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: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2012 3:55 pm

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

Very sensible article.  Good for Doyel.

Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: January 6, 2012 3:52 pm

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

I am not sure if I have ever seen a bunch of fans that have their head in the sand as much as Penn State fans do.  It is almost like they are given the kool aid the first day on campus and are indoctrinated in the cult that is Penn State Football.  I am all for passionate fans but I have heard more fans than not say that JoePa was screwed or "this isn't fair."  What is wrong with you people?  Kids were molested and, the God, JoePa turned a blind eye.  They are all culpable and Penn State fan wants to turn another blind eye to the children that were molested so their precious football program will not be tarnished.  Guess what....too late!

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2012 3:39 pm

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

good one doyel.  Someone explain to me why this is a such a bad hire.  dodd, in his typical petulant adolescent negativity is mocking psu and calling them clueless.   penn state fans are angry.  help me out here.   did this cat have a rep as the worst coach ever?   was he about to be fired by the pats?

Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2012 3:34 pm

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

DrPhilly:  There is simply no reason other than the media exposure that the job couldn't have gone to someone within PSU as long as that person was sufficiently distanced from the "main event".

There is no one on the staff that is "sufficiently distanced" from the main event.  Just from the standpoint of recruiting anyone on that staff would have to have to answer questions about what they did or didn't know.  it would put them in a no win sitaution.  Cleaning house is the only option.  

Since: Jan 26, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 3:29 pm

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

To badin1: Apparently hell is where you are going you self rightous sanctimonious pinhead.

Since: Apr 4, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2012 3:13 pm

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

From a football program perspective the bottom line is this: Sandusky started the mess, the Universtity (i.e. JoePa, Curly, etc.) perpetuated it, and then the media has directed it.  Each participant plays it's part.  There is simply no reason other than the media exposure that the job couldn't have gone to someone within PSU as long as that person was sufficiently distanced from the "main event".  The University should have been afforded the choice to go outside or to find someone "clean enough" on the inside.  Too bad our society is so fully controlled by the media today.

Somewhere along the way each individual will find themselves innocently on the wrong side of our media driven hysteria controlled society.  That's the way it works today and be damned of the consequences where the norm is now guilty until proven innocent.

Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:58 pm

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State? nailed it but at the same time you don't get it as you're part of it.

"Sandusky should be the target."

Sandusky IS and SHOULD BE the target but the media swarm that followed this story didn't make it about Sandusky. You/they (the media) played it and continue to play it about a legacied football coach and a "toxic" football program. And those in the internet community continue to pile on en masse idicting the entire Penn State community for the act of one complete sc*m and a handful of other "leaders" who used extraordinarily bad judgement which by the way is absolutely indefensible. How anyone can just lump the entire PSU community in one big bucket of slop is pathetic.

Since: Apr 4, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:52 pm

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

I am a Buckeye. And I couldn't be more proud the Meyer came here. But, we have to put it into perspective. The man always had an out in his contract for OSU. He loves Buckeyes. We are so lucky. If he felt his health, family, or whatever, was not in perfect order, we would be shopping for 3d-tier coaches as well. Penn State fans are the same as Buckeye fans. They just assume it will always be near the best. That is how ND feels, Michigan feels, USC, and countless other schools. Thing is, you can't all have it that great. There will be losers. I think Urban probably stings even more for PSU fans, seeing as how we walked away from this in a decent position. (I am livid we won't get a bowl game, but I am optimistic of the future seasons.) I feel for them too. We could have been in the same situation if we didn't have a Scarlet-and-Gray Buckeye lending his support. I think, to put it into perspective, Urban deserves even more praise for trying to resurrect the program. Penn State apparently never created that culture of support and success (perhaps because people were getting raped in the showers? or there was a senile coach?) I don't know why, but I am so thankful for the support Buckeyes provided for Buckeyes. Linebacker U is in a dark place right now.

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:47 pm

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

"I'm trying to help. Honest."

Doyel, you are a sports weblogger for a TV network with a bad case of ESPN envy.  You are not paid to think or have an opinion.

Since: Apr 4, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:37 pm

What's with the misguided anger, Penn State?

What the hell is a Penn State alums? Chemical compounds. Oh. Right. You meant alumni (the plural). Also, since you seem to think that just because letters are silent, they aren't necessary, here is another pearl of wisdom: singuar is almnus. Yep. It is pronounced like you think you spelled it correctly, but that is a chemical compound, not a latin term for a graduate of a university. This is pathetic that you get paid to write.

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