Thursday, May 24, 2007

Right on!!

My grandpa, who died in 2001, was an old-school type guy. He loved Vince Lombardi and the Packers, and he always said he'd root for the Russians over the Yankees. His favorite college football coach was Joe Paterno.

Now mine is too.
This spring, six Penn State football players were arrested and charged for crimes stemming from an off-campus fight in which at least 15 Nittany Lions were present. The charged included a couple of star players, although what apparently bothered coach Joe Paterno the most was how many of his kids were willing to be involved.

And so Paterno, 80 now but no less tough, no less disciplined, hatched a plan to set things right within his program. He'll let the local legal and student judicial process play out, but regardless he decided that to keep people from thinking his team was trash, it'll spend the fall cleaning it up.

According to Paterno, the Penn State football team will clean Beaver Stadium after each home football game this fall. It'll gather garbage, sweep stairs and maybe even hose parts down.

It'll be Notre Dame on Saturday, nacho spills on Sunday.

It's a job that usually goes to members of club sports on campus – say, rugby or crew – which do it to raise money so they can compete. Paterno said the clubs still will get the $5,000 for the job, but his guys, fresh off playing 60 minutes of major college football the day before, will do all the work starting Sunday morning.

"We're all going to do it, everybody," Paterno told the Harrisburg Patriot-News after a banquet in suburban Philadelphia. "Not just the kids that were involved. 'Cause we're all in it together. This is a team embarrassment. I wouldn't call it anything much other than that."

Read the entire story here.


The McGuffin said...

We both are college football fans. Not football fans, but college football fans. This bold move by the timeless Paterno only shows the breach between pro and college football. Would an NFL coach ever have as much courage to do what Paterno is doing here? Doubt it.

And by instituting this penalty, it also and hopefully shines a bright spotlight on the fact that lesser sports teams like rugby have to fucking clean Beaver Stadium after the big win to raise enough funds to compete! Shameful. I sure hope the big networks who report this story point this fact out in bold letters and big print.

Stacy said...

Being a military type I am very impressed with Coach Paterno. He is the kind of leader I long for and hope to be. The Air Force has three core values: Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do. It is very apparent that these values are unique in today’s world. I find it sad that many of the new recruits who join our organization haven’t a clue about integrity or service. I won’t even touch on excellence. It is, sadly, the “it’s all about me” generation. I’ve never been a fan of punishing the masses for the sins of a few, but this sort of approach breeds teamwork and accountability.

Eric said...

I was thinking about you and Mike today, Stacy. It's good to hear from you.

P.S. The military needs more people like you. A lot more.