I read Neil Rudel's column on Urban Meyer (Oct. 10), and I can't tell you how big a negative he would be for Penn State.
As background, I'm a 1979 PSU grad who has lived in Jacksonville, FL for the last 31 years. I've followed the University of Florida program over this time as we're close to Gainesville.
Meyer would absolutely trash the Penn State program just like he did to the University of Florida. So many UF players were off to jail during his tenure it would make your head spin.
A dozen felonies and violent misdemeanors? This is not Penn State football. I, for one, do not want to win at all costs. I don't want a dirty, crime-ridden program even if it wins us a national championship.
That's not how Joe Paterno would do it, and that's not how Penn State does it. Urban Meyer has no conception of the Penn State way.
And as I understand it, Urban has left quite a mess at UF. They have more of a track team than a football team these days, and that may be a big reason Urban left. The shelves were bare, thanks to him.
Robert C. Johns
Lions better off in Big Ten
When Penn State was initially accepted into the Big Ten, I had some mixed feelings.
Could Penn State football compete in the Big Ten? That was the $10 million question. Well, since we started playing in 1993, we haven't done really that well. We have won the Big Ten outright once and shared it twice. Nothing to write home about.
But now the question comes up: Would Penn State have been a better fit even before Pitt and Syracuse joined the ACC or even now?
Time answers many questions. Penn State was always an independent, eastern powerhouse.
Academically, Penn State was a better fit back then and now in the Big Ten. The Big Ten has its own network with megabucks which generate more money than even the next-best conference, which is the SEC.
Yes, we don't command respect from the other teams in the Big Ten, but I have this gut feeling that Penn State's next football coach just might get us the recognition we have always wanted.
And I think there is a good chance that Notre Dame will reconsider and join the Big Ten to sweeten the pot. In short, it is irrelevant now that Pitt and Syracuse are in the ACC.
Penn State belongs in the Big Ten, and in the long run Penn State will be better off.
Current program tainting JoePa
As Neil Rudel pointed out in a column last Saturday, Joe Paterno's 159 wins since joining the conference place him fifth all-time among Big Ten coaches.
To put this in perspective, after becoming eligible for Social Security, Paterno has become the fifth winningest coach in Big Ten history. Incidentally, those wins were accumulated in 18-plus seasons, meaning the program has averaged less than nine wins per year in that span, further cementing the reality that the program is no longer elite.
Nonetheless, an examination of Paterno's overall coaching accomplishments reveals a career that is unrivaled in its success and consistency.
As Paterno's career nears its conclusion, it is unfortunate that the state of mediocrity that the program currently occupies has placed the focus on a need for a change and away from what should be the celebration of an incredible coaching career and immeasurable contributions to the lives of so many young people and to the university.
AAHS should evaluate Palfey
"Everyone's position is being evaluated."
I hope the Altoona Area School District hears Coach Tom Palfey's recent comments loud and clear and re-evaluates the positions for the Altoona Mountain Lions coaching staff.
This once-storied and proud program has turned into an embarrassment for the players, fans and alumni. I think it is time for the administration to realize that this was a mistake and start looking for a replacement.
Some of the things that can be directly attributed to the ineptness of the coaching staff can be seen from the stands but not the press box.
How many times can you throw a rocket screen for a pick-6 and continue to do it? How many times do you have to get burned for a touchdown while covering three wide receivers with two defensive backs before you adapt? How many delay of game penalties can you get (for not getting the play into the huddle) before a sense of urgency is recognized?
I could go on with examples, but if you have attended an Altoona High football game, home or away, it is like "Groundhog Day." These types of correctable situations lead me to believe that there is a lack of leadership and discipline from the head coach.
Coach Palfey has made laughable postgame comments as well.
"The kids aren't conditioned enough."
This should have been done in August, and it is his fault.
"The playbook is too big; maybe we need to scale it back."
Really? The offense runs the same 10-12 plays every game.
I believe that Altoona High has talented kids and coaches (Mike Adams, Pete Kishpaugh, Paul Picciotti) in the football program and can produce a competitive team in the WPIAL. They just need some leadership.
Wouldn't it be nice to have John Franco back?