No doubt. Didn't Silas Redd choose one by going to USC? Isn't USC a pretty darn good university?
No doubt. Didn't Silas Redd choose one by going to USC? Isn't USC a pretty darn good university?
I like how Bacon points out how uninvolved Paterno was on coaching duties for so many years. At the 09 PSU game at the big house, I had an up close seat of JoePa all game and he couldn't have looked less involved. He didn't talk to coaches, he didn't give instructions to any players, he just paced the sideline back and forth for 3 hours. That was when I wondered how much longer PSU was going to try and keep up this charade and how much longer JoePa was going to continue getting credit for wins he had no part of.
And as usual, Jay Parterno comes out and claims that Paterno still had a hand in everything even through 2011. That family is in such denial over so many things, I don't know whether to feel sorry for them or just continue being annoyed by them.
that Jay Paterno gets lit up like a Christmas Tree --- primarily via player quotes and anecdotes --- elsewhere in this book. We'll see come early September when the book is released.
Joe was an uninvolved figurehead for years and years at the end, no secrets there.
Jay Paterno has to say that because even before all the scandals hit, everyone and their uncle knew that Jay would never have had a job if not for Joe. The guy's entire contribution to the Penn State program was spending a bunch of time customizing their playbook into the PS2 NCAA games so their players could practice with them. It was pure nepotism, end of story.
I was on the sideline for the NU vs PSU 2005 game and my recollection is similar. I was close enough that I could hear the coaches and players talking. Joe Paterno was like somebody's old man just hanging around watching. I would have had no idea he was even a coach, let alone the head coach, of that team.
I'm sorry but Penn State is the only B1G school I hope loses every game they play. Jay Paterno plus their apologist and denial-basking fan base has ensured that for me. I still wished we had simply booted them out of the conference but now I guess I'll just hope that the NCAA sanctions start taking effect on their overall win loss record. Cause if they do start to crater as a program it will be interesting to see just how low these average attendance numbers can fall:
Penn State is an interesting case to see how the current era of rising ticket prices/mandated donations effects a team likely to struggle. We've already seen attendance decline at Tennessee, but State College has the added difficulty of being a total pain in the ass to get to, sitting at least 3 hours (and substantially more than that once you figure game day traffic) from the state's population centers. Now, at that 3-5 hour zone, they've got a tremendous number of potential fans (basically the Northeast corridor from NYC to DC plus Pittsburgh) but 8 hours of travel time plus tickets that cost what $100, $150 once you factor everything in is a big ask for a team that's not really playing for anything.
Plus, they have really, really bad home schedules in 2014 and 2015. 2014 is Akron, Umass, Temple, OSU, MSU, Northwestern, Maryland. 2015 is Buffalo, San Diego State, Rutgers, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois. You're talking essentially two marquee games out of 13 games across two seasons. Even if I was a huge PSU fan, it's tough to justify laying out that kind of money for those games if there's no potential for a Big 10 championship. I wouldn't be surprised to see those numbers drop into the 80s if they struggle this year. If they're exciting and competitive this year, I'd expect that bottom number to hold pretty steady with season tix.
That's with an arguably more attractive schedule in 2013 (7 home games, Michigan and Nebraska the marquee games)
versus 2012 (7 home games, Ohio State and Wisconsin the marquee games, although Wisconsin was the Saturday after Thanksgiving. As a sidebar, I despise how the B1G now plays games on that weekend!)
Anyway, the #s are continuing to fall. You're right, PSU is a particularly interesting "CFB attendance case study" to watch over the next several years.
It's tough not to feel for the players who were in elementary school when Sandusky prowled the sidelines and PSU. Certainly John U. Bacon's writing style garners sympathy from the reader for Bill O'Brien and the players. Nevertheless the cultish attitude of the PSU fan base towards Joe Paterno is frightening. It is human nature for large groups of people to fall into the "Cult of the Leader" and this is evidenced by the facist dictators of the 1930's, the communist dictators of the soviet union, and the Kim Il Sung dynasty in the DPRK. I'm not comparing the attrocities of genocide to what happened at PSU but the psychology of a group deifying their leader applies. As Bo said in "Bo's Lasting Lessons", another John U. Bacon masterpiece, a leader knows when to step down. Bo's mantra of THE TEAM, THE TEAM, THE TEAM is what defines him as more than a great football coach in my mind. I can not believe that Joe Pa would say, "No coach is more important than the team."
His excerpt gets a huge splash on the entire back page of the Weekend section of the Friday Journal. (By far, the nation's leading-circulation newspaper.) Absolute dream exposure for an author. The online video interview with Bacon is conducted by Rachel Bachman, Michigan class of -- what -- '94?
I think John makes a very large and absolutely brilliant point regarding the NCAA sanctions in the Penn State case.
With respect to the NCAA allowing PSU football players to transfer (in an attempt to allow them to avoid what Bacon rightly referred to as their being punished for the sins of Sandusky), he writes:
An NCAA spokesperson said the organization "worked to minimize the impact of its sanctions on current and incoming football student-athletes." But the NCAA sanctions were encouraging "student-athletes" to behave like athlete-students. They were putting the lie to the NCAA's own propaganda, which officially discouraged transfers because "student-athletes" are supposed to pick their schools for the education, not the athletic opportunities.
But there Emmert was, inviting Penn State's student-athletes to jettison the university that graduated 91% of its student-athletes—a big reason many of them chose Penn State in the first place—to transfer penalty-free to bowl-eligible football programs, whose graduation rates were often much lower.
Not only did it suddenly fall to O'Brien, Mauti, Zordich and every Penn State player who stayed to protect their storied program from disintegrating, they could only do so by upholding the very values the NCAA itself could apparently no longer proclaim with a straight face.
It's only an excerpt, but it seems Bacon levels this argument against the NCAA because he presupposes that the PSU players transferred for athletic reasons, namely to avoid the sanctions. Again, just an excerpt, but he doesn't seem to acknowledge some other reasons these kids would transfer, such as an unwillingness to put on the Penn State uniform and represent that school any longer. I just don't know how you go after the NCAA for letting these kids transfer right away. They want to play football, just not for PSU, and probably not simply because of the sanctions or bowl ban or whatever. Shit, I wouldn't run out there in that uniform after all of that and represent PSU as an institution. So, IMO, it was the right thing for the NCAA to do for these kids, and I don't find it in the least bit hypocritical or misguided on their part.
mandated that he leave PSU and transfer to...
For personal honor and high moral considerations and all of that kind of shit.
I'm sure kids transferred for all kinds of reasons, but the NCAA allowing them the option to transfer was not encouraging them to act like "athlete-students." It was giving them ability to make their own decision based upon the recent events at PSU. You can go after the NCAA on so many other valid points of contention, but for me this doesn't seem like one of them.
Agreed. And there's my problem: Bacon doesn't just argue that the collective decison of the universities was possibly misguided; he argues that i"the NCAA's own propaganda, which officially discouraged transfers because "student-athletes" are supposed to pick their schools for the education, not the athletic opportunities" is shown up by giving Penn State students (and no one else) a special one-time exception to the requirement to sit out a year. Two problems with this:
(1) Bacon isn't being hinest when he says that the NCAA officially discourages transfers. The NCAA says "The NCAA believes transferring from one school to another is a crucial decision for a student-athlete that should include a consideration of a variety of factors, including academics, athletics, campus life and personal situation. Because transferring can impact a student-athlete’s academic performance, NCAA member institutions have established rules that require a student-athlete to seriously consider the decision to transfer before leaving for another campus." It goes on to note that "Student-athletes are free to transfer if they believe the decision is in their best interest; where NCAA rules come into play is with questions about how quickly a student-athlete can compete at the new school." So, no, John, your propaganda doesn't stand up to the facts, even if you accuse the colleges of issuing the "propaganda."
(2) The NCAA notes that "the year-in-residence is required to help student-athletes adjust to their new school and ensure that their transfer was motivated by academics as well as athletics. Student-athletes who participate in most NCAA sports are eligible for a one-time transfer exception, which allows them to compete immediately after transfer once in their college experience if they meet all other transfer requirements (such as being academically eligible)... However, student-athletes in sports that are historically academically underperforming – including basketball, football, baseball and men’s ice hockey – are not eligible for the exception." The Penn State players are just getting the one-time transfer exception that every NCAA athelete outside fthe four sports gets. It is clear who is issuing the propaganda.
So he should've consulted you first? Got the ol' go ahead?
When Is the book going to actually be out. I preordered on Amazon a long time ago.
Official release date is September 3rd.
Sometime after Penn State's undefeated 1994 season, Paterno's passion for coaching began to wane. In 2006, after a Wisconsin player ran into him on the sidelines and injured his leg just below the knee, he hardly coached at all, watching games from the press box without a headset. After he recovered, he returned to the sidelines, but he still didn't wear a headset or carry a clipboard, and he rarely attended team meetings. (Paterno never wore a headset or carried a clipboard. )
That's the quote that jumped out at me, too. So, for half a decade (perhaps more), the entire team and coaching staff knew they were perpetuating a sham supporting the illusion that Paterno was coaching. The whole "success with honor" then rings hollow too. By the end of the Paterno regime it was more "success with pretense and lies." And any fan closely folowing the team with more than two brain cells to rub together had to know it was a sham too.