Spare credit for PSU brass

Sorry, Neil Rudel, but Rod Erickson in particular and Dave Joyner to a lesser degree deserve zero credit for what happened Tuesday.

I guess we should be applauding them for implementing most of the recommendations to revise “governance,” many of which should have been in place in the first place (e.g. training employees about their obligations when they see or receive a report about potential child or other abuse).

They also had no choice but to implement these changes.

The incompetence of the BOT and Erickson in bowing to pressure and accepting the sanctions within hours after they were announced and their other numerous examples of incompetence have caused and continue to cause irreparable harm to a great university.

Yet they remain in positions of power and continue to profess that they are doing a good job and acting in the best interests of the university and receive kudos from writers such as Rudel.

If you believe that Mark Emmert agreed to reduce the sanctions because Penn State has been “good little boy and girls,” then I respectfully submit that you most likely believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

The reduction in the sanctions was a panic move by Emmert and the NCAA in a weak effort to try to salvage its image and legitimacy in the face of the almost non-stop criticism it has received on so many fronts, including the Paterno lawsuit (a hearing on which coincidentally is scheduled for late next month).

As was the case when Emmert announced the sanctions 14 months ago in one of the most outrageous acts of grandstanding and self-righteousness I have witnessed in my 61 years on this planet, he and they have again misread the tea leaves.

Many around the country who bought and continue to believe the false narrative manufactured by the lynch-mob/rush-to-judgment media, are claiming that it is outrageous to reduce the sanctions at “Pedophile U.” etc.

Many long-time fans and supporters of PSU like me who feel that judgments should be formed on facts, not the innuendo and rank speculation found in the Freeh Report, and after affording those “accused” their day in court or at least an opportunity to be heard, remain outraged that the NCAA made up the rules and imposed this draconian punishment while admitting that they were doing so without authority and, worse yet, that Erickson and the BOT rolled over and accepted that judgment, thereby abdicating their fiduciary responsibilities and confirming their abject incompetence.

Rick Long


Pirates should have pulled Locke

I couldn’t agree more with Cory Giger’s commentary in Monday’s Mirror with regards to the disappointment if the Pirates don’t return to PNC Park for the playoffs.

I’m just not the Clint Hurdle supporter that most everyone else is. First off let’s start with Jeff Locke. A well-known national sports columnist that I’ve been fortunate to know for many years pointed out to me two months ago that Jeff Locke was killing the Pirates.

I was a little surprised with that comment at the time given that this columnist is also a Clint Hurdle fan so I figured he had much better information than me.

So now, as Giger has also pointed out, why has Hurdle continued to trot him out there in the regular rotation? It seems like if others close to the game can figure this out, why not the manager?

In Francisco Liriano’s start last week, where he went eight innings before giving way to Mark Melancon, I have to blame that loss on Hurdle. Why he, along with many other managers, are so in love with this closer mentality is beyond me.

Yes, Melancon has been very good all year for the Pirates, but no one is going to be good every time they are called upon. Why not let the starter (in this case Liriano) at least start the ninth inning when they are pitching good before going to that automatic closer?

Perhaps we would see more complete games which has become a lost art. Can you see Bob Gibson or Don Drysdale in similar situations? Both would let the manager know they weren’t welcome on the mound and to go back to the dugout that they were going to finish what they had started.

As for the Reds getting away with hitting Pirate players with no chance to retaliate, there is an easy answer to this one – especially with September call-ups being on the roster.

Start the game with someone who isn’t being counted on to pitch that day, and let that pitcher deliver the message that this better stop and stop now – preferably someone with a real good fastball.

Then change pitchers and put in who you were going to start in the first place. Yes, throwing at hitters is both silly and childish, but it is also part of the game. What’s silly to me is why nobody actually hits the offending pitcher?

One more reason why I hate the designated hitter in the American League is the pitcher doesn’t have to bat. Perhaps at least in the National League we can change the meaning of the “designated hitter” to that pitcher, mentioned earlier, who starts the game.

Will Walk

Spring, Texas

Fisher made time for PSU fans

I just got done reading Neil Rudel’s article on Fran Fisher and wanted to thank him for writing it.

I have been a longtime fan of Fran Fisher.

To this day, when we see him at a sporting event he always has time to talk to you. I always make it a point to say hello to him and ask him about his day.

Growing up around Penn State football, like a lot of us did back in the day, it seemed everyone received all the important information about the team from Fisher and his broadcasts.

One of my favorite memories of him was his final seconds’ broadcast of the national championship game vs. Georgia. It was an amazing broadcast that night, one I will not forget.

I sincerely hope he is able to witness firsthand the return of Penn State to prominence in the college sports world. The events of recent years have obviously put a major dent in our reputation nationally. It has to be very unsettling for a man of Fran Fisher’s stature to live through these trying times.

Hopefully things will get worked out and some resemblance of normal will return to Happy Valley. And our hope is that he will live to see it.

Terry Farringer


Hackenberg could be a great one

Because he is a freshman, Christian Hackenberg is going to have games like the one he had against Kent State when he was not on the same page with his receivers.

The weather was another factor with that ball slipping out of his hand. In rainy weather, it was the best decision to stay on the ground featuring three studs in the backfield along with an improved offensive line.

But what a gutsy kid. Hackenberg reminds me of the old-fashioned quarterbacks like Charley Connerly of the New York Giants, with high top shoes, and the ability to quality kick on fourth down.

Maybe I should have said Hackenberg is another Johnny Unitas.

Les Hart