For a program that at one time was thought to be about as close to collegiate athletic death as you can get in today’s world, I’d say that Penn State University had a one month span to be pretty proud of. With a slew of NFL openings calling his name, second year head coach Bill O’Brien decided that he wanted to skip the opportunities and continue reviving the sanction laden program. Also, and probably most shocking of them all, they were able to secure the signing of the top rated QB in the nation, Christian Hackenberg. Like I said, not a bad month. That was, until today’s announcement.
In an email sent to former PSU players, Sue Paterno, the widow of former head coach Joe Paterno, announced that Sunday they will release what they call a “critique” of the infamous Freeh Report that helped put PSU in the state that it is now. It seems that it’s more or less a rebuttal to the report that was commissioned by former FBI Director, Louis Freeh. Basically, it’s the latest attempt to try and clear the name of the former all-time wins leader in the FBS. But to me, it’s just yet another unnecessary distraction and hindrance to the clear progress that O’Brien and company are making.
When all of the events of this saga were taking place, the country was basically at a stand still with its every move. But as with everything else in the news, once that dead horse gets beaten one too many times, people have had enough. And folks, this particular horse, has been beaten more times than the little girl in “Mommie Dearest.”
I can understand how the Paterno family would want to try and clear up any misunderstandings that they believe exist, trust me I do. But, there is a time and place for that. And, in my opinion, that time has passed. It’s time for the family to move on and just let the university that they helped build (and possibly bury at the same time) resurrect itself without any distractions. If you want to show support for Penn State football, then support them positively, not by bringing negative memories back to light.
I’ve said this before and I will say it again, as much success that Penn State had on the football field this year, I give Bill O’Brien the most credit for having the character to put up with this nonsense. You would seriously have to consider that there’s not too many men out there willing to try and resurrect a football program while putting up with these headaches at the same time. I credit him even more for not only doing it, but doing it successfully.
My message to Penn State fans would be to ignore all of this as much as you possibly can. You guys did have a hell of a month considering the circumstances, and that should be all that’s focused on. Support coach O’Brien, your current players and alumni. Make it business as usual with your lives. Treat the release of this report Sunday like you would treat any other nagging issue in life. If you just ignore it, eventually it’ll go away.
Jack is a College Football Contributor for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @FSUYankee14