Today we revisit two schools that were under investigation last season due to scandals, and take a look at how the programs have suffered or bounced back from their dark times.
What’s the latest from the campuses of the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Ohio State Buckeyes, and how are they rebuilding their programs as they try to salvage their reputations? Penn State University
As we speak, Jerry Sandusky is sitting in a courtroom as his trial wages on
. The last witness from the prosecution has just made his testimony and it was a compelling one. With the horrific accusations that not only condemn this man, but the entire program, will the public be quick to cheer on their Nittany Lions come fall, or will the one time “heroes” have to regain the trust and love from the community that gave them a home for so long?"Say It Aint So, Joe"
Joe Paterno was many things to many people. He was a coach, a father figure, a friend, and the face of a community. While he should have left behind a legacy, instead his name now bring up the recollection of some of the most heinous crimes committed against children in recent history.
While Joe’s involvement with the scandal may never truly be known, the university made it clear that they wanted nothing to do with him. While Paterno wanted to leave the university on his own terms, he was promptly fired after over 6 decades with Penn State University.
When writing the initial story last year, we discovered that Joe Paterno was called "the rat" for being nosey and keeping an eye on any wrong doing in the entire Penn State campus. Well, "the rat" missed this piece of cheese, and it has damaged his reputation and the lives of a lot of young innocent kids who had access to the Penn State athletic department and its facilities. Steal of a deal
We also found out that Joe Paterno signed the deed of his house over to his wife for $1
. Obviously, he could sniff this scandal coming and in fear of lawsuit, decided to make a quick decision to protect his innocent family. Paterno was a very wealthy man and the value of his house wasn't the issue but memories and other experiences don't have a value. Health issues
It's ironic how Joe Paterno was discovered to have lung cancer when this all went down. Although he was in his 80's, he was still coaching up until the scandal. He had outcoached Florida State's Bobby Bowden as was considered to be the main man in college football when it came to tenure. Paterno was coaching a highly skilled Penn State team in his last season, and unfortunately, any successes that the team had as a unit were all overshadowed and forgotten.
The family put out the word that things were going fine but as we know with lung cancer, nothing is ever fine and Joe Paterno passed away at the ripe old age of 86
. Paterno passed Grambling's Eddie Robinson for most wins by a coach in division 1-A college football with 409.
Paterno is still revered by many as a legend, and my take on it is that he knew something was wrong, reported it, but should've done more when he saw that nothing happened to Sandusky. This only enabled many more "violations" to happen.
Two people left in the dust are his son Jay Paterno and former assistant coach Mike McQueary. McQueary was also a former player at Penn State, backing up Kerry Collins, and was a dedicated coach.
The entire scandal started when McQueary was watching the movie Rudy and was inspired, so much that he decided to go to the athletic department and look at films. That's where he discovered Sandusky in an illegal act with a minor and reported it to Paterno. McQueary has lost his dream job and the "Penn State dream" is somewhat tarnished as this trial goes on and Sandusky attempts to explain a mountain full of evidence against him.Ohio State University
The Ohio State scandal is a lot less "scandalous" and is more clear-cut as former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel has paid for his lying and has somewhat landed on his feet for the tattoo parlor scandal which saw 5 Ohio State players suspended for the first 5 games of the 2011 season.
This was an obvious violation, and one that Tressel failed to report it to the university. He was suspended for 2 games himself, along with the 5 players, which included star running back Dan Herron, Devier Posey ,and former OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Ultimately, Tressel got out of dodge and resigned as more illegal acts had started to the public’s attention including a vehicle purchase by Ohio State players.. This enabled him to keep his reputation somewhat intact as a coach that took the Buckeyes to a national championship.
After Tressel resigned, Pryor also abandoned ship and headed for the NFL Supplemental Draft
. This was a player that supposedly drove 8 cars in 3 seasons during his time at Ohio State. Obviously, something sound's really wrong with that but Pryor is currently a member of the Oakland RaidersThe 2011 season
Aside from losing 5 players for the 1st 5 games of the season, the Buckeyes had a quarterback controversy between senior Joe Bauserman and freshman Braxton Miller. Bauserman surprisingly started out strong but the job eventually went to Miller. OSU finished the season at 6-7 but there were glimpses of success.
Dan Herron managed to have a respectable season upon returning to OSU action and he got drafted in the 6th round by the Cincinnati Berngals. Herron is one of my sleeper picks in the NFL Draft as his stock might have dropped due to the scandal. Urban Meyer
While Jim Tressel is the Vice President for strategic engagement at the University of Akron, former University of Florida coach and 2 time national champion Urban Meyer got his dream job as the Buckeyes head coach. Meyer is an Ohio native, and he'll get this university back on his feet as he's had success wherever he’s gone.
Saying that, the Buckeyes aren't allowed to participate in the 2012 post season
and any Big Ten Championships. Clearly, this is a team that will be huge in 2013 in the hands of Meyer. NCAA Futures
Being non-eligible for championships, no future college football odds
will be listed for Ohio State, while Penn State is listed at +1300 to win the Big Ten Championship and a whopping +25000 to win the BCS National Championship
I'm not recommending them, but stranger things have happened; ask Kurt Warner and the St.Louis Rams who were 200/1 and won the Super Bowl in 1999. Throwing Penn State in as a lottery ticket at +25000 for a small price is a possibility with the defense. Summary
Ohio State can't participate in the post season and Penn State is able to. One crime is much worse than the other and if anything, Penn State should be the one that's not eligible to play in the post season. We'll have to wait for the results of the Sandusky trial.
All in all, the outlook for Ohio State looks very promising with a top flight coach, if not the best coach in the nation in Urban Meyer while Penn State will be reeling from this scandal for years to come.