JoePa’s place needs acknowledged

It’s that time of year again when I get the blues.

It has nothing to do with the cold, snow or cabin fever. It’s when the reality sets in that another college football season – more importantly Penn State football – has come to an end.

It was close to another decent season, only to be marred by the leaving of Bill O’Brien. Though this is not the reason for my letter, I feel more let down by the athletic director and those that hired him that had the knowledge he would leave for the pros at the first opportunity.

I feel the fans, players and future recruits deserved to be told of his true intentions. The reason for my letter goes hand in hand with the end of Penn State’s 2013 season. It’s another missed opportunity to honor the passing and legacy of Joe Paterno.

Though his last days were marred by unsubstantiated allegations, you cannot deny and must acknowledge his lifelong commitment to the university. How can you ignore his influence on Penn State University, his passion for the game and players and his effect on college football in general?

Two seasons have come and gone, and we see no evidence that anyone at Penn State has taken a stand to do what we know has to be done. Don’t be bullied by the media; don’t let the mob mentality keep us from honoring one of the greatest sports figures of all time.

With spring football on the horizon, someone in authority working in the house that Joe built needs to man up and initiate a way to publicly acknowledge Joe’s place in Penn State history and what he meant to players and fans alike.

Even our new coach, James Franklin, is smart enough to acknowledge the foundation set by Paterno. We Are…

Jeff Long


O’Brien ‘did a great job’

I’ll have to take a few exceptions from the Jan. 5 Mailbag and comments by Ed Hill and Richard McLaughlin.

Hill, like many others, missed O’Brien’s point about the Paternos. O’Brien never said anything bad or wrong about Joe Paterno or the Paterno family. His comments were directed to what he perceived to be the “Paterno people.”

That would be people like me, and many others, who knew only of Joe Paterno and his many accomplishments at Penn State but apparently many of them continue to be unrelenting in their views, opinions and talk about Paterno.

I can see where that would probably grow old on anyone in that position. O’Brien did everything he could to respect Joe and the Paterno family. People just have to accept that.

Personally, I wasn’t ready to accept anybody who replaced Paterno after the way he was dismissed, but like the O’Brien hire or not he did a great job under difficult situations and was a huge help to the program at its biggest time of need.

Quite frankly, with the benefit of hindsight, it was probably better for the program to go with an outsider to follow JoePa.

As for McLaughlin’s belief that O’Brien will be fired from the Texans in three years, I’d take a little of that bet if he wanted to make one.

Texans owner Bob McNair has never fired a coach in three years. And, secondly, the Texans just have way too much talent to lose three years in a row.

I suspect they will be in the playoffs three straight years before they have three losing seasons.

Initial emotions tend to run high in situations like this, and great Penn State fans are no different.

Let’s hope that those involved in the hiring of a new coach got it right and they are able to build on what O’Brien has accomplished. As for me, I wish Bill O’Brien all of the best with the Texans and the same for James Franklin, the next Penn State head football coach.

Will Walk

Spring, Texas

Franklin ‘perfect hire’ …

I watched every second of James Franklin’s press conference.

How could anyone not be overwhelmingly impressed? Wow! I recognize that the proof will be in the pudding but, at 66, I’d even suit up and play for him.

I don’t know when I’ve heard so many references of “love” toward his players. And you know what? It’s genuine.

Why else would two kids committed to Vanderbilt switch to Penn State on the very same day Franklin got the job? And I believe him when he says that Penn State is his dream job.

Now that’s a perfect hire.

Lee Grenci

State College

… but he should have kept LJ

I received a message this morning that Larry Johnson is going to go to Ohio State.

My opinion is Urban Meyer is going to use him for his very valuable recruiting experience and connections in addition to coaching the defensive line.

This is a most sad day to see him resign on his own choice. James Franklin should have considered him for promotion to other than defensive line coach. What effect this will have on 2014 and 2015 applicants wishing to attend PSU has to be major.

Franklin feels he wants to reward his own staff from Vanderbilt, and that is his prerogative. I still am firm that he is the right fit.

Les Hart