Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Grandly Misunderstood Experiment

Much has been made over the past few weeks about "The Nittany Lion Fight Club" and Joe Paterno's Grand Experiment. Some have suggested that Paterno has lost touch with his players because he works from home while others have linked off the field issues with the death of the Grand Experiment.

It seems as if the last remnants of Paterno's "Grand Experiment" are fading, as the program has dealt with its fair share of negative publicity in the past few years.

Every time a football player gets into trouble off the field the naysayers rise to attention like ground hackies (PA term) popping their heads out of the dark holes they come from.


Did someone say Grand Experiment?

JoePa haters will unite and declare the Grand Experiment dead, pundits will point fingers and preach that Joe is too old and has lost touch. I've heard this for 20 years, it wasn't true then and it's not true now. First off let's start with the Grand Experiment, what exactly is it? Joe's trying to recruit choir boys, right? Well no, not exactly. Does Joe want a classy team filled with classy players? Absolutely. Let me start by telling you what the Grand Experiment isn't. It's impossible to predict a young kids actions and it's impossible to police almost 100 kids all the time. All you can do is set up rules and boundaries, train them on the pitfalls of being a "big man on campus", and hope they make the best decisions. Does Penn State take a look at a kid's background before they begin pursuing them? Yes. Does this mean that every kid that comes to Penn State will never get into trouble? No way, kids getting into fights and driving while intoxicated do not negate the Grand Experiment. So what is the Grand Experiment? Like all lazy bloggers, let me cut and paste the best description of how the Grand Experiment came to be. A poster on Black Shoe Diaries by the name of "Pete the Streak" says it best:

It's becoming painfully clear that most people have absolutely no clue what the so-called 'Grand Experiment' was, or is, all about. Paterno himself didn't name this philosophy; someone else created that label during an impromptu interview in the late '60's.

The whole idea was that a major college football team could successfully compete at the highest levels by using actual student-athletes. At the time, football scholarships were nearly unlimited in number; schools such as Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma would routinely sign every quality player they could convince to enroll. Grant scholarships to the top 4 QB's in the nation? Perfect. We'll play one, and keep the other 3 from playing against us. 40 or 50 (or more) scholarships a year weren't uncommon.

Academic oversight - whether by schools, or the NCAA - was virtually non-existent. These were football factories, and no one felt the need to apologize for it. Joe simply felt there should be a better way, and decided to attempt one.

Penn State didn't recruit kids who were academic losers. The thought was also that a kid smart enough to graduate would certainly master the playbook quicker than a kid that couldn't spell or multiply. Why couldn't actual students also be athletes?

All this about every PSU player having to be a choirboy or he gets kicked off the team is ludicrous - at least in the context of the 'Grand Experiment'. Joe is as tough (if not tougher) on class-cutters and academic flunkies as he is on the off-the-field things that will always arise with a team of 80-plus 18 to 20 year olds. Most other major coaches, simply put, are not.

I could not have said it better. I can't stress enough the fact that Joe IS tougher on guys that don't make the grade academically than he is on guys that run afoul of the law. Joe has said many times that he understands these are kids and they are going to make mistakes, but he isn't lenient when it comes to class. You either make the grade or you don't play, Joe Jurevicius learned that lesson the hard way. I'm sure Anthony Scirrotto isn't a bad kid and I'm sure he didn't have prior behavioral problems, Joe could never have predicted something of this magnitude or he would have prevented it. Rest assured that Anthony will pay for his actions.

The Grand Experiment isn't dead, as a matter of fact it should be renamed to the Grand Rule because Joe has proven over decades that you can have a successful program and graduate players at a high rate, that's why Penn State is always in the Top 10 in graduation rate year in and year out. Along with the academic success though comes Joe's winning record and no one can argue that the second winningest coach in college football history hasn't had success on the field. The Grand Experiment isn't dead; it's working now as well as it has at any time in the past.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome post. Jurevicius thought he found a way to beat the system, but found out the hard way he was wrong, coupled with Enis and his troubles, it made for a very unhappy bowl game against Florida. Joe really looks like he grew up though since he got to the NFL.

Galen said...

Yeah, Joe even said nice things about Penn State in an interview that they used on one of the Penn State Stories. At least he doesn't hold a grudge.

Anonymous said...

I think he, in retrospect, realizes the reason why Paterno acts the way he does, even if he didn't appreciate it at the time.

PSUgirl said...

Joe has done great things for the kids who have gone through the Penn State system - there's no doubt. His main objective has always been for the kids to get an education - on the field, but especially in the classroom. If the kids had other ideas, then they could go elsewhere.

He's not a stranger to controversy and "less than average" academics - but he does what he can to get the kids great tutoring (even if it's Sue) and demands that they go to class.

Joe has mellowed in the last 15 - 20 years - probably because he's not as hands on as he used to be.

In the olden days star players would leave the program without much nice to say about coach Paterno (so they usually said nothing). He was an ass - he was a stickler for playing seniors (and NO freshmen) and kids who had "earned their spot". And he spread the wealth, didn't "run up the score" (Sorry RUTS), and sat the talent when he felt it necessary - all of which we, as Penn State fans, have come to value - but if you're a kid looking to win awards and be a superstar - that ain't the program for you. Some kids chose to not go to PSU because of it (although we'll always claim that they were too dumb to go) - and many who did go left with some resentment. But time heals all wounds and most of them seem to come around in the end. Even Curt Warner comes to visit now.

Anonymous said...

I think Millen honestly loves the guy, he always has great Paterno stories anytime I've seen and I don't know if anyone else gave Joe a harder time than Millen.

Pete the Streak said...

Nicely done, Galen. Thanks.

I dunno, psugirl - I wouldn't characterize Joe's not playing freshmen, not running up the score, etc. as being 'an ass'. Maybe what you're referring to is the way disgruntled 'stars' were thinking. Actually, I'm sure you are - I'm not very bright, and am easily confused. Please bear with me in a jaunt down memory lane...

For a while, freshmen weren't even eligible to play for NCAA teams. Joe carried that on a few years after the NCAA rescinded that rule, but his idea - once again - was to get freshmen oriented to college life before they became BMOC's. Don't confuse today's net-crazy recruiting frenzy with the way it was 35 or 40 years ago. Sometimes, the first we heard about a recruit was when we saw their name in the program at the season opener. Now, they're all bigshots before they even enroll. It's a whole different ballgame now.

Also remember that back in the day (prior to this BCS stuff) that everything was driven by POLLS! POLLS! POLLS! Strength of schedule, strength of conference and other factors now incorporated into computer rankings were given very short shrift, if any at all. If Nebraska beat Stick State by 62, Oklahoma felt the need to beat them by 70 to establish 'superiority'. Margin of victory was THE yardstick used to differentiate teams with similar records. There wasn't the opportunity to watch damn near every game being played on TV; checking the scores in the next day's paper was the main way to judge a team's worth. Of course it's ridiculous, but that's the way it was.

Joe just couldn't bring himself to intentionally hammer someone into abject humiliation, and I admire that. Stars sat, scrubs played, and individual stats suffered. It's what used to be called 'sportsmanship'. JoePa practiced it, often times to PSU's detriment. Far too many folks didn't.

OK, OK, Pete. We get it. Now please sit down and shut up!

Galen said...

Good stuff all, and an extra round of applause for Pete for making my job easy. Pete - The Nittany Line Imagination Money (patent pending) is in the mail, it's like real money only not worth anything.

Anon,
Matt Millen is my favorite example of Paterno's influence. By today's standards Millen would have never seen the field with the way he acted but Paterno put up with him and look where it got him. I remember Paterno telling a story about Millen in an interview where Joe met Millen and his kids and the kids were running wild and Millen was yelling at them. Paterno just smiled, it gave him great delight to see Matt deal with small versions of himself.

Mike said...

The theory that the Great Experiment is 100% academics and 0% behavior is an attractive rationalization - but completely false. Part of being a student-athlete is being a student (a REAL student), which boils down to academics (of course), but most important in this case: not getting away with stuff a regular student wouldn't get away with.

Like breaking down an apartment door with your posse to administer a beating.

And always remembering that football is a PRIVILEGE, not a right. Like when you stand by while your thug buddy beats an off-duty cop so bad he ends up in the hospital.

If you guys just want to be Miami With Better Academics, fine. Don't pretend that we're not losing something in the process. The teams we LIKE to compare ourselves with (the echelon we like to believe we belong in) don't put up with this stuff and neither should we.

Anonymous said...

Mike your game is tired and old. If you should ever actually have something enlightening to add to the conversation, by all means please do.

PSUgirl said...

Matt Biondi - his mother must have made excellent sauce.

Think about the players who went to Penn State who would have won a Heisman Trophy if they'd gone to any other school - okay, each and every running back and Michael Robinson. But they didn't, and they are very most likely better people because of it.

Listen, when I graduated from PSU I wasn't a huge fan of the university - for years I said that I was a Penn State football fan, in spite of my education. It takes a while to grow up and see things for what they really are.

And in the 70s and 80s Joe was a jerk - some kids loved him for it - some did not. This is a much gentler and kinder Joe that we have today - he even says somewhat nice things about the players; sometimes.

Galen said...

Mike,
I swear to God if you come on here one more time with your black/white comparisons putting words in people's mouths and name dropping Miami I'm going to start deleting your posts. It's tired, old and you're wrong. You need to learn to read, no one said it was 100% academics and 0% behavior, stop putting words in people's mouths and then arguing with those words.

Pete the Streak said...

Oh boy! Virtual cash!

Is it honored at the Lion's Den, by any chance? Rathskellar? The Phyrst?

Many thanks, Galen!

Anonymous said...

You might be able to exchange it for Deep-fried Sliders at a tailgate

Galen said...

We honor Imagination Money at our tailgate - $50 gets you a beer and all the food you can eat, although the price goes up for the game we deep fry a turkey.

BlackShoeDiaries said...

Great post.

Pete for President!

Mike for Village Idiot!

Pete the Streak said...

BSD - "Pete for President". Hehehe.

Dude, that would be RUTS' worst nightmare.

Love his sports stuff, though.

Mike said...

Hey, I'll keep calling homer stuff when I see it - and you guys are guilty as sin. I see no evidence of "putting words in peoples' mouth" even when I go back and re-read the whole thing. You attempted to imply that the Great Experiment was about academics, not behavior; and I responded that it was always supposed to be both.

And continuing to refer to the Incident as just "a fight" is the worst kind of homerism. The altercation on the street was "a fight" and would, in fact, not be a big deal. Gathering up a posse, breaking in, and administering a beat-down is thuggery. And a Big Deal.

Anonymous said...

Ignorance is the greatest crime of all mike and you're guilty as sin. Never bother to inform your opinions, why bother making an educated statement when you can repeat the same bullshit over and over?

Galen said...

Mike READ AGAIN:

"Does Joe want a classy team filled with classy players? Absolutely."

READ IT!! Are you really that blind or can't you comprehend what you are reading?

"And continuing to refer to the Incident as just "a fight" is the worst kind of homerism."

Who the HELL called the "Incident" just "a fight"? Please quote where I said those words? I was speaking in general terms and you turned it into your own personal grudge.

That's the DEFINITION of putting words in peoples mouth. I never said any of the things you accuse me of, go argue with yourself if feel the need to, but don't put words in my mouth.

If you think players getting into "whatever the hell you want to call the event that took place in the apartment complex" and stealing is reflecting on the "Grand Experiment" then you are even more ignorant then you appear to be - that's the point of this post.

Mike said...

'Who the HELL called the "Incident" just "a fight"?'

You did.

"No way, kids getting into fights and driving while intoxicated do not negate the Grand Experiment."

Own your words. I sure as heck do.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike, you might want to try exhibiting your reading comprehension skills, if you have any. The statement made that you are quoting has NOTHING to do with the "incident." In fact, what he said was:

"Does Penn State take a look at a kid's background before they begin pursuing them? Yes. Does this mean that every kid that comes to Penn State will never get into trouble? No way, kids getting into fights and driving while intoxicated do not negate the Grand Experiment."

This, Mike, is what's called a generalization. There was no direct reference to "the incident." Maybe try actually reading the posts before you write something potentially MORE asinine than the drivel you've already given us.

Mike said...

'This, Mike, is what's called a generalization. There was no direct reference to "the incident."'

Huh. That's funny that he decided to coincidentally write that in a post which responded to those who said that "The Grand Experiment" was being devalued by the (potential) lack of punishment in THE INCIDENT.

What a weird coincidence that was.

Are you guys just unable to find the keys labeled "t, o, u, c, h, e" and then move on to your next point of disagreement, or what?

Anonymous said...

"Huh. That's funny that he decided to coincidentally write that in a post which responded to those who said that "The Grand Experiment" was being devalued by the (potential) lack of punishment in THE INCIDENT."

Firstly, Galen didn't post the original remark. Pete did that. Secondly, it's apparent that a bunch of people DON'T know what the Grand Experiment is. What better way to address that than in a BLOG?

It's not Galen's fault that people like you don't understand the Grand Experiment. It's also sad that you're unable to comprehend that (likely) the two biggest indiscretions exhibited by CFB players are *gasp!* getting into fights and intoxication. Once again, as mentioned by about 56 people, this does NOT negate the Grand Experiment.

Oh, and just curious...do you have a brother named Stuart?

Anonymous said...

fights and intoxication are also the 2 biggest indiscretions of college males in general, thus not holding the football players to any different standard. However, mike fails to read anything that might interfere with his ignorance.

Galen said...

"No way, kids getting into fights and driving while intoxicated do not negate the Grand Experiment."

"Own your words. I sure as heck do."

I own up to everything I say, and again you have a serious comprehensive problem you really can't read a paragraph and understand it's meaning. That particular comment had NOTHING to do with the "whatever you want to call what happened in the apartment complex." Again, I stand by those words: getting into fights (i.e. Mike Robinson) and getting caught for DUI (Johnson) do not negate the Grand Experiment. That's what I said before, that's what I'm saying now, if you can't understand that without linking it to something that wasn't said you have a serious comprehensive problem.

Mike said...

"That particular comment had NOTHING to do with the "whatever you want to call what happened in the apartment complex.""

It's a wacky coincidence, then, that you used language very similar to the homer idiots on FOS who are trying to call "the incident" "just a fight". Wacky, wacky, wacky. It's amazing I could possibly come to the conclusion I came to, when you posted this in direct response to people (like myself) who say that the people pushing for no punishment for The Incident are going to, if they get their way, destroy TGE.

Just a big ball of wacky coincidences.

If you had come out during that posting and, paraphrased, said something like "yes, this incident in particular is NOT 'just a fight'", it might be harder to jump the tenth of an inch to the conclusion I did. But you didn't. And I still believe you meant to imply exactly what I got out of it.

Anonymous said...

mike you use the term "homer" to describe anyone who has any disagreement with your fevered, delusional posts. Everyone is disagreeing with you and yet you stand firm that clearly you are correct and it is everyone else that doesn't know what the hell is going on.

Galen said...

"It's amazing I could possibly come to the conclusion I came to, when you posted this in direct response to people (like myself) who say that the people pushing for no punishment for The Incident are going to, if they get their way, destroy TGE."
This is a proof positive, spot on example of your lack of comprehension (or lack of reading skills). You could not understand this post less. The reason for this post is to defend the Grand Experiment from attacks by people that think kids getting into trouble (any kind of trouble) destroys the GE. How you got from that to “no punishment for The Incident are going to destroy TGE” is completely beyond my recognition. You are WAY off the mark. Like I said, the Grand Experiment has been proven over decades and during that timeframe there have been run-ins with the law, but that doesn’t mean the GE doesn’t work. Local Hacks and people (like yourself) seem to think that if a kid gets into trouble it somehow reflects badly on the Grand Experiment and that line of logic is wrong, wrong, wrong. That’s the point of this post. The outcome of the “whatever the Hell you want to call the thing that happened at the apartment complex” be damned. Scirrotto could be kicked off the team for ever or get nothing out of it; it makes no difference in the realm of the Grand Experiment. That’s the point, not whatever twisted gibberish you pulled from it.

Mike said...

"mike you use the term "homer" to describe anyone who has any disagreement with your fevered, delusional posts."

No, sorry. "homer" is somebody who thinks when we do the exact same thing that Miami fans did in the 1980s, we're not as bad as they were. But there's plenty of people who haven't fallen into that trap, and they haven't been labelled as such.

You really fear opinions other than your own, don't you?

Mike said...

"Local Hacks and people (like yourself) seem to think that if a kid gets into trouble it somehow reflects badly on the Grand Experiment and that line of logic is wrong, wrong, wrong."

1. The Grand Experiment requires that our athletes be STUDENT-athletes.

2. STUDENTS would be severely punished for breaking down the door of an apartment after summoning a posse bent on revenge and then beating several people, including some not even involved in an earlier altercation.

3. If our STUDENT-athletes aren't punished appropriately for #2 (are allowed to continue the PRIVILEGE of playing football), then they aren't, in fact, being treated as STUDENTS.

4. Although some Internet Homers, especially FOS posters, think the judicial system is more harsh on football players than on Regular Students, those with half a brain know it's likely the opposite. Football players have access to better tools with which to defend themselves, and far more powerful allies, than do some random Regular Student.

5. Part of The Grand Experiment, acknowledged even by you, is that our players aren't supposed to be classless thugs. Well, what Scirotto did was classless thuggery. IF HE GETS AWAY WITH NO FOOTBALL PUNISHMENT (still an "if"), TGE has been tarnished. Relying on the judicial system to keep our players' standards above a minimum standard is EXACTLY WHAT MIAMI DID.

You continue to focus only on the academic part of "STUDENT". There are other parts, too. Penn State can kick you out for things you couldn't be convicted of in a court of law. They can also levy other punishments which aren't even available in the judicial system. Likewise, the Blue Band can kick you off the squad for offenses which damage their image - which aren't even prosecuteable by OJA. Etc.

Go ahead; pooh-pooh that as somehow not getting your point. I eagerly await.

Galen said...

“Go ahead; pooh-pooh that as somehow not getting your point. I eagerly await.”

Like hitting a tee ball out of the park…

1. The Grand Experiment requires that our athletes be STUDENT-athletes.

-see you do understand.

2. STUDENTS would be severely punished for breaking down the door of an apartment after summoning a posse bent on revenge and then beating several people, including some not even involved in an earlier altercation.

-oppps, I spoke too soon. First off you have absolutely no evidence that Scirrotto “summoned a posse bent on revenge” other than in your own twisted mind. You THINK that’s what happened but you have absolutely no proof, and neither does the DA. You have no proof that Scirrotto went into the apartment with the intent of beating people up. More importantly you have absolutely no proof that Scirrotto threw a punch. You see in America there’s this little thing called the burden of proof which means you have to actually have evidence, I know it sucks, but us American’s are silly like that. You have none. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

3. If our STUDENT-athletes aren't punished appropriately for #2 (are allowed to continue the PRIVILEGE of playing football), then they aren't, in fact, being treated as STUDENTS.

Again, absolutely agree 100% - if there is evidence, which you have none.

4. Although some Internet Homers, especially FOS posters, think the judicial system is more harsh on football players than on Regular Students, those with half a brain know it's likely the opposite. Football players have access to better tools with which to defend themselves, and far more powerful allies, than do some random Regular Student.

Half a brain? You definitely qualify. So you don’t think a three game suspension for prank phones calls is harsh? Keep in mind that JA originally levied an even larger punishment before cooler heads prevailed. How do football players have access to better tools? What tools? They have personal lawyers, so does the random student. Football players can’t have jobs so they actually are at a disadvantage from that perspective, they have to rely on family to support them for attorney fees. You don’t think a student who can afford college tuition at Penn State can afford a lawyer? Defense attorneys aren’t provided by the football team. What powerful allies do players have that can do anything to sway Judicial Affairs rulings? Just give me one name. Paterno? No way. He hated JA’s ruling about Connor but he couldn’t do anything about it. Who else? Who are these powerful allies?

5. Part of The Grand Experiment, acknowledged even by you, is that our players aren't supposed to be classless thugs. Well, what Scirotto did was classless thuggery. IF HE GETS AWAY WITH NO FOOTBALL PUNISHMENT (still an "if"), TGE has been tarnished. Relying on the judicial system to keep our players' standards above a minimum standard is EXACTLY WHAT MIAMI DID.

I never used the term classless thugs, but whatever, that hasn’t stopped you in the past, why start now? What Scirrotto ALLEGEDLY did was classless, again you have no proof. If Scirrotto is found guilty he will be punished and there isn’t a real Penn State fan that thinks he shouldn’t be. Even if Paterno wanted to let him off, he wouldn’t be able to because Judicial Affairs would step in at that point. Lastly, one kid getting off of a felony assault does NOT tarnish decades of doing things “the right way.” You’re simply wrong. The Grand Experiment goes on unabated by the outcome of this incident, nothing has changed.

“You continue to focus only on the academic part of "STUDENT".”

Absolutely not, I fully understand the requirements of a student because I was one myself. There are rules of conduct that must be followed, but again you continue to confuse the Grand Experiment with off the field actions, that’s not the main point of the GE. Sure there is a code of conduct that must be followed to be a student, but the main thought behind the GE (as was pointed out in the post) was to focus on players as students and not as disposable people that can play a game. That doesn’t change because of the outcome of one incident or multiple incidents for that matter. If the legal system and Judicial Affairs don’t find anything wrong with the conduct of a student, be it a football player or otherwise, why should Joe?

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe that regular STUDENTS would have ever been charged in this case, since the police brought the accusers/witnesses to an autograph signing session to help identify potential suspects! If that is what this case is built around, regular STUDENTS would be getting away scot-free. Regardless, you haven't waited for the facts of the case to come out before making your judgments AGAIN and do not have any interest in the actual truth only your perceptions.

Mike said...

"oppps, I spoke too soon. First off you have absolutely no evidence that Scirrotto “summoned a posse bent on revenge” other than in your own twisted mind."

Then we can adequately paraphrase your view as "wait for the judicial system to come to a verdict before we can do anything".

Which, I remind you again, is how Miami got so off-track.

With this much of a chasm between us, there's not much point in going on further. But you haven't disproven anything; you're holding a completely contradictory set of premises:

1. Student-athletes should be held to a higher standard than the merely convicted/acquitted line.

2. We can't say anything bad about Scirotto yet, and we shouldn't expect Paterno to do anything to him until judicial activities complete.

What if it takes 2 years to get to the point where Scirotto is convicted, yet we all know he did it a long time before that? What if he's acquitted on a technicality, or on an insane jury, a la OJ? Is that the minimal standard you intend to defend as "The Grand Experiment"? Again, that's not what it would have taken to get my ass kicked out of the Blue Band, for instance.

Anonymous said...

Guilty until proven innocent?

Anonymous said...

That's like saying that a convicted child molester who served his time should STAY in jail as a preventitive measure (sorry, I watch too much Law and Order). That crazy fool Paterno, what is he doing waiting for the DUE PROCESS OF LAW to take place. Correct me if I'm wrong, but we are still living in America, right?

Either Scirrotto is guilty, or he isn't. For all we know, he was invited into the party and just wanted to talk. Maybe someone at the party threw the first punch? Who knows? How can you crucify a player, coach, and an "outdated method" before you even know the facts? Get over it, as well as yourself.

Mike said...

"Either Scirrotto is guilty, or he isn't. For all we know, he was invited into the party and just wanted to talk"

Which, again, is the same justification Miami fans used when they allowed their thugs to keep playing. They hadn't been convicted (yet), after all.

Is that the model you want to follow?

If you're sure Scirotto did nothing remotely wrong, not even from an "image of the program" sense, you're a very trusting soul. That's the nicest I can put it.

Anonymous said...

"Which, again, is the same justification Miami fans used when they allowed their thugs to keep playing. They hadn't been convicted (yet), after all.

Is that the model you want to follow?

If you're sure Scirotto did nothing remotely wrong, not even from an "image of the program" sense, you're a very trusting soul. That's the nicest I can put it."

Okay, these Miami comparisons are getting really old. Do you remember Penn State's NC season in 1986, when they beat the Hurricanes in the Fiesta Bowl? Well, Michael Irvin and Co. basically defined their program by talking smack and dressing like thugs. The Penn State players, on the other hand, dressed in suits and were much more polite in the press conferences. What's the common denominator of the '86 team and this one now? JOE PATERNO!! I have no reason to believe that he won't uphold these same types of standards NOW, so why do you?

Once again, for the 100th time: I'm NOT sure that Scirrotto is innocent. However, I'm just as unsure of his guilt. We're still in America, and those convicted of a crime are still innocent until proven guilty. As of right now, he is only guilty of bad judgement. So we should suspend a 20 year old kid before due process of law plays out because he had a brainfart? Be for real. The only reason this is even getting mention in the mainstream media is because he's a football player. If he was just "some guy," he would get a slap on the wrist. Why should this be any different because of his vocation?

For the last time, give it a rest until the facts are known. Until then, you're just babbling on and on because you have a hunch and an incorrect belief. If you were in Anthony's situation, you'd be singing a different tune, that's for sure.

Now, to put it in words you'll understand: T,o,u,c,h,e.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one other thing about your Miami comparisons: Just because something starts out a certain way doesn't mean its ending is etched in destiny. Example:

1) Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Other players in the course of time who were cut from their respective teams gave up on the game. MJ became the most dominant player of all time. Why didn't he just follow some cookie cutter, predestined pattern?

2) GW Bush started out with a very high approval rating. That means he'll go down in history as one of the best presidents ever, right? Well now barely 30% of the population approve of him. Where's the predestination?

3) Tedi Bruschi had a mild stroke. Other people who have had strokes are confined to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. Why isn't he? I thought you AUTOMATICALLY have to follow the pattern?

Long story short dude, if you're saying it's the end of the world, you damn well better look up to make sure the sky is actually falling.

Galen said...

Mike,
I would sincerely like to thank you for being part of this website my throughput that last couple days has been through the roof, I should be paying you. You’re single handedly putting The Nittany Line on the map, I hope you always come back and never change.

Mike said...

"As of right now, he is only guilty of bad judgement. So we should suspend a 20 year old kid before due process of law plays out because he had a brainfart?"

YES. Bad judgement IS a suspendable offense. And Paterno used to treat it that way, too.

It's not a suspend-for-whole-season offense if it's the ONLY thing that happened, but it damn sure merits SOMETHING.

Mike said...

You know, I think it's a shame in this Dom Imus world we live in that you have to lose your job because of one mistake. Heaven forbid it ever gets to the point that if you get a DUI or make an off-hand comment at work your co-workers are calling for your firing.

IF Scirrotto and Baker did barge into the apartment that night and put the beatdown on those guys, I think that's wrong. I think they deserve whatever punishment the legal system deems necessary. But I'm not sure anymore that I think they deserve to be kicked off the team for a one time incident.

If a kid is dealing or doing drugs that's one thing. That's an ongoing problem that is premeditated with the potential to effect other teammates. But does a spur of the moment decision, though wrong, necessarily deserve as harsh a punishment as sitting out a whole year? Does is deserve to get them suspended from school? I don't think so, but that's just my opinion.

You can say accepting such behavior leads Penn State down the road to Miami, but I don't agree. I can't make such a rash generalization. I see this as an isolated incident. It's a kid who felt the need to defend his honor as well as the honor of his girlfriend, but unfortunately went about it the wrong way. It's about teammates coming to the aid of one of their own, but doing so in the wrong way. It was a rash decision made in the heat of the moment. Let the legal system deal with them, but don't let it ruin their careers.

BSD said...

Whoops. That last Mike was actually me (BSD).

Mike said...

"IF Scirrotto and Baker did barge into the apartment that night and put the beatdown on those guys, I think that's wrong. I think they deserve whatever punishment the legal system deems necessary. But I'm not sure anymore that I think they deserve to be kicked off the team for a one time incident."

IF what we hear about Baker going berserk is true, he ought to be gone. Scirotto merits a one-year sit-down and a "we'll see" after that.

As for the job comparison - GMAFB. It's not remotely the same thing, although you can certainly be fired for anything (and, yes, if you identify yourself as an IBM employee and then get caught in public doing something incredibly dumb and dangerous, you might get fired). Playing football is a privilege, not a right. "Innocent until proven guilty" applies to criminal justice (i.e. the _right_ to be free of unjust imprisonment, not the _privilege_ to play football).

Anonymous said...

"Guilty until proven innocent" never applies, how hard is that to understand?

Galen said...

By the way Mike, your job comparison only works with an at-will employee. If the person is under contract they can only be fired for breach of contract. If the agreement doesn't say anything about a person's behavior in public they can get caught selling cocaine and the company can't fire them.

Mike said...

galen, the "right" to play football is exactly like an at-will employee's "right" not to be fired. Yes, there's some contractual stuff regarding the SCHOLARSHIP, but I didn't suggest removing that.

Galen said...

I don't think comparing businesses with football programs is a good comparison. Coaches can kick a player off a team at will but the scholarship is similar to a contract, but it's a one-way contract. Comparing a business who really can't fire you for breaking into an apartment and beating someone up without legal recourse to a football team is silly. At-will employers can fire you but there is legal recourse if terminated suddenly for no reason -that's not the case for a football team.