PENN STATE PART OF CHAOTIC CORRIDOR

A few months ago in this space I asked the question, “Whose football program would you rather have right now, Pitt’s, WVU’s, Ohio State’s or Penn State’s?”

My point was that, with everybody calling for the old man in Happy Valley to retire, he was in charge of the only non-dysfunctional program of the four.

Pitt hired and fired a coach in two weeks.

West Virginia had a head coach who was out in public bad-mouthing the coach who was brought in to take his job and Ohio State had a coach who was probably considered second only to Joe Paterno when it came to running an honest, clean program “resign.”

I can ask that question again and I don’t think I’d get the same answer.

We don’t know what more is to come from the Sandusky trial and there are people out there saying that it will take Penn State at least 10 years to recover from the scandal.

What looked like major scandals at Pitt, West Virginia and Ohio State six months ago, don’t look so major any more.

  • oksteelerfan

    People have accused me of being hard on PSU. I’m thinking Gene Collier is going to be getting a lot of hate mail.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11324/1191318-150-0.stm

    • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

      Thanks….I posted the column. It’s tremendous.

  • oksteelerfan

    I have to say I may be wrong about the NCAA, just heard they were going to investigate.

    • Mike V.

      Why? Were they giving players salmon for their bagels? That’s what the ncaa is about these days.

  • JWK

    How things change in a matter of months. They can change again. Right now there’s a media fury over this. The fury will die down and start up again but perhaps not as fierce once a trial commences. If the PSU football program makes a public show about cleaning house it will recover to a point.
    Back to your point about the troubled corridor. OSU still may face NCAA sanctions, Pitt is more of a Basketball school and what conference is WVU going to again? If I were a high school kid I think I’d pick WVU today.

  • Mike from Boston

    It might be north of the “chaotic corridor” but Syracuse is joining the “pedophile coach scandal” list.

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/7248184/syracuse-police-investigating-bernie-fine-molesting-boy-1980s

  • Cambot

    If these recent reports, about new victims from as far back as the 1970s coming forward, should prove to be true; I don’t see how any intelligent person could continue to believe that Paterno knew nothing. That is simply not credible.

    • Frank

      I’m not a fan of Ravenstahl, but he’s spot on in this case.

      I’m sure you’ll have every moronic Stiller yinzer in Pittsburgh jumping down his throat for calling out a Pittsburgh “icon” like Franco Harris. This city loves their their democrats, but da’ Stillers take precedence over those who cover up child molestation cases in order to keep that football program going strong.

      The Meadows have already cut ties with Franco and I’m sure more will follow when all is said and done. Even the Steelers organization is staying away from Franco’s comments. It’s understandable considering the public relation hits they’ve taken over the last 2-3 years.

      In short, Franco was better off keeping his mouth shut and continuing to make money in this city by doing his dopey commercials. But, I guess he has to “stick by coach” through thick and thin. What a nice mentality to have when it comes to this type of situation.

      • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

        Franco’s a great guy and a class act but he’s dead wrong on this one.

        • Frank

          I agree John.

          I’ve met Franco a few times at an Italian gentlemen’s club over near Larimer Avenue. He was very down to earth and seemed like a genuinely nice guy.

          Unfortunately, he’s way off when it comes to Paterno. Again, he was better off keeping his mouth shut and staying away from this entire situation. It’s only going to hurt him.

          • DormontDirtBag

            Yes, you’re absolutely right. When you truly believe a friend of yours is being treated unfairly, a friend to whom you owe much of your personal success, the right thing to do is to keep your mouth shut and stay away from the entire situation.

            Wasn’t it only last week we were grabbing torches and pitchforks to rage against those who took the easy way out by not speaking up?

          • oksteelerfan

            Can you not see speaking up about kids being raped is a little different than speaking up for a man who did nothing more than lose the right to coach 3 or so more games?

          • DormontDirtBag

            Of course they’re different, but the “right thing to do” in each case is the same — speak the truth, as you see it, even if people will fairly or unfairly criticize you for it.

            Are you saying you wouldn’t speak up for a friend in a similar circumstance? That’s pathetic.

            I mean, has it really come to this? Has it gotten to the point where before one can say something supportive of Paterno, one must caveat it with, “By the way, I’m very much against child rape”?

            All Harris said was that he didn’t think the board should have fired Paterno summarily. That mild statement, according to Ravenstahl, disqualifies Franco from decent society.

            I’ll take one Franco Harris over a thousand scumbag Ravenstahls anytime.

          • Mike V.

            It doesn’t disqualify Franco from decent society. It does disqualify him from representing an organization.

            What Franco should have said was the board waited too long to fire Paterno…because they did.

          • DormontDirtBag

            According to Ravenstahl, Franco is now “no longer a suitable representative for any organization.” If Ravenstahl is to be believed, Franco should abandon any dreams of being the treasurer of the local Moose Lodge. He’s obviously unfit. Shun this hater of children.

            Although patently absurd, Ravenstahl’s fatwa sounds like a pretty comprehensive disqualification to me. What a scumbag.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            It’s nice to know that he’s mayor for life.

          • Mike V.

            I wouldn’t speak up for a friend who got caught up in something like this. Maybe I’m pathetic.

          • oksteelerfan

            I guess I’m pathetic. If I found out a friend, my son or my husband knew about a child being raped and didn’t pick up the phone and say I was just told that a grown man witnessed another grown man raping a 10 year old boy, then no I wouldn’t support them publicly or privately.

          • oksteelerfan

            oops meant pick up phone and call cops

          • DormontDirtBag

            You and Mike have convinced me. You’re both pathetic.

          • oksteelerfan

            Thank you Dirt Bag. I just hope you don’t work anywhere near kids as defending your friends is more important than protecting children.

      • Dan

        I don’t agree with Franco either, but I think he’s doing it out of a sincere sense of loyalty to Paterno, misguided though it is.

        My issue with Ravenstahl is not him being critical of Franco, but the manner in which he’s doing it. The language in the letter is very extreme, in my opinion. Ravenstahl could have expressed himself in a much more civil tone. To suggest that Franco isn’t a suitable representative for any organization, and that he has no concern for the victims is ridiculous.

        I think this a very petty overreaction on Ravenstahl’s part. To me, using that kind of language shows a lack of judgment.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

          Are there really people out there who take Luke Ravenstahl seriously?

  • DormontDirtBag

    Anyone see Ravenstahl’s pathetic letter to Franco regarding Franco’s statement about Paterno? Franco didn’t even mention the victims but Luke the Puke said he he had to “re-read it several times to fully comprehend the callous disregard and indifference for the victims of sexual abuse at Penn State.” I don’t doubt this simpleton had to re-read it –he probably has to read twice everything put before him.

    Anyone doubt this thing has turned into a witch hunt? Say anything nice about Paterno and you’re treated like Nazi-sympathizer.

    This pathetic, politically-correct weasel isn’t fit to hold Franco’s jock.

    • Mike V.

      OK then. As it relates to this sex abuse case, say something nice about Paterno. I’d be interested to see what you come up with.

      • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

        I hear he’s a pretty good dancer.

      • DormontDirtBag

        OK. Here’s something nice – Paterno did the right thing by reporting the allegation to the AD and to the supervisor of police. He did the right thing by later publicly admitting he didn’t do enough. Should I give you and Ravenstahl my employer’s phone number so that you and he can try to get me fired for my “callous disregard and indifference for the victims of sexual abuse”?

        • oksteelerfan

          Saying he reported it to the supervisor of police is like saying in the real world I call and leave a message with the mayor’s secretary that a crime has been committed and I reported it to the supervisor of police.

          • DormontDirtBag

            No, it’s not at all like saying he left a message with the mayor’s secretary. It’s more like saying he immediately contacted, and had a face-to-face meeting with, the supervisor of police and the AD — which is what actually happened.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            I think it’s about more than that incident. It’s about everybody at the very least having SUSPICION that this guy was a pedophile and allowing him to have an office in the same building.

          • DormontDirtBag

            Those are fair points, for which Paterno is paying a price — but not acting on supsicions is a far cry from actively and with premediation covering up known misconduct, which is what some people are asserting as an established fact. And if Paterno actually was intent on covering up for Sandusky, he would have killed the inquiry in the cradle right when McQueary reported to him. Instead, he reported it upward. If Paterno was determined to keep it under wraps, he sure acted stupidly — because how could Paterno have known with certainty that Curley or Schultz would not have conducted a CSI-like investigation that would have within weeks nailed Sandusky to the wall?

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            When he reported it “upward” that would be an indication that he had a boss. I’ve heard for 40 years that he runs the show there. Which is it? The people who had it passed upward to them could also have been working with the understanding that he wanted them to make it go away.

          • DormontDirtBag

            “[C]ould also have been working with the understanding that he wanted them to make it go away.”

            This is what drives me crazy. People have been playing the coulda, woulda, shoulda game since the minute this whole thing broke. I agree –there “coulda” been a huge conspiracy to cover this up. But so far that particular allegation is evidence-free.

            And if Paterno operated as a completely unchecked dictator as you suggest, why did he bother at all talking to Schultz and Curley? And if Paterno directed Curley and Schultz to look the other way, their testimony to that fact will be the first thing they’ll offer to the prosecuton to make their own charges go away or be reduced.

            There’s far more evidence suggesting a sloppy investigation and a careless follow-through than there is for some grand conspiracy. Laziness and complacency are common. Vast criminal conspiracies are not.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            I think that the image that was created caused people to believe that they had to protect that image at all costs. When Joe passed the information on, it was understood that they should try to make it go away.

          • oksteelerfan

            One of Shultz’ job duties was to oversee the police department, not run the police department. Making it basically reporting a crime to the mayor, one of his job duties is to oversee the police department, doesn’t mean he runs it.

            Apparently Schultz failed at that as well as according to his grand jury testimony he never knew about the 1998 incident.

          • DormontDirtBag

            But according to your analogy, what Paterno did amounted to a face-to-face meeting with the mayor, which is much, much more, in my opinion, than just leaving a phone message athe mayor’s office.

            No argument that Schultz didn’t do his job. And no argument that Paterno was negligent in not following up or following through.

          • oksteelerfan

            Okay let’s put it a different way that maybe you can understand. A person on the mayor’s staff saw the mayor’s son raping a boy and goes to the mayor and tells him what he witnessed. Was the staff member really trying to report a crime or trying to figure out how best to protect the mayor?
            So when Paterno called Curley and Curley showed up with Schultz instead of someone who is actually being paid to investigate crimes on campus, was he trying to report a crime or trying to figure out how best to handle this?

          • DormontDirtBag

            Paterno has testified that he met Curley and Schultz in a good faith effort to address McQueary’s ever-changing allegation. Curley and Schultz have corroborated this. The Attorney General, for now, has accepted these as the operative facts. Otherwise the AG would also have charged Paterno with perjury. Do you know something the AG doesn’t?

            Question: What evidence do you have that this meeting was actually a vipers’ pit of conspirators scheming to cover up the story?

            Answer: None.

          • oksteelerfan

            It would be almost impossible to charge Paterno with perjury. Paterno testified that McQueary told him Sandusky was fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy. That saved Paterno from being charged with perjury.
            Paterno also escaped being charged with not reporting a crime to a child because he reported it to his so called superior.
            I’m not sure where you’re getting the ever changing story by McQueary. I guess you could be talking about the released e-mail, although in it he doesn’t say the boy wasn’t raped, he doesn’t say he didn’t report to Paterno, Curley or Schultz that the boy wasn’t raped. He tried to save face with his friends and say he did something to stop the rape, although he also said not physically. He claimed he did talk to the police but he didn’t give a time line.
            It doesn’t look good and something I’m sure Sandusky’s attorney will hammer him with as it differs from his grand jury report.

            I have no evidence other than what was testified to in the grand jury report and the fact that nobody informed the police including Paterno. I guess Paterno couldn’t have ever asked one of the campus police how is that investigation going?
            Call me crazy, but it’s hard to believe a man who can stand up to his superiors and say you can’t fire me, couldn’t have stood up to those same superiors and said this will be reported to police, either you do it or I do it or I’ll go to the press.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            I just don’t thibk its that complicated. How can anybody believe that everybody connected with the program didn’t know what this guy was up to. Compare it to any other workplace. An employee hnppens to stumble upon the assistant manager or VP raping a 10 year old boy. He’s not going to tell his friends at work? And those friends aren’t going to tell their friends? Come on. You don’t think that over 9 years that story circulated to everybody in the workplace? If somone had come across the assistant news director at KDKA raping a 10 year old boy in 2002, I can guarantee you that — reporting it to the cops aside– every single person in the building would have known about it in 9 minutes. And we’re talking about nine YEARS. It’s an insult to the intelligence of anybody who’s been in a workplace to suggest that Paterno didn’t know what this guy had been doing.

          • oksteelerfan

            You’re right John, there is even proof to back this up. It was how the investigators found McQueary according to a NY Times article. They read about an assistant coach catching Sandusky in the shower with a kid on a Penn State forum.
            Yet, we’re supposed to believe everyone was in the dark?

        • Mike V.

          If Paterno was so concerned, why did he continue to allow Sandusky to come around the program? Why didn’t he do all he could to keep student athletes at PSU from supporting a charity set up to get young boys for Sandusky? Why didn’t he get the word out to the members fo the board of that charity that Sandusky was a child raper?

          Paterno is as dirty as a garbage man in this case because he showed a callous disregard and indifference for the children who live in that part of Pennsylvania.

          • DormontDirtBag

            Since you’re changing the subject, I assume you agree that Ravenstahl is a disgusting scumbag weasel who will accuse well-intentioned citizens of Pittsburgh of being indifferent to child abuse if he thinks it will get him one more vote.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            No. I was just asking if anybody actually takes him seriously.

          • DormontDirtBag

            I was responding to Mike V. — my whole point was about Ravenstahl’s letter to Harris, not Paterno’s actions and inactions.

          • Mike V.

            Franco behaved like an idiot. It isn’t good for an organization to have an idiot representing them. Franco had to go. It isn’t complicated.

          • DormontDirtBag

            Brilliant.

          • oksteelerfan

            I know zip about Ravenstahl, so I won’t comment one way or the other about him.
            I do know though when Franco was being interviewed he was asked about the victims and he either didn’t hear the question or ignored the question and went on with his rant about Joe. I think some people could have taken this as being insensitive to the kids who were raped.
            I’ve always liked Franco, but I don’t put Franco on a pedestal and he was wrong the way he went about it. I would have respected him more if he said Joe means a lot to me and I’ve only known him to be a great man and he has my full support as a friend. To attack the university for doing what the majority of the country knew they had no choice but to do and sounding stupid by saying it had nothing to do with football, when it was pretty obvious it was covered up due to football and/or Joe’s image.

          • oksteelerfan

            I’ve been doing some reading on Ravenstahl and I’m going to have to agree with John, this guy is such a joke, I doubt many people stop what they’re doing to hear him speak.

    • Dan

      I agree, Ravenstahl’s letter was pathetic. Franco’s support of Paterno in no way condones child abuse. While I don’t support Paterno and feel he deserved to be fired, Ravenstahl’s attack of Franco is the lowest form of political payback.

      Franco’s son ran against the Boy Mayor, and Ravenstahl sees this as an opportunity to stick it to Franco. The letter is so over-the-top and beyond the pale of decency.

      If anyone should step down, it’s the Boy Mayor. He’s an embarrassment to the city.

      • Frank

        Good point Dan. I didn’t think about it that way.

        I wouldn’t put it past Ravenstahl to use this occasion to “get back” at those who opposed his rule as mayor. While I still have absolutely no problem with Ravenstahl putting heat on the Pittsburgh Promise and Franco Harris, I can definately see the dirty political side of the situation.

  • franji1

    A fellow named Nick Pappas has written a book entitled
    “The Dark Side of Sports: Exposing the Sexual Culture of Collegiate and Professional Athletes,”
    continuing from the Gene Collier article…
    “is the result of 12 years of Pappas’ work on the sometimes stunningly unsettling sense of life in those locker rooms.”

    Here’s a link to the article. “Timely” does not even come close to describing the need for this to “get out”.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11321/1190529-150.stm

    • oksteelerfan

      That is the culture surrounding college athletics. How are these guys allowed to do this? Because anyone who could put a stop to it, don’t because he is needed to win games and we don’t our programs questioned so we’ll see that as much shit that can get buried will be buried.
      Fans are just as much to blame if you ask me. The small percentage of the time when it does come to light fans are quick to defend and such as the Penn State scandal quick to say it’s not the school’s fault, it’s not the teams fault or the players fault, why punish them?
      I was glad that John and a few others in Pennsylvania media came out and said they should have canceled the rest of the season. Sadly though others have taken the stance of how all important football is and the game can’t stop for anything because it would be unfairly punishing everyone.
      We’re hearing it from bowls now, they’ll accept them. It’s sickening.

  • Arnie

    Nobody, and I repeat NOBODY can say how long it may take PSU to recover. What’s the outcome of the trial? Who knew what and when? Who is the new president and what actions do they take? Who is the new football coach and AD and what actions do they take? Way too many unknowns and even if they were know you would still have NO chance to say how long it might take for the university to recover.

    And IMO anyone that says it’s going to take ‘x’ amount of time to recover is a complete fool and simply trying take up space in a paper, blog or wherever this jibberish may show up.

    • franji1

      I still want somebody to ask the former VP, the former AD, and the former President, are there ANY OTHER rapes, murders, sodomy charges that were never reported to the local municipal (non-campus) police or D.A.

      If YOU had a son/daughter grandson/granddaughter going there, what credibility does the “local” law enforcement currently have? I would say ABSOLUTELY NONE.

  • http://wayo72.blogspot.com Tony D

    I think if I’m PSU, I would have rather had a year or two of rectruiting violations than this shocking scandal.

  • VinceL

    It may take some time but the program can come back.It will still have a fan base,financial support and great facilities going for it.I just think back to interviews with Paterno and he’d say “I just want to leave a better program to my successor than what I inherited.” Wow.
    This grand jury has been looking into this for months.How could these people at PSU be so ill prepared?And where was the media?I was just made aware Mark Madden had a column in April.I remember a story somewhere online months ago about Sandusky,one paragraph about him a kid and inappropiate behavior.Then nothing until last week.

  • a-dawg

    Although I don’t believe it – I saw a video clip of CNN’s Anderson Cooper talking about the Penn State scandal. He asked the question – “How could Paterno have not known about the the 1998 incident.” He referenced some PA state law about Penn State being a state funded university and being able to hide behind some sort of specialized privacy law set up for such institutions.

    If true – then Paterno “may” have truly not known about any prior allegations before the 2002 incident. And thus not know about a pattern of behavior from Scumdusky. Still doesn’t excuse him for not calling the cops in 2002.

    I don’t believe it. State College is a small town – everyone talks – there had to be whispers…there had to be rumblings.

    Can the folks that are smarter than me expand on Cooper’s statement. Is there such a law in place?

  • GeeWhiz

    There’s a cliche’ I heard on a TV show once. “The brighter the picture, the darker the negative.” I think that applies to PSU. But to answer your question, it’s a toss-up between Duquesne and Robert Morris. I’m going with Robert Morris. ; )

  • howard

    All of this makes Mike Haywood’s baby mama problems seem quaint by comparison. Also makes you question what the big deal about whether those kids getting tattoos for tickets was really that big of a deal.

  • Mike from Boston

    The goings on at WVU and Pitt are very tame compared to the scandals at Ohio State and Penn State. Pitt was just overly cautious about the public image and perception of who they choose for their head coaching position.

    Shady deals in a tattoo parlor to sell team equipment and championship rings pales in comparison to a child abuse / molestation charge. However, it seems to me that both Ohio State’s and Penn State’s scandals have revealed, as their respective news stories and investigations expanded, that at every turn more and more members of their campus communities have either knowingly turned a blind eye or have been involved in some capacity. Both OSU and PSU stories reek of conspiracy, whereas Pitt and WVU were just bad publicity.

  • Mike V.

    John, I would be interested to know your thoughts on how long it will take the PSU program to “recover” and what that recovery will look like. They are still an average Big Ten team as will be proven over the next couple of weeks. I don’t think this problem creates loses to Wisconsin and OSU…it would have happened anyhow.

    Ten years is a long time and I’m not sure where that number comes from. Will they still be at the same level of “average” they are now in ten years?

    I could see a problem for 2-3 years, but not beyond that.