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Blog Entry

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:16 am
Edited on: January 6, 2012 10:42 am
Penn State people are mad, no furious, with the reported hire of Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien as the man who would replace The Man. Which means Penn State fans just don't get it.

And look, PSU people, I'm not mocking you. Not taunting you. Not enjoying your anger or frustration. You're going to see plenty of those people in the next few days, media people and otherwise, people who were so shaken by the Sandusky scandal that they take it out on anything and everything representing Penn State. And I understand their rage, I really do. But I'm not one of them, so don't miss what I'm writing here.

I'm trying to help. Honest. And what occurs to me, from my point on the periphery, is that there are people at Penn State -- even a truly intelligent insider like ex-PSU linebacker LaVar Arrington -- who are so close to the situation that they can't see it for what it is.

And what it is, for Penn State, is impossible.

The administration had no chance to win the press conference, as it's called when the new coach is introduced to acclaim. Whoever that guy is, he wasn't coming to Penn State. Not so soon after ... Sandusky.

It just wasn't going to happen.

The initial hint came way back in November when Joe Paterno was forced out, and the first name to surface was Mike London of Virginia. That's a humble name, Mike London of Virginia. Career record at UVa: 12-13. Four years total as a head coach, the first two at Richmond. And when London was connected to Penn State by media reports, he backtracked as if Penn State was something he almost stepped in.

That was our sign. That was your sign, Penn State fans: This job wasn't going to be filled easily, and as the following two months showed, it wasn't filled easily. Penn State alums didn't want it. Outsiders didn't want it.

Meanwhile, the Penn State administration was trying to conduct its coaching search in privacy, even secrecy, because there was no way the school was going to hire someone with a great resume if that hiring was leaked before it became official. So Penn State did what it could on the down low, and for that Penn State people are mad. I've been getting tweets all morning like this one from a Penn State fan lamenting the "secrecy and arrogance" of the search.

As if there's any other kind, these days.

There are Penn State supporters, LaVar Arrington among them, who insist the job should have gone to interim coach Tom Bradley. And that underscores my earlier point, about some people being too close to the situation to see it clearly.

Tom Bradley was never going to get this job. It would have been outrageous if he had gotten it. And that's not a shot at Tom Bradley, who gets high marks from every media person I've ever talked to about him. But he spent years on staff with Sandusky, and was on staff when this story exploded, and was even the face of the program for the month after the explosion.

That guy can't be given the job on a permanent basis. Not if this school is sincere in its desire -- and the administration sure seems to be sincere -- to put behind it one of the ugliest stories in college football history.

It couldn't be Bradley. It wouldn't be Mike Munchak. Even the sub-.500 coach at a basketball school in the ACC wouldn't touch it.

Other than Bill O'Brien, who was Penn State going to get?

Nobody, that's who. The complaining today from Penn State people is as misguided a reaction as the riot by students the night of Paterno's firing. It's anger for the sake of anger, but it's aimed in the wrong place. Sandusky should be the target. Sandusky, and those who didn't do nearly enough to stop his alleged reign of terror.

This is not Penn State President Rodney Erickson's fault.

This is not Bill O'Brien's fault.

Want to be mad, Penn State? Get mad at Sandusky. Get mad at former president Graham Spanier and former athletics director Tim Curley. Hell, get mad at Joe Paterno.

But if Bill O'Brien truly is your next coach, get behind him, and do it now. You are ... Penn State. Remember?

Time to act like it.


Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:39 am

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

Good column, Mr Doyel.  I feel bad for Penn St fans.  It has to be very difficult living through the aftermath of the Sandusky scandal.  Unfortunately for PSU, the head coaching position is a toxic job.  Everyone knew it would be an extremely tough job to fill.  The only disagreement I have with this column is I think that Tom Bradley would have been a good hire.  Sure I understand the desire for a fresh start with a completely new staff.  That is a good PR move to separate the current from the past.  But in fairness to Bradley and the current players, none of them had anything to do with the Sandusky affair.  I think Bradley would have been a good man to maintain/salvage what is still good within the program.

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:32 am

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

This reminds me of that old saying about relationships.... that when a long term relationship ends the first one to come along will never last. Well Bill do your best and in 2-3 years the "real" replacement will be hired.

Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:26 am

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

Hells yes! Go Doyel, you're on fire! Keep this up and you'll lose your shock-jock flare.
It will be interesting to see how O'Brien handles the situation - it would be great if he could come in and be a class act, rebuild some pride for a school that I have (or at least had?) lots of respect for. Good luck Mr. O'Brien, you'll probably need it.

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:20 am

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

I guess Doyel's New Year resolution was to write better articles. Wink Nice piece Doyel.

Now, if the rest of CBS Sports writers would follow . . . Undecided

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:18 am

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

Stop slurping on Doyel or he'll start whining about his lack of hate mail fodder.  

Since: Nov 9, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:13 am

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

This is the first article Doyle has written where, so far, there isn't anyone majorly disagreeing with him! I am not about to start. Sandusky should absolutely be the CENTER of everyone's (not just Penn State) rage/anger. The fact that there are people who are pissed about someone, who took on the job knowing what he was getting into, who wants to turn the internal workings of the program around is absurd.

Penn State fan, check your ego at the door and realize that right now your program is the spawn of satan. No one on the staff under Paterno should be retained. A complete overhaul is needed to start to rebuild the respect everyone once had for your program. 

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:05 am

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

Nice take Doyle.

Also, this new coach is taking a huge chance here. He could have stayed at New England and continued to reach the playoffs with a Hall of Fame qb and coach. But he said yes, when countless others said no.

Good job coach.....

and good luck.


Since: Jan 3, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:05 am

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

Not a bad article at all.  Just one problem with it.  Not all of us Penn State people are angry about this.  Lavar Arrington hosts a radio show in DC.  He's got an audience to blast his opinion to.  Just because he's loud doesn't mean that he's right about this, nor does it mean he's the voice for Penn State.  Many of the alumni I see posting in other forums are open minded to this hire.  Willing to catch their breath and give the guy a chance.  Doyel is spot on with what he's saying and I can assure you, many alumni feel the same way. 
We Are... Still Penn State!!!

Since: Nov 13, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:56 am

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

I am not a fan of Doyel at all. (His insistence on publicly wallowing in his hate mail is simply infantile, for example), but this piece is spot on. Well said.

Since: Sep 4, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:52 am

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

Excellent article on many levels.  Usually you misguide your anger, so well done.

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