Thoughts about the Penn State situation specifically, and college sports in general:
- It’s fascinating to see the intensity of shock and revulsion of the sports press over pedophilia. A lot of these reporters were school athletes themselves, and they all had gym class. So did you. We all know it happens. But I really don’t think these are crocodile tears: these guys have really forgotten.
- After we have this conversation about grownups who are too interested in the bodies of little boys, can we also talk about sadism in coaching, please?
- Why is Penn State’s football team planning a game on Saturday?
- According to Wikipedia, Penn State interim head coach, Tom Bradley worked “under then defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky … [coaching] the defensive backs, linebackers, defensive ends, and special teams. Bradley then became defensive coordinator after Sandusky's retirement in 1999.” Who thought this background would make him the ideal interim coach? What were the trustees thinking?
- Why does a Penn State defensive coordinator like Tom Bradley merit a Wikipedia page? WP:NOT anyone?
- If I were a sports reporter, I’d call every coach and AD in my contact list this morning and ask, on deep background, if they knew anything about Sandusky. On deep background, knowing you’re calling everyone, your contacts are going to have to think twice about lying to you. It’d be a hell of a fine story.
- I would not want to be holding the errors and omissions coverage on the Board of Directors of the Second Mile Foundation this morning.
- How did the Mark Madden piece sit out in the open since April? OK, it’s Mark Madden. Still.
- I wonder what’s being shredded this morning in Penn State’s athletics department offices. I wonder whether the DA is wondering about that, too. Some interesting warrants might be in the works, raising some interesting issues of academic freedom.
- A modest proposal: Penn State should suspend its entire football coaching staff. Play out the season without coaches. Opponents should be asked by the NCAA to make appropriate concessions in the name of good sportsmanship. You’re not going to New Orleans next January anyway. Just play the game and let the QB call the plays.
- Joe Paterno should write a large check to Mike McQueary, his graduate assistant. McQueary was no hero, but he was not a criminal, and if the university had handled his report well, this would have been for him a difficult and unpleasant experience and nothing more. McQueary’s football career is over now. He ought to have a chance to go to college again and study something useful.
- Why does an assistant assistant coach like Mike McQueary merit a Wikipedia page? WP:NOT anyone?
The redeeming feature of sports in the US is that, while business and tech journalism are uniformly superficial, sports reporters sometimes dig and sometimes report what’s really happening. The underlying dilemma here – a trusted subordinate is seen to be doing something wrong – could happen to any senior manager. Because this happened to the management of a sports team, we actually hear about it.