The shame that keeps on giving
In the wake of the emerging scandal at Penn State, Joe Paterno was fired and replaced with long-time assistant Tom Bradley on an interim basis until a full-time replacement could be found. It was confirmed this week that New England patriots assistant Bill O’Brian would be named the new Nittany Lion head coach. The problem for some prominent Penn Staters is that O’Brian has no connection to the school — not as a former player or coach.
Some members of the Penn State Letterman’s Club are ticked off at athletics director Dave Joyner — himself in an interim status as he was hired to replace former AD Tim Curley who was placed on administrative leave for allegedly lying to a grand jury regarding the Sandusky/Penn State scandal — and other members of the search committee. Included is former Penn State linebacker Brandon Short who was quoted by USA Today as saying this.
There is a tangible standard at Penn State that this poor (O’Brian) guy knows nothing about. I feel badly for him (because) he is clueless and will not have the support of the majority of the Lettermen. This is a hornet’s nest (for him)… By not hiring (defensive coordinator Tom) Bradley or a Penn Stater what they have effectively done is turn their backs on 100 years of tradition. Penn State never has been about winning football games. They didn’t recruit the best players — they recruited the best people. If you go to Penn State, you have a better chance of graduating.”
Short added that Joyner was “not qualified to be athletic director.” He also indicated that many members of the Letterman’s Club are considering a lawsuit that would prevent the university from using their likeness or image in any marketing campaign. Former Penn State All-American LaVar Arrington made it even more personal when he said this.
I will put my Butkus (Award) in storage. I will put my Alamo Bowl MVP trophy in storage. Jerseys, anything Penn State in storage. Wherever Tom Bradley goes, that’s the school I will start to put memorabilia up in my home. I’m done. I’m done with Penn State. If they’re done with us, I’m done with them.
People with views like that of Brandon Short and LaVar Arrington think that this scandal, and the horrible events that put it in motion, is really about football rather than those events and the connections of Penn Staters to those events. Arrington is taking his toys and going away. Why did he wait until now? Why didn’t he make such a statement right after it became apparent to the rest of the world what had been going on for years at Penn State? Perhaps Arrington, as many other insiders did, had known for a long time what Sandusky was all about. These alumni — former players — are simply piling on an already shameful affair with more self-inflicted embarrassment.