Sportsmanship must remain a PSU staple

As I look back on the Penn State season, I’d like to comment on what I see as a decline in sportsmanship.

Those of us used to — and proud of — 40 years of success with honor had to feel a bit squeamish watching James Franklin call timeout on the Georgia State kicker while up 56-0 with 11 seconds left. Hearing Franklin’s explanation of it after the game was also difficult to swallow.

What has long set Penn State apart from the crowd — what makes Penn State Penn State and me proud to be a Penn Stater — is that Penn Staters achieve success while maintaining a set of high character values.

It’s high achievement on the field and in the classroom. It’s integrity, maximum effort, fairness, respectfulness and good sportsmanship.

I’m as proud of Saquon Barkley’s high personal character representing Penn State as I am about his football feats. The Michigan game was really great, but failing to just take a knee to let the clock run out at the very end of that game really bothered me from a sportsmanship standpoint.

I wasn’t seeing the pervasive display of sportsmanship in Franklin that I think Penn State represents on a broader scale. I can accept PSU losing a game, but I can’t accept that displaying good sportsmanship is no longer a dearly held Penn State value.

I was also bothered by Franklin talking smack about Pitt and Akron.

I’m OK with Trace McSorley’s baseball swings. That’s youth’s raw fun and enthusiasm, and I see no disrespect in it.

For me, the best thing that happened concerning sportsmanship this year came at the end of the Michigan State game when Franklin was running after some of his players to get them to shake hands with their opponents.

It restored my faith in Franklin’s belief in good sportsmanship and showing respect for opponents — both longstanding, fundamental Penn State values. That’s something that applies well beyond that game and this season.

Geoff Jacobs

San Marcos, California

PSU should consider triple-option in 2018

Penn State finishing the regular season at 10-2 for the second time in two years was outstanding.

Yes, we are going to lose 23 players, but recruiting for the 2018 class could be in the top five.

I don’t know what James Franklin, with Joe Moorhead gone, is going to look at offense-wise over the winter months, but I would be intrigued with the possibility of going to a triple-option formation with McSorley at quarterback, Miles Sanders and Ricky Slade and/or Tommy Stevens at fullback.

Stevens is 6-foot-5 and goes about 230 pounds. He runs with great power, and he’s big enough to open holes in the line.

I also hope Penn State gets an invite to the Cotton Bowl, as I have never been there, or to the Fiesta Bowl.

Les Hart

Duncansville

Yesteryear helps make Mirror special

I enjoy looking at Tim Doyle’s yesteryear column every day.

I was a youth soccer, baseball, roller hockey and ice hockey coach for several years and continue coaching ice hockey, now in my 18th year.

It is cool to read about things that happened 50, 25 and 10 years ago. Particularly at this point, 10 years ago is really special.

It is also cool to flash back and see names that I recall of athletes I coached or coached against or were kids who were my son’s friends or competitors.

I can remember the games mentioned in the articles like they were played yesterday.

My son, Derek Mathews, pops up every so often, and that is an added bonus.

This is just a really cool piece of the paper that makes the Altoona Mirror special.

Tom Mathews

Altoona