I swear I will get to Pitt stuff today. But there is no rational way to ignore last night.
This is not over for Penn State. There is still a trial for Sandusky. There is still the matter of perjury charges. There will be the oh so deserved civil lawsuits that can never give back what was taken from the children. The number of molested children continues to grow and there are disturbing rumors of more horrors. The Department of Education is looking into serious issues that can affect student aid. It will be a long time before this long, dark shadow leaves State College.
The school has to hire a new football coach, a new AD and a new president. In what order and how quickly can you move on those things?
Tom Bradley will be the interim coach the rest of the way. He and the entire remaining staff will almost certainly be swept out after the season. Penn State men or not, it is hard to imagine they will be able to stay. Fair or not, they too are tainted by this.
This will also upset many PSU fans — even if they do concede the logic and necessity — as so many of the connections to the Paterno era are abruptly severed. This will create more strain and animosity with the fans and school. Making the job of whomever comes next that much harder.
Tom Bradley, Larry Johnson, several others on the staff are considered excellent coaches and recruiters. Normally, they would be in high demand to be assistants and coordinators elsewhere (have to believe Larry Johnson is really kicking himself for not going to Maryland this past year). Under normal circumstances, any incoming coach would at least try to keep some of them on the staff to bridge the change. To smooth over upset fans and alum. To help salvage the present recruiting class. Now that seems highly unlikely.
They will suddenly find it more difficult to find employment elsewhere. There are questions none of them have answered, and no matter what they say will be doubted. Did they not hear anything? Did they suspect? Did they just not want to know? How can they effectively recruit kids with the scandal connected to them at any level? The coaches and ADs at other schools will be reluctant to deal with the fallout and baggage that accompanies any of these hires.
Less than a year ago, I would have been happy enough if Tom Bradley had been hired to be Pitt’s head football coach. During this season, I wondered to myself if Pitt might be able to snag Bradley as DC as Paterno seemed so clearly to be finally on the verge of retiring. Now, I don’t like the idea of Pitt even considering anyone who has been on the PSU staff for more than a few years. I have to imagine plenty of other schools (and their fans) are thinking the same thing.
As I’ve mentioned before, both my parents are Penn State grads. In an awkward coincidence, they are coming out to visit their grandkids. This could be a really awkward weekend.