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Harrison: Joe Patero's Problems On The Field

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 7, 2011


Week 10 5 Thoughts - Harrison: Joe Paterno's on-field issues

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Week 10  Thoughts, Nov. 7 

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- Cirminiello: Not buying into Oklahoma State yet
- Fiutak: Does Oklahoma deserve to be in the BCS hunt?
- Harrison: Joe Paterno's on-field issues  
- Zemek: Joe Paterno's off-field issues
- Sallee: Missouri's move to the SEC
- Johnson: Weeden deserves the Heisman hype
 
By Phil Harrison 

Harrison: The Joe Paterno Saga?

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN

This is getting a bit out of control isn’t it?

Joe Paterno has been hounded over the last decade on when he’ll be stepping down as the Penn State institution, so this is nothing new--but enough is enough. If you’ve heard the news over the last couple of weeks, Joe-Pa has caught and surpassed Eddie Robinson for the all-time wins in FBS. Sure he has, if simply being a part of the weekly meetings count.

Yes, Penn State is having a good if not great year, depending on how the rest of the season plays out, but you’re kidding yourself if you believe that the legendary coach from Brooklyn has much to do with it this year--or the last few years.

Paterno is a legend of all coaching legends and deserves to take his place among the Mount Rushmore of college coaches--no matter the sport. He has donated a lot of money to PSU, and has the respect and admiration of the entire college football world. That’s just it though, the guy deserves to go out on top, not the way that things are going down in Happy Valley now.

He continues to rack up the wins, but it appears more and more that he's just along for the ride. How can a coach be considered anything more than a figurehead if he spends the majority of his time on game days in the press box without much contact with his players? How can a man who's struggling so much to do a press conference continue to be a part of the ‘beast of the east” and be thrown out in front of the media week after week? When does the line get drawn, and when can the program move forward? It makes you wonder who’s really running things in central Pennsylvania.

Then there was last week. It was too cold, the snow was flying, and the weather was too bad seemingly for Joe Paterno to even step foot out of the press box to address the team at halftime. 

All of these questions continue to befuddle those from the outside, if not many within shouting distance of Mount Nittany. The guy is 84, and continues to get shorter and shorter with his patience and ability to string thoughts together at press conference. As entertaining as it may be to watch, the program is taking a hit to the reputation from it all (now more than ever with the breaking news on Jerry Sandusky). Each week is like a laughingstock train wreck for all of the country to watch.

This year is going well (thank goodness for assistant coaches), but the fact remains that the Lion’s roar over the Beaver Stadium PA has quieted in recent years as the program has fallen from one that would be in national title contention nearly every year, to one in which, when having a veteran presence, has a chance at contending for a good bowl.

One could argue that recruiting has already been off from a decade ago, but there is no doubt that it will only get worse going forward with the head coach emeritus--Joe Pa still hanging on with a grip that is not the firm standing he once had. It’s well past time for an interjection of new energy and blood that can stir things back into a frenzy around the Pennsylvania hills and wake up this sleeping lion into a re-energized machine that will be there almost annually.

Paternoville’s citizens need to take a hard look at the state of their city, especially in the wake of the big scandal. Impeach the mayor, and look to bring a new sheriff to town to get back the respectability and integrity that is needed now more than ever.

- Cirminiello: Not buying into Oklahoma State yet
- Fiutak: Does Oklahoma deserve to be in the BCS hunt?
- Harrison: Joe Paterno's on-field issues  
- Zemek: Joe Paterno's off-field issues
- Sallee: Missouri's move to the SEC
- Johnson: Weeden deserves the Heisman hype