Let me start by saying I've always enjoyed being around Hollidaysburg Area High School boys basketball coach Mick Pentoney.
I've understood that some of his quotes are attempts at humor and heretofore harmless, and that he'll still be talking, maybe even to himself, well after you've secured your information and are driving back to the office.
During his 11-year run that on the court has consistently matched the best basketball Hollidaysburg has ever played, Pentoney has flirted with a loose-cannon, Yosemite Sam-like reputation that he firmly solidified this past week.
In displaying his frustration over the addition of Penn State basketball recruit Taran Buie to the State College Area High School program, Yosemite, er, Pentoney - without any real facts - alleged that Nittany Lion coach Ed DeChellis arranged the deal.
And while crafting one of the most reckless stances in Blair County high school history, Pentoney, in an interview Tuesday night with the Mirror's Philip Cmor, didn't stop there.
For DeChellis, he added, "I hope only the worst."
When you're going to crash over four tables trying to throw a roundhouse at the biggest heavyweight in the region - Penn State, not DeChellis' basketball program - it's better to be able to prove it.
If Pentoney really believes what he says, and what a discussion that would be to hear, why didn't he just call the NCAA?
There are people, certainly, who question Buie's presence and likely wonder the same thing Pentoney does. But those people do not usually represent school districts and must be content with anonymous message-board posting and calling Cory Giger's radio show.
So far, we've learned that a parent of a recruit is in fact eligible to be employed by a university, as long as it's not in the athletic department. Given that, hiring Denise Murphy - Buie's mother - to work in the catering department isn't like making her Graham Spanier's spokeswoman.
Don't you think it's highly doubtful Penn State, which would rather go 0-27 than hire John Calipari, would wade into a major NCAA violation for a recruit to join a high school team that includes Athletic Director Tim Curley's son?
Morever, if anybody wants to trace the birth certificates of all the Hollidaysburg basketball players over the last 20 years - boys and girls - they'll find that not everyone had ice cream at the Meadows after Little League baseball and Pigtail softball victories.
Pentoney's superiors, most notably Hollidaysburg Superintendent Paul Gallagher, could not have raced more quickly from the allegation, saying they didn't agree with it and suspended him for Friday night's game with Erie McDowell.
That's appropriate, not only for creating this stir but for its absurd timing. The Tigers had played perhaps their best game of the year and beat State College convincingly while holding Buie to 17 quiet points.
So why would Pentoney shift all that positive attention from the players and inject himself in the crosshairs of a firestorm, knowing his team visits State College later this season? That's easy: Some people unfortunately can't be saved from themselves.
The last time Gallagher had to deal with a public Pentoney meltdown was in May, when the coach resigned in a huff, albeit over concerns worth internal consideration, only to do an about face a few days later - or before the school board could accept it.
After tainting his legacy even worse Tuesday, he reversed on this, too, humbly apologizing Friday in hopes that it will go away as soon as possible.
And it will, except the next time Mick Pentoney can't check himself, he will go away, too.
Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or email@example.com.