that influence her comments? Her point of view?

Maybe she is a fair minded, earnest and balanced person. Maybe not.

A good rule is to consider the source. Hard to do when you get no information about the source other than a title and a few emails.

Seven Machos said...

David -- Did you read the WSJ article? It's long. And damning.

Maguro said...

The PSU football program's holier-than-thou, squeaky clean reputation has always been a sham - it's just another enormous state university that does damn near everything it can to win. No different than Ohio State, Oklahoma or Texas in my book.

By the same token, I'd bet that the chief compliance officer has the same gripes about the football coach at all those places, too. The truth is this: Big-time coaches are paid to win games and make money for the school...the stuff about molding young scholar-athletes into solid citizens is just fluff for the rubes.

David said...

I did read it--before it was mentioned here. It's damning if you believe it. I don't know whether to believe it or not, but I don't think it unusual that a professional academic bureaucrat in charge of "discipline" would have a problem with a football coach or a football program.

There is a witch hunt on here. There may be some actual witches, but the mentality of a witch hunt calls for caution and skepticism.

Seven Machos said...

David -- I think what you are missing here is that the emails in the article were all sent before any of this started. All this occurred when Paterno was still God.

This isn't piling on. It's just old facts coming to light and now being seen, in connection with other facts that also existed before, in a different way.

Paterno is not a scapegoat. He's a goat goat. He's the guy who did stuff wrong and now he will be rightfully tarnished.

beast said...

Reminds me of when i was a young Eng student at a major Southern university trying to build/rebuild their football program.A 6'5" 250#LB
smashed a glass beer pitcher down over the head of an obnoxious frat boy.Heard the payoff was five grand.anyone else would have gone down for agg battery.The LB was All-American for two years and went on to play in the NFL.Football had a brand new fieldhouse and dorms and the Eng school was the only non Air conditioned building on campus.Even thoughh the Eng program brought in $125Million a year.Corruption has been going on for a long time.

Carol_Herman said...

I think people have figured this out.

Happy Valley wasn't a happy place. The Second Mile "charity" was a ruse. That delivered troubled boys into pedophilia ... through the family court system.

By shining a light ... and putting the "secret" grand jury testimony "by accident" out into the open ... The truth has finally begun to appear.

Will Ray Gricar's murder ever be solved?

It was a very careful investigation. The Governor of the State of Pennsylvania. The DA's office. And, the police knew there was a NETWORK of VERY RICH PEDOPHILES ... who were going to fight like crazy against exposure.

Even Joe Paterno's "press conference," where he said "he'd retire" ... was a ploy! He knew the university was finally dealing with the powerful forces behind the concealment.

Penn State will not be able to recruit top talent. The current team of players are going to need an exit where they can go to other schools, without penalty.

MONSTERS! Only monsters could do this!

Carol_Herman said...

By the way, what the players did? A group of them went into a student's room and beat the kid seriously. Facing no consequences.

Pogo said...

When the university's disciplinarian repeatedly prevails on how harshly to punish players who got in trouble, you get the University of Minnesota football team.

At least, that should be their excuse.

Phil 3:14 said...

It looks like Joe lost "perspective" at some point in the past (if he ever had it).

Never believe your press clippings.

dix said...

A guy I went to high school with was a grad assistant football coach at Penn State in the 80s with Paterno and Sandusky. He wrote a very good blog piece about his experience that I think is pretty revealing

MadisonMan said...

Is there a reason that a coach shouldn't advocate for his players?

I suspect every Chief Disciplinarian at every College has the same complaint about every Coach. The difference would be the degree of interference.

The root problem is the culture of silence that warps the reality of the football players.

Jay said...

This is what you get when you have a little tin god running an entire university and city.

Who in their right mind allows an 84 year old man to run an operation that brings in $100 million dollars a year?

It is lunacy.

hawkeyedjb said...

What's the bottom line?

"Paterno had given him an ultimatum: Fire her, or Mr. Paterno would stop fund-raising for the school."

I wouldn't be surprised if this kind of ultimatum has been issued by a lot of big-time sports coaches. The successful ones usually have a lot more power than mere mortal administrators.

There's no doubt Paterno did a lot of good for the university, but in the end if the school becomes an adjunct to the football team, then it's not surprising that the football team gets to make the rules.

rick said...

The WSJ ran another article on the whistle blower - giving a different point of view.

The anti-JoPas are coming out of the woodwork now. A easy target.

Jay said...

And I'm still left wondering how Paterno, Curley, and Schultz came to the conclusion that the boy being allegedly raped would never surface (and what about McQuery's dad?) and this could all be washed away so easily.

Either money changed hands, or the hubris is off the charts.

CyndiF said...

Football players get special treatment on campus???

And in other breaking news, water is wet.

Carnifex said...

University of Kentucky has had its share of problems with cheating, and win at all costs mentality in basketball. They solved it by giving the compliance directory a job for life, and total veto power over the coaches. The NCAA didn't hammer them for the last violation for just this reason.

Coaches and compliance directors work at cross odds. The coach gets more and more money for more and more wins, so the long slide into cheating, and rule bending is easy to fall into.

Its a shame JoPa will take the place of Woody Hayes, as the worst person to coach a national team.

MMM... whats the synchronicity of Woody Hayes...Joe Paterno... Woody Allen?

Regardless, Emmert the weasel, at first stated that the NCAA wouldn't get involved in the PSU mess, but if this isn't LOIC I don't know what is. I wouldn't be surprised as more and more stuff comes out, that PSU gets the death penalty, much like SMU.
If they don't, if PSU is allowed to make millions from their football program, as well as billions for ESPN, and CBS, then it will be open season on cheating. The only ones being punished the Cleveland States of the world.

lgv said...

As I belatedly stated in another thread, this is no shock to anyone familiar with the program.

I spent the happiest 2 years of my life as a graduate TA at PSU. I also taught Continuing Ed classes.

I've always been ambivalent about Joe Pa. Even as a partisan fan, I realized it was not squeaky clean like everyone imagines (or did).

I have plenty of anecdotes about players; funny but not good stories. The football program had its own "handlers" as I like to call them to watch over the team.

The percentage of bad characters certainly increased in the last ten years during his single minded, selfish pursuit of the win record. The same thing happened to Bobby Bowden. They both wanted the record.

Curious George said...

Carnifex said...

Its a shame JoPa will take the place of Woody Hayes, as the worst person to coach a national team.

If they don't, if PSU is allowed to make millions from their football program, as well as billions for ESPN, and CBS, then it will be open season on cheating. The only ones being punished the Cleveland States of the world."

Dude, what makes Woody Hayes the "worst person".

And do you really think ESPN and CBS makes billions off PSU? Really? Billions?

Joe said...

Collegiate and high school sports are corrupting for the simple reason that they are completely at odds of the mission of schools. One effective thing we could do for education in this country is to break the tie of sports and education.

(Earlier this month I voted against a bond [that barely passed anyway] in part because it allocated money for a new gymnasium at my kids' high school. The current gym is old, but perfectly functional. This isn't being done because of gym class, but because of varsity basketball. It's obscene.)

Milwaukee said...

(Earlier this month I voted against a bond [that barely passed anyway] in part because it allocated money for a new gymnasium at my kids' high school. The current gym is old, but perfectly functional. This isn't being done because of gym class, but because of varsity basketball. It's obscene.)

We have already been told water is wet.

My previous high school had a bond issue for a big addition. The head principal was a big athletic supporter. We could have had an air conditioned building. Instead the field house, with 4 full sized basketball courts, got a hard wood floor. That's a lot of floor. The building received the duct work and machinery for air conditioning, but not the cooling tower. But hey, it's for sports.

To the aunt (on the ex-wife's side) who argued against getting sports out of schools, I say, if the schools are so bad we need sports to bribe kids to stay in schools, then the sooner sports are gone the sooner we'll see how bad schools are.

In Iowa, coaching and teaching contracts are together. If the head basketball coach is a wonderful, superlative teacher, but the basketball team loses, then the teacher is fired. This is state law and how things are practiced. The argument is that if we release that coach from coaching duties, without a teaching job to attract a candidate we'd never get any one in here to coach.

Aridog said...

Am I missing something here? Pedophile State University is all about coaches and administrators and who knew what when?

Where is the rage? A grown man, McQueary, says he witnessed anal sodomy of a 10 year old boy, naked in the football facility showers, by Sandusky. He did nearly nothing, save go home and tell daddy and then a couple management types latter. Per him, he never laid a finger on Sandusky, nor attended to the boy's safety. WTF?

That's it?!!! What happened to that boy? Left in the shower with Sandusky from what I can glean.

Pedophile State U is about as corrupt, criminal, and dysfunctional as it is possible to be ... and should be dropped from football competition, period, for at least a year. Doesn't matter what others do ... it matters what they did, or more aptly, did NOT do: Protect a child who had no business there in the first place.

I feel to puke.

As a Wisconsin alum, I wish Wisconsin would let PSU show up this Saturday, let them get all ready to play, etc., then Wisconsin walk off the field refusing to play the schmucks.

Kirk Parker said...


"Is there a reason that a coach shouldn't advocate for his players?"

There's every reason in the world to have them not treated any different than any other student.

In fact, if there's going to be any differential, the football players ought to be held to a higher standard, since they represent the University in public in way that John or Jane Q. engineering or English major don't.

Craig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.