Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Baker and Taylor kicked off team

I was going to post my critique of the ESPN outside the lines hit piece on Penn State's off the field issues but really, I don't think I can add to all the discussion that has taken place over the past couple days. RUTS over at BSD took a middle of the road approach while Tom Jones has a decidedly harsher critique.

The piece tossed out a bunch of numbers to make it appear as if Joe Paterno's program is out of control because of off-the-field incidents. The emphasis was on charges and arrests as opposed to convictions. though all numbers were revealed. Worse, the numbers were given no context as to how Penn State compares with other Division I programs, or even the regular student body. That's Journalism 101.

Has there been a discipline problem at Penn State, especially with the kids currently on the team? I think even the most ardent Paterno supporter would have to say yes. But let's get real for a moment; did Paterno and Penn State intentionally recruit talented kids with sketchy backgrounds to get back to winning football games? I don't believe that for a second and OTL did nothing to prove or support that claim, all they did was through up a bunch of numbers and talk to some of the kids that were in the apartment fight, that did nothing to make me believe Paterno and Co. are going after bad kids. I spent most of the OTL piece rolling my eyes in disbelief, the most ridiculous moment occurred when they accused Paterno of texting someone; I just about fell off the couch laughing. Paterno doesn't even know what 'texting' is.

That brings us to today's piece of news.

Sources close to the team report to FightOnState.com that during a squad meeting Tuesday, head coach Joe Paterno announced defensive tackles Chris Baker and Phillip Taylor had been dismissed earlier in the day. According to the sources, Paterno said the dismissals were permanent.

"Joe said he was fed up with both players," said one source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A third source said the dismissals were the result of a recent off-field incident, but did not have further details. Local law enforcement officials report that neither player has been charged with a crime in the past 10 days.

Wow, the timing of this certainly is interesting if not strange. Did Paterno do this as a result of OTL or is it sheer coincidence? If they did get in trouble then it's quite understandable, but if this is a PR move in the aftermath of a poorly investigated ESPN piece, one would have to say sorry, too little too late. It's quite disingenuous of Paterno if this is an attempt to calm the masses. The next few days will prove interesting once the media and blogosphere get a chance to chew on this. Stay tuned.

4 comments:

Pete the Streak said...

I doubt this is damage control. He has said recently that most of the doghouse players were doing fine, but there were a couple he wasn't too sure about, and was keeping an eye on. I think we now know who he was talking about.

Galen said...

I hope you're right but the timing is just really really strange.

jd said...

pete's correct.

didn't paterno also mention something about looking at their academics?

Anonymous said...

there is a rumor these two were involved in another fight at a pool party