In relation to Byron Lasser's article in the Dec. 19 Mailbag, on Feb. 11, 2007, I had a letter printed concerning the pre-conference scheduling and the infamous "nationwide search" that the PSU athletic department made when their last opening for a men's basketball coach occurred.
At that time, there were several popular coaches out of work, and I'm sure they would have given PSU a look to what see they had to offer contract-wise.
That was just wishful thinking on my part, though, because I heard that when the Truman family had a yard sale for the late president's knick-knacks, that Tim Curley, Penn State athletic director, bought the item on Harry's desk that said, "The buck stops here."
In past years when an opening occurred at Minnesota and Indiana, did they worry about money? Are the basketball programs paying off there? This past year, when St. John's had an opening, did they spare any money? I really can't answer that, but let's wait for two-three years for the results.
PSU seems to hold back on the larger contracts for coaches, but take a look inside the department at the number of assistant athletic directors and the associate athletic directors with their staffs. Add up the salaries and benefits there. Talk about Washington and Harrisburg.
What is scary about this entire thing is that if PSU ever did become strong year in and year out can you imagine the STEP program they would put in place for the BJC seating? And what they would charge you for parking to walk across the wind-swept, icy-cold parking lot.
I'm surprised that at this time the athletic department doesn't have the BJC staff have everybody sit on one side so some of the ushers, concession crews, ticket people, etc. don't have to come to the game in order to save money.
Yes, Lasser is correct about this year. There is a nice average team on board. However, the conference is so strong it will not show in the final won-lost record. Adding to that, look inside Mother Hubbard's cupboard for next year. Scary isn't it? This program has regressed.
I need to go buy some volleyball tickets.
Newsome move predictable
My crystal ball is becoming reality.
I said Kevin Newsome would transfer, and it makes sense, but he will never get drafted into the NFL. Daryll Clark never made it.
It's not a bad time for Penn State coaches to look elsewhere now. With Joe just having one more year on his contract, if his coaches start leaving one by one, who would want to take their place just for one year?
I did like the press conference in Florida with Joe and Urban. I guess they're best of buddies.
Yes, State could be in for a loss with Urban calling it quits.
PSU defense must improve
Like Joe Paterno, I predicted eight wins (with four losses instead of three) and the Michigan State game seemed to be a microcosm of the season. It didn't show up at the start (or in the middle, either) and had a defense that couldn't make plays.
The defensive mediocrity is probably the most alarming aspect of this team. Even during the bleak Jurassic period of 2003-04, there was always a consistent defense upon which a foundation could be built.
Not so with this group; you'd be hard pressed to scan the field on Saturday and identify any Nit defender who will be playing on Sundays.
Hopefully this is an anomaly, something which can be rationalized by injuries, tough road games or recruiting cycles. But this stands out to me as the biggest concern for Penn State getting back to where the Nittany nation wants it to be.
JoePa needs course on two-pointers
This is the first PSU team in school history to lose four games in the same season by more than 20 points each.
It's time to stop looking for the silver lining with this coach and his staff. This great program has not had an undefeated season in 17 years, has never played in the BCS Championship game and has not played for the national championship in 25 seasons.
Joe's philanthropy is wonderful, as is his story, but his time as a coach has come and gone. There is life after coaching. Ask Bobby Bowden. And there is football at FSU after Bobby Bowden.
Finally, maybe in the offseason Joe will figure out this "new" two-point conversion rule.
At 28-16 you do not go for two points. A successful kick makes it a two-score game at 11 - one TD with a two-point conversion and a FG and you get a shot at OT.
Miss it and a FG on one of your next two possessions is meaningless.
PSU needs to start transition
Joe must be forced by our university to have next year be his last. Go around the country with dignity and grace and get the public accolades that he deserves.
But the university must start the thorough replacement process now. It cannot be a last-minute decision - unless they already have decided that the name will continue with Jay. That would be disastrous; no quarterback under his tutelage has succeeded beyond the college ranks.