So here’s the thing.
The story of the day yesterday was the first episode of All Access, a behind the scenes look at the Buckeye program under the new regime.
But… in a moment of weakness, I DVR’d it And watched it.
And loved ever second.
How can you hate quotes like “Abso-smurfly”, “Bozo the freakin’ clown”, “I’m glad you’re a Buckeye, bro…”, “I like coaching you…” and other admonitions to play “hungry” and “angry”.
And the precision of the offensive staff’s work, the pride that Coach Mariotti puts into his time with the team, and the focus and plan that Coach Meyer is instilling into the team… it’s a really good piece. If you missed it and don’t mind the spoilers, the gang at LGHL have a really good review with picture pages and everything.
I’d be really excited about this, to be honest, if all things were equal. Given the bad PR that my favorite program received over the past few years for numerous self inflicted wounds, it’s great to get excited about OSU football again- and to see a national response (including Southern Cal and Clemson recruits commenting on it) that was pretty positive.
But, I’ll be honest- It’s still hard for me to not be wary about this series. You kick a dog and reach to pet him, he’ll wince and cower even if he lets you stroke his head again. Given what we know about ESPN’s agenda (Entertainment Sports Programming Network), it safe to see that they are interested in a narrative of redemption up until the point that they bang the drums marking a fall from grace.
Just watch the history- 2002 upset their narrative, and then the 2003 Clarett story was a bottom. The 2006 season’s coverage was the apex of good vibes, and then this past year seems to be yet another trough in their coverage- again, a story that Ohio State wrote for itself, but one that got presented over and over and over again on the largest stage while others were way way off Broadway in Coral Gables and Columbia and Chapel Hill.
So- we’ll watch (yup) and see. And, if nothing else, this will give us the chance to celebrate the splendor and power of an Ohio State team on a very particular mission.
Buckle Buckeye up.
The quiet of this week around Buckeye Nation provides a moment of peace prior to August’s chaos of fall camp and Olympic dreams. It’s completely different than July of 2011… and I don’t hear many complaining.
What I do hear, though, are the thunder and raging winds still swirling from last week’s Freeh Report. Both the national news coverage and the responses from Lion Faithful and PSU alums are clamoring- and, like what passes for dialogue these days, neither side are really listening to the other. Civility seems to be yet another casualty of this situation- although, it can be argued that this merely highlights the fact that it’s been dead for a long while.
So, this week’s SBP will take a look at some of the interesting articles and reflections on this almost indescribable set of circumstances. The view we’ll be taking will be a bit farther out- looking not at the particulars but at the “culture” that’s seems to have been on everyone’s mind lately… although, I’m not sure we’re looking deep enough.
If you’re tired of this story, I hope you’ll at least stick around for the commentary after the jump- there’s a lot to learn and think about from this, even if you’re not Nittany.
Responses to the Freeh Report
Everything about the crimes and the cover up is horrific, so please keep that in mind while you are celebrating Penn State’s coming reckoning. When you pop the champagne tonight in jubilation, try to remember that children were raped and grown men in charge of leading young men allowed it to happen. Then try to think of any reason why a human being should ever be happy that this could happen to a child, let alone children.
Don’t let football blind you, because that’s what Penn State did. They willingly let themselves lose sight of of what actually happened to these children, and then somehow found a way to ignore it. Hate Penn State for what happened here all you want, but don’t forget why you feel the way you do. And it should have nothing to do with football.
The Greggster must have gotten what he was looking for, because his next comments on the matter were… get this.. a complete change in tone that went against what others were saying. Read More
This morning, the report from the independent investigation into the culture at Penn State University was released by the committee led by former FBI director Louis Freeh
The investigation, commissioned by the PSU Board of Trusteees sought to examine the circumstances which led to the instances of child abuse that former coach Jerry Sandusky has been found responsible for. Those instances, as you may remember, happened during his tenure as PSU assistant coach and also in some of the PSU facilities following his resignation.
Among the concerns following the initial investigation into Sandusky’s actions were how much of these situations were known to PSU staff, and how reports of child abuse were handled by football administration and others at the university. Over the past few weeks, it has become apparent that the report and investigation by Freeh’s group would focus also on on the campus climate and culture surrounding the University’s football program; for instance, recent articles have indicated that there may have been a disconnect between the University’s protocols for student accountability and how violations by members of the football program were handled.
Many were concerned that today’s report would either “blow the lid off” the legacy of former head coach Joe Paterno, or would unfairly tarnish the work that he accomplished over his tenure. There are also concerns that the NCAA may examine the findings of the Freeh report for possible lack of institutional control. This would be in addition to the Pennsylvania State Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Education, and the FBI being invested in the findings of this investigation, particularly for former president Spanier, former VP Schultz and former AD Curley
In addition to looking at the foundations for any problems that may exist, the comissioned report makes some recommendations for how the athletic department and the University might move forward from the tragic past few months.
The full report can be read at TheFreehReportOnPSU.com and is available in it’s entirety here as well. Judge Freeh will be hosting a press conference later this morning to answer concerns and questions about both the group’s process, findings, and recommendations.
We’ll be bringing you further commentary and reflection on the Freeh report as the week progresses, but here are some initial observations.
Four of the most powerful people at The Pennsylvania State University… failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade. These men concealed Sandusky’s activities from the Board of Trustees, the University community and authorities. Read More
A bit of a damper on the July 4th celebration, as Andy Griffith passed away on Tuesday. Since he represented a slice of America for so many folks, it only makes sense that he’d leave us this close to America’s birthday.
From the beginning, we’ve been cautious about reporting or commenting on the situation involving former Penn State coach and now convicted offender Jerry Sandusky. As we’ve said before (scroll down), there are plenty of other places to read that type of coverage, and we want to be respectful as possible to the victims and all of those impacted by this situation- Nittany Lion fans included. As a fan whose team went through the wringer recently and who saw another side to their program, I understand that schadenfreude has no place in this story, particularly given the circumstances.
However, the report on CNN Friday night connected with me at a different level- one we’ve talked about here at tBBC before. If you haven’t seen the report, here you go.
Again, my purpose for posting that wasn’t to point fingers at another program; instead, I want to talk a bit about CNN’s Susan Candiotti’s final statement in that segment. She closes by reminding the viewers that,
…Several investigations remain underway here- You’ve got Penn State’s own independent investigation, run by Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI; You have the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office; You have the Justice Department; You have the NC double A; and you have the US Department of Education all looking at this.
And that’s why I want to reflect on this a bit- This situation is a chance to gain some important perspective regarding college athletics.