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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

More on the dangers of the 'Joe Pa' cult of personality: WSJ's Reed Albergotti gets in-depth re Paterno's battles with PSU officials re punishment


Joe Paterno as Darth Sidious Time Lapse Painting

I read this Wall Street Journal article about yet another aspect of Joe Paterno's longstanding attempt to control all aspects of what happens with the Penn State football team
-and to steamroll legitimate scrutiny by others- with rapt attention within minutes of it first appearing online.

Afterwards, I sent the link to just about everyone I know who'd appreciate what was really going on here: Paterno's real character and authoritarian tendencies being revealed, and PSU administrators not eager to get into a pissing contest with a sports icon, even when he was clearly wrong.

To me, this is not unlike what many outsiders and constant critics of him always wanted to believe were true about Bobby Knight but weren't, and when they leveled many of their unfounded criticisms of Coach Knight, many sportswriters and journalists used sainted ol' Joe Pa the Pious as the model for angelic probity.

The only way this could have been better would have been if there was video of kindly Joe Pa saying, "Boys will be boys."

Well, now we are all learning the truth about who really believed in holding everyone on the team accountable to one high standard -Coach Knight- and who wanted special (favorable) treatment and dispensations for his players -Coach Paterno.
Sure would be nice to hear some nationally-known sports writers finally admit they were 100% wrong before they retire for good.
Don't hold your breath!

Joe Paterno really DID believe that the Penn State football players he coached should be held to a lesser standard than the one regular PSU students were supposed to follow, even when they violated the law or ran afoul of school rules. For instance, this nugget after a number of player incidents receive serious push-back from school administrators who wanted one firmly understood standard for everyone:
The incident prompted Mr. Spanier to visit Dr. Triponey at her home. Dr. Triponey confirms he told her that Mr. Paterno had given him an ultimatum: Fire her, or Mr. Paterno would stop fund-raising for the school. She says Mr. Spanier told her that if forced to choose, he would choose her over the coach—but that he did not want to have to make that choice.
Excellent reporting that is long overdue!!!

Wall Street Journal
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
NOVEMBER 22, 2011
A Discipline Problem, Paterno Fought Penn State Official Over Punishment of Players
By Reed Albergotti

STATE COLLEGE, Pa.—Legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno clashed repeatedly with the university's former chief disciplinarian over how harshly to punish players who got into trouble, internal emails suggest, shedding new light on the school's effort to balance its reputation as a magnet for scholar-athletes with the demands of running a nationally dominant football program.
Read the rest of the article at:

See Reed Albergotti's answers to reader questions about this article, here:

Wednesday's follow-up to this article is:

Two Views on Administrator
Some at Penn State Call Ex-Official Courageous, Others Say She Micromanaged
By Reed Albergotti and Rachel Bachman

The former Pennsylvania State University administrator who clashed with football coach Joe Paterno over player discipline was seen by supporters during her time at the school as a courageous leader but by critics as a micromanager of student groups.
Read the rest of the article at:

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