*I knew about this Penn State scandal a year ago and told different Pittsburgh media about it. Not surprisingly no one reported it or would even acknowledge it. I didn't report it because I'm not an investigative reporter and I don't have a newspaper to help me to not get sued. But the fact that this was all ignored by most of the media shows you all you need to know about the Cult of Paterno, both inside and outside of the state.
How often has the media talked about "classy Penn State" and "the clean program" that Joe Paterno runs, all the while ignoring Paterno's problems? I'm not suggesting that anybody knew something this despicable was going on at Penn State, and I'm not suggesting that Paterno has not done a lot of good. His former players love him and his graduation rates have always been high.
But three years ago, ESPN's "Outside the Lines" ran a story about the criminal activity amongst Penn State players. In that report, it was said that Penn State had 46 players arrested from 2002 until the report was telecast in 2008, and that 163 charges were filed. 163 in six years!! Can you imagine if any other coach in the country had that kind of record with criminal activity? Coaches like Nick Saban and John Calipari are considered sleazeballs by many fans and much of the media, yet their teams haven't even come close to that kind of sordid history. Yet Paterno, AD Tim Curley, and Penn State president Graham Spanier kept their jobs with little problem.
Bottom line, this is what happens when football becomes bigger than life on a college campus. It causes stupidity, cover ups, and anything it takes to keep the status quo. Let this be a lesson to every university from now on. Never, ever let your coach, and your sports, be bigger than the university it represents. Unfortunately, many of the students aren't getting that yet, as evidenced by their protests and rioting.
*I don't want to get sued so I'm not saying that Tom Bradley knew about all of this, but if I knew about it over a year ago then so did Steve Pederson. Now you know why he wanted nothing to do with Bradley. Whether Bradley knew or not, he is guilty by association now, and can you imagine if Pitt hired Mike Haywood, only to follow it up with a guy who was in the midst of the biggest college sports scandal ever? It wouldn't be pretty.
*Penn State football will not be the same. At least in our lifetimes. The talk of a big name coach being hired is a joke. No excellent candidate will want to be involved in a horrid situation that's going to be horrid for a very long time. The rioters and protesters are making the university look even worse, and they are the cherry on the cake. I can't see any way possible that they will be able to recruit at an elite level for many, many years.
*I'm currently on the road, and right now I'm in North Carolina. An older African American gentleman stopped me when he saw my license plate was from PA. He said, "You're not a Penn State guy are you?" I told him no, that I was a Pitt guy. He said that was good and then went off on Paterno, Penn State, and everybody involved. He said "Can you imagine if that was Dave Wannstedt? They would have killed him". So as you can see, this is not just a PA thing. All over the country now, fairly or not, Penn State equals corruption and perversion. And before any Pitt fans gloat to see the annihilation of your most hated rival, just remember how it came about. If you are still gloating after thinking about the circumstances that brought us here then you are also guilty of thinking football is bigger than life.
*In what is old news now, the Panthers landed quarterback Chandler Kincade of Blackhawk. The first thing I noticed were how in the articles announcing his commitment, the writer would comment on how Kincade still committed despite the fact that Chad Voytik was already signed. Do these people think Pitt can only get one good quarterback at a time? They are two classes apart and the arrival of Voytik will not stop any other good quarterbacks from coming.
Personally, I'm not seeing much in Kincade yet. He looks tall and gangly, I don't see a strong arm or a lot of athleticism. Plus, he doesn't seem to fit the system at all. But, I'm not a scout and the Pitt staff gets paid to evaluate players, so until they are wrong, I'm going to assume they are right.
*Speaking of Voytik, I've read about how he is bonding with others in his class and how he is recruiting a lot of future prospects as well. The more I read about him, the more he has "leader" written all over him.
*I'm sure that some Pitt fans were upset that Geno Thorpe went to Penn State instead of Pitt, but as you may have noticed, I have never written about him. The reason for that is simply because he was a fall back option, and I always thought Pitt would do better. They did.
*Which brings me to James Robinson, as well as Steven Adams. As far as talent, it's the best class Pitt has ever had, in my opinion, even though it's just two players. Obviously Adams is projected to be a top five pick in the NBA after one year so that one's obvious. But I think Robinson is the one that Pitt fans will be talking about long after he graduates. He's not going to put up huge numbers, get 2,000 points, and all of that, but he's exactly the kind of player that gets you to the Final Four. If he manages that, he will be forever remembered.