This is a big week for major college football in Philadelphia. Temple (2-0) will face Penn State (1-1) on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Lincoln Financial Field. The kickoff is at noon. The game will be televised on ESPN.
The Nittany Lions are coming off a dismal 27-11 loss to No. 3 ranked Alabama at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa. Penn State was ranked No. 23 in the country last week. There should be a huge crowd for this game to see legendary head coach Joe Paterno. The Nittany Lions have a number of local players, most notably Curtis Drake, former West Catholic star.
Temple has gotten off to a great start this season, defeating Villanova 42-7 and picking up an impressive 41-3 road win over Akron. Bernard Pierce, Owls running back, has been nothing short of sensational in his first two games.
In the win over the Wildcats, Pierce finished with 20 carries for 147 yards and three touchdowns. In Temple’s victory over Akron, he rushed 18 times for 150 yards and three TDs. Pierce, former Glen Mills standout, is the sixth leading rusher in the country. He’s averaging 7.8 yards a carry. He has 297 rushing yards and six TDs.
He could play a major role in this contest. A year ago, Temple dropped a 22-13 decision to Penn State in Happy Valley. Pierce played extremely well against the Nittany Lions before leaving the game with an injury in the first quarter. He had already scored two touchdowns and rushed for 42 yards on 10 carries.
A victory over Penn State would be huge for Temple. It would give them bragging rights for recruiting in Philly as well as the state. It would also give them a boost nationally. In fact, Pierce could make a statement in terms of him being a Heisman Trophy candidate. The Owls haven’t beaten the Nittany Lions since 1941. That’s 70 years. Paterno has a 27-0 record against Temple.
Cheyney Athletics Hall of Fame fete
Cheyney University Athletics Hall of Fame will induct its 2011 class on October 14 at 7 p.m. The ceremony will take place at Ada S. Georges Dining Hall on Cheyney University’s campus. The induction class includes Kenneth Hamilton, James P. Kane, Harold Rogers, Edward Swain, Carol Lynn Willis and Charles “Ace” Woods. For more information on tickets for the event, call William Shields at (610) 872-2322.
Sharon Baptist wins softball title
Sharon Baptist Church defeated Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church 6-5 to win the Christian Fellowship Softball League Championship. Sharon won the championship in the best of five series 3 games to 2.
A new scathing report on how Penn State University handled allegations of child sexual abuse by a former assistant football coach show a serious failure of moral leadership by the university’s senior officials.
Penn State University’s senior officials and the school’s legendary head football coach, the late Joe Paterno, kept child abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky quiet for more than a decade, leaving him free to prey on other boys, according to a report released last week.
Former FBI director and federal Judge Louis Freeh said the most “saddening and sobering” finding from his group report into the Sandusky child sex scandal is Penn State senior leaders’ “total disregard” for the safety and welfare of the ex-coach’s child abuse victims.
Freeh said that the “most powerful men at Penn State failed” to take any steps for 14 years, referring to Paterno, ex-President Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and former senior vice president Gary Schultz.
The investigation concluded that the senior officials ‘concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse” because they were worried about bad publicity.
“In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the university — Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley — repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse, “ the report said.
Sandusky is awaiting sentencing after being convicted last month of 45 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 victims during a span of 15 years.
Sandusky can not be the only one held accountable.
More must be done to send a strong and clear message that intuitional leaders can not abdicate their responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of children.
The NCAA must do its own investigation and impose the toughest penalties.
The state must pursue the possibility of criminal charges against former senior leaders at Penn State.
The scandal led to the ouster of Paterno and Spanier
A change in leadership at Penn State is not enough.
Penn State also needs a change in culture. The university should strip away all its associations with Paterno and remove his name from buildings and anything else bearing his name.
The university’s misplaced priorities gave Paterno too much power and made the entire university subservient to its football program.
Although the report showed no evidence that the Penn State Board of Trustees was aware of the allegations regarding Sandusky until this year the board can not escape criticism.
In the future the university’s board of trustees must exercise a more active oversight role.
Penn State University is a fine institution of higher education that lost its moral compass in the pursuit of the money and prestige of college football.
Penn State has to put education first again.
Over 5,000 students marched through the streets of London last Wednesday loudly protesting against increases in college tuition fees, decreases in education funding at all levels and reductions to public services initiated by Britain’s conservative-led government.
Hours after that London demonstration thousands of students at Penn State University staged a loud, violent protest that police in the central Pennsylvania town of State College tagged a riot.
That Penn State protest/riot had nothing to do with either the tuition increase caused by funding cuts initiated by Pennsylvania’s conservative governor nor solidarity with other college students protesting against corporate greed under the “Occupy Movement.”
No, Penn State students went on a riotous rampage because university officials sacked their beloved football coach, Joe Paterno.
Penn State’s Board fired the 84-year-old football legend due to his remote role in an alleged pedophilia spree by Jerry Sandusky, a man formerly a ranking coach in Paterno’s powerhouse.
That firing fired rage in many students who felt it was too harsh, despite some students acknowledging to reporters that Paterno didn’t “morally” do the right things when dealing with reports of Sandusky molesting children.
News reports said some participants in that Penn State riot physically attacked police without suffering beatdowns, unlike Berkeley, Calif., campus police who brutalized students with batons when breaking up a peaceful Occupy site late last Wednesday evening.
While criticisms rightly rain down on those rioting Penn State students, it’s wrong to think that dumb outbursts related to sports are exclusive to that school.
In 2010 students at the University of Maryland celebrating a basketball victory went into riot mode while in 2005 Michigan State University students rioted over a basketball loss — as did Penn State students in 2001.
However, some Penn State students need to learn an important lesson lost in their apparently blind allegiance to Paterno and the football dynasty he engineered.
The really ugly thing here isn’t officials punting Paterno or penalties against the image of Penn State — the university and/or its football team.
Far worse than any insult — actual or imagined — is damage done to individuals — those young victims that authorities charged Sandusky with abusing sexually.
As one child sex abuse survivor wrote, the true tragedy is “the very real physical and emotional pain inflicted on at least eight, and now possibly nine or more young boys …”
Another tragedy obscured here is adults constantly turning blind eyes to child abuse.
Yes, two former Penn State officials are under indictment for covering up Sandusky’s crimes.
Yet, according to the grand jury report, the top prosecutor in the county containing State College had solid evidence of a Sandusky sex crime in 1998 — from an admission by Sandusky — but decided against filing child abuse charges.
That evidence came from police who themselves declined to go beyond that blind-eyed prosecutor.
Once again, the State College area isn’t unique for prosecutors ignoring abuses against children.
In Wilkes-Barre, 173 miles northeast of State College, prosecutors for years ignored a judge abusing the rights of children by forcing them to face trial without defense lawyers then quickly sending them to kiddy prison for the flimsiest of offenses.
That judge is now in prison for taking bribes from a private prison operator to send children to his government-funded prison.
Prosecutors have legal and ethical duties to report wrong-doing — as that judge was doing — but Wilkes-Barre prosecutors ignored that duty … claiming like Paterno that they didn’t realize it was real abuse.
Blind-eyed Wikes-Barre prosecutors — including one now serving as a juvenile court judge — remain in their jobs because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court blind-eyes their outrageous inaction disregarding that court’s duty to enforce ethical/legal-conduct rules covering lawyers.
An outrageous mishandling by Philadelphia and federal officials of blatant physical child abuse took place forty-four-years ago.
That Nov. 17, 1967 incident involved Philly cops under the command of infamous Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo savagely attacking public school students peacefully protesting outside School District headquarters.
That night-stick swinging assault described in 1967 as a “police riot” left many among the 5,000 Black student protestors hospitalized some with serious injuries and it produced 57 arrests.
Police crushed students peacefully seeking Black History instruction plus basic improvements like fixing leaking school roofs and supplying textbooks.
Philly’s 1967 mayor refused widespread demands to fire Rizzo who became mayor six years later plunging Philadelphia into a reign of racist terror that cost taxpayers millions.
Philly’s 1967 top prosecutor ignored those criminal assaults by cops.
Adding insult to those 11/17/67 injuries, federal judges found no fault with police brutalizing peaceful children without provocation.
This Thursday (11/17) a commemoration of that 1967 protest is scheduled for School District headquarters on N. Broad Street at 12:30pm.
Commemoration speakers include Dr. Walter Palmer, organizer of that ’67 protest.
Ironically, today Black School District officials (including now former Superintendent Ackerman) fight against Palmer’s efforts for educational improvements despite their employment resulting from struggles for desegregated employment at the District by people like Palmer.
Philly students four decades ago learned a searing lesson following that 1967 police riot that haunts America today: authorities dismiss official misconduct…to society’s detriment.
As a white speaker stated during a predominately-white anti-police-abuse rally days after the 11/17/67 riot noted: Whites must combat racism or “we whites will also be used as tools of oppression.”
Linn Washington Jr. is a graduate of the Yale Law Journalism Fellowship Program.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Decked out in Penn State hats and jackets, students and townspeople stood in a line more than a quarter-mile long Tuesday to pay their respects to Joe Paterno, the coach who for nearly a half century was the face of their university.
Mourners waited for hours along a main campus artery for the chance to file past Paterno's closed brown casket at the campus spiritual center during a public viewing session. Some departed crying. All were moved.
"He was my hero. He was my hero. I had to come," said a sobbing Gloria Spicer, who was freshman in 1966 when Paterno started his first season as head coach at Penn State. The 85-year-old Paterno, the winningest coach in major college football history, died Sunday of lung cancer. He had been fired just days before learning of his diagnosis in November.
"He was a teacher to me," Spicer said. "He taught me to be a better person and a better teacher."
Spicer and others walked slowly past the undraped casket which had an "honor guard" of two Penn State players — one past and one present. Six feet away, a stylized, black-and-white photo of a smiling Paterno, arms crossed in front of his chest, sat on an easel.
Large windows bathed the white-walled hall in light on an overcast afternoon. Some of Paterno's family attends church services there.
Members of the public were preceded by the Paterno family — the coach's son, Scott, was seen at the gathering — along with current and former players. The current Nittany Lions wore dark suits and arrived in three blue Penn State buses, the same ones that once carried Paterno and the team to games at Beaver Stadium on fall Saturdays.
Among the former players was Mike McQueary. As a graduate assistant to Paterno in 2002, he went to the coach saying he had witnessed former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky assaulting a boy in the shower at the Penn State football building. Paterno relayed that to his bosses — including the head of campus police — but university trustees felt he should have done more, and it played into their decision to oust the longtime coach on Nov. 9. That came four days after Sandusky was arrested on multiple child sex-abuse counts.
Dressed in a blue coat and tie with a white shirt, the school colors, McQueary was among thousands of expected mourners at an event that was to stretch late into Tuesday night.
One current and one former team member will stand guard over the casket for the duration of the public viewing, athletic department spokesman Jeff Nelson said.
"Going in there, waiting two hours in line, it was worth every second of it," Penn State junior Rob Gressinger said. "It helps in the grieving process for everybody and I hope the rest of the people that are waiting in line longer than I did, get to experience the same thing."
Earlier Tuesday, a line of ex-players stretched around the corner and down the block. Among the mourners were former Penn State and Pittsburgh Steelers great Franco Harris. Others there included NFL receivers Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood, Norwood's father and Baylor assistant coach Brian Norwood and former quarterback Daryll Clark.
The event marked the first of three days of public mourning as the Penn State community in State College and beyond said goodbye to the man who led the Nittany Lions to 409 wins over 46 years and raised the national profile of the school.
There is another public viewing Wednesday at Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, and after that Paterno's family will hold a private funeral and procession through State College.
On Thursday, the school's basketball arena will be the site of a public service called "A Memorial for Joe." Tickets were quickly snapped up for the event, even though there was a two-per-person limit for those ordering.
Former players began arriving shortly after members of Paterno's last team filed in. Some players hugged, and new Penn State coach Bill O'Brien shook hands with others at the curb outside the center.
Penn State linebacker Khairi Fortt recalled his coach's lessons.
"He said the most important thing for us was to keep the Penn State tradition going," the sophomore from Stamford, Conn., said after leaving the viewing.
Scott Paterno has said that despite the turmoil surrounding his termination from the school, Joe Paterno remained peaceful and upbeat in his final days and still loved Penn State.
Bitterness over Paterno's dismissal has turned up in many forms, from online postings to a rewritten newspaper headline placed next to Paterno's statue at the football stadium blaming the trustees for his death. A headline that read "FIRED" was crossed out and made to read, "Killed by Trustees." Lanny Davis, lawyer for the school's board, said threats have been made against the trustees.
Scott Paterno, however, stressed his father did not die with a broken heart and did not harbor resentment toward Penn State.
"His legacy is still going to be filled with the great things that he did. Look at this place," 1969 Penn State graduate Tom Sherman said before tearing up. "It's like he's part of your life. I admire that guy so much." -- (AP)
Needless to say this is a sad day for Penn State fans. It’s a tough pill to swallow for many people who follow the Nittany Lions football team. According to a scathing internal report issued on Thursday, Joe Paterno and other Penn State officials hushed up child sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago for fear of bad publicity, allowing Sandusky to prey on other youngsters.
“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State,” said former FBI director Louis Freeh, who was hired by university trustees to look into what has become one of the sports’ biggest scandals. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
This is a huge scandal. That’s going to take a long time for people to get over. Penn State was held in such high regard when it comes to intercollegiate sports. The school had a tremendous image not only in the sports community, but in general as well.
You have to wonder how they’re going to climb out of this situation. How does a major Division I program regain its good name along with the trust of parents who would send their kids to Penn State? That’s a good question. The best thing to do is to accept this report in the spirit that it was given and then move closer toward community service, particularly in regard to youngsters.
It’s not about winning football games now. It’s not about packing Beaver Stadium in Happy Valley on Saturday afternoons in the fall or going to bowl games in January. They can sell as many season tickets as they want, but they have to rebuild their image. That takes a lot of time, work and effort. It’s not going to happen overnight.
Of course, the school is probably thinking about the possible civil suits that could come with this report or if the NCAA is going to come down on them. But they need to look past that. They need a long range approach to their long range problem.
The school should reach out to community-based organizations that work with children who have been abused. Penn State should utilize some of its resources toward making a difference with various community groups. Football brings in a lot of money for Penn State. The school makes plenty of money from television, radio, ticket sales, merchandising and other avenues. It’s time to use some of that money in a positive way that wouldn’t be self serving, but in a way that shows a genuine concern for the lives of young people.
It’s hard to say how long the healing process from this stinging report will take. Scandals eventually heal over time. Right now, Penn State has to make sure the school does the right things going forward.
Associated Press contributed to this story.
More than once over the past week I’ve been approached with speculation that at least some of the kids allegedly abused by former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky may have been Black.
Because Second Mile, the foundation Sandusky founded, and from whose participants he chose his prey, has several programs targeting at-risk youth, it’s a reasonable assumption, the speculation goes, that some of Sandusky’s victims could be children of color.
At first blush, it seems logical enough. A disproportionate number of at-risk kids, those who live in poverty, or don’t get enough to eat, or have troubled home lives, are children of color.
But that fact alone — even if true — doesn’t substantially change the story, at least not for me. If the allegations graphically described in the grand jury presentment are true, then Sandusky is an absolute monster. No amount of prison time is sufficient to cover those crimes.
Just hearing the details of what he is accused of doing to those boys makes me re-think my anti-death penalty position. Some people, it turns out, just need killing. If he’s guilty, then lethal injection is too good for him. I’d not only be in favor of bringing back Ol’ Sparky, I’d throw the switch and pay the electric bill.
But that would be true no matter his victims’ skin color. Some acts are so evil; they transcend any human traits or cultural distinctions. Remember Jeffrey Dahmer, the serial killer who cooked and ate several of his victims? Some of those victims were nonwhite, but that fact doesn’t add or subtract from the horrors he committed.
Realistically, we will probably never know the race of most of the kids involved — between sealed court records, grand jury secrecy, gag orders, and the natural reluctance of victims to go public in high-profile cases like this, it’s unlikely that we’ll someday have a comprehensive list with photos to compare the victims’ ethnicities.
And I don’t know for sure that even if we had such a list, it would do much good. But as long as we’re engaging in wild speculation, I can see how that bit of information could prove useful.
Every predator — whether a wanted serial killer or a low-rent purse snatcher — picks their victims with care. They certainly don’t want to get caught, and will choose their prey based on what they perceive as a low level of resistance, (like picking on little old ladies if you’re a purse snatcher) and of course, a fair certainty they’ll get away with it.
If there were some way to prove that Sandusky picked poor Black kids deliberately because he figured they’re less likely to snitch, and less likely to be believed even if they do, well, that little peek into his psyche would be enlightening. And because white men throughout history have used Black men, women and children for easy sexual gratification without guilt or consequence, perhaps that could be seen as an extension of that slave master mentality.
Or if he admitted to a simple matter of believing that the innocence of a Black child is less important than that of a white one. Especially if your way of thinking is that these kids are damaged anyway — so one more indignity won’t matter much. That too, would provide some insight into the twisted mind of a monster, and may even explain some of his actions.
Given what we already know though, that’s not likely either.
Sandusky has already begun conducting interviews proclaiming his unequivocal innocence. He told NBC sports commentator Bob Costas on Monday night that he was certainly not a pedophile, and never sexually assaulted any child.
According to him, all the grand jury witnesses are just plain lying — including a former janitor who had little to lose by coming forward, and a present team employee whose own testimony paints him as a gutless coward who watched a child being raped, then ran back to his office to call his daddy, literally leaving the child in the clutches of a sick maniac.
I have never seen a child raped, thank God, and I hope I never do. But I’m pretty sure that were I to witness such an atrocity, I’d know the difference between what I saw and wrestling or innocent horseplay.
Race, in this instance, is irrelevant. The real tragedy here is that it took 15 years to get around to stopping this fiend, when it could have ended so much sooner, with fewer kids whose innocence, trust, and sense of right are forever lost.
The National Hockey League’s first Black hockey player Willie O’Ree, in conjunction with the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, recently taught young boys and girls of Camden County important life lessons on ice through the game of hockey. O’Ree is currently the NHL’s Director of Youth Development and hockey ambassador for “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative.
The event was held at Flyers Skate Zone in Pennsauken, N.J. To date he has helped launch more than 30 local grassroots hockey programs around North America with the purpose of educating disadvantaged youth on the values of hockey and life. More than 45,000 children have participated in O’Ree’s programs.
O’Ree is in town in support of the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic, which will take place in Atlantic City at the end of the week.
Philadelphia Flyers founder Ed Snider created Snider Hockey in 2005 as a personal commitment to teach children important life lessons. The mission of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation is to build lives and unite communities. It uses the sport of hockey to help educate young people to succeed in the game of life. Snider Hockey services are targeted for inner city boys and girls who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn to skate or to play ice hockey.
Taliaferro to eulogize Paterno at PSWA dinner
Adam Taliaferro, who recovered from a horrifying spinal cord injury while playing in a football game at Penn State, will deliver a short eulogy memorializing his Hall of Fame coaching legend Joe Paterno at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s 108th annual dinner on Monday, January 30, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, N.J.
Taliaferro was a freshman defensive back when he suffered the career-ending injury in the fifth game of his collegiate career. He was given a three percent chance of walking again but miraculously recovered to return to Happy Valley to serve as a student assistant coach less than a year later.
Taliaferro, who graduated in 2005, is an associate attorney with the Cherry Hill (N.J.) law firm of Duane Morris LLP and was recently elected a Freeholder in Gloucester County.
Paterno, who died on Jan. 22 of lung cancer, was the all-time winningest coach in Division I with 409 victories. He guided Penn State to two national championships and five undefeated seasons over 46 years. For ticket information go to www.PSWA.org.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Major college football is in a state of flux at Penn State and Pittsburgh.
By comparison, Temple — Pennsylvania's other Football Bowl Subdivision school — is on steady ground.
In Steve Addazio's first season — taking over Al Golden's rebuilding project — Temple finished its second nine-win season in three years with a 37-15 victory last week over Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl.
"I just think, obviously, right now we're focused on trying to do the best job we can in recruiting," Addazio said when asked to assess how the situations at Penn State and Pitt might impact Temple from a football standpoint.
"Right now this is a great opportunity to build our brand, to help people focus in on where Temple has come from and where (it's) headed," Addazio said. "What it does is it helps you continue to strengthen yourself in the state of Pennsylvania."
Temple went 1-11 its first season under Golden in 2006, then won 26 over the next four years before Golden left to coach Miami. Addazio, the former assistant at Florida under Urban Meyer, maintained the momentum with a 9-4 season.
Now he's on a well-deserved holiday break and resting up before the January recruiting push.
"You get a great surge, a tremendous finish," Addazio said, referring to Temple's season-ending four-game winning streak. "The national exposure helps you when you come back."
A member of the Mid-American Conference, Temple doesn't play in a league with an automatic BCS bid like Penn State and Pitt.
But those schools have also had unstable coaching situations.
That once was never an issue at Penn State under the 46-year tenure of Hall of Famer Joe Paterno as head coach.
But he was fired Nov. 9 in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Paterno, who testified before a grand jury investigating Sandusky, is not a target of the probe. Sandusky is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to the allegations.
Longtime assistant Tom Bradley took over as interim coach and will lead Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl on Jan. 2 against Houston. Still, it's six weeks and counting without a permanent head coach, and nearly a month since the school announced it had formed a six-person search committee — a relative eternity when it comes to search timelines.
Then again, this search is occurring amid circumstances never before seen in college athletics.
"As I'm sure all can appreciate, this is a very important hire for Penn State," acting athletic director David Joyner said Thursday in a statement. "As a result, the search committee is taking a very deliberate and measured approach to the process in order to identify the coach that best fits the requirements of the position."
Pitt on Thursday introduced Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst as its new head coach, a little more than a week after Todd Graham's stunning departure for Arizona State following just one season in western Pennsylvania.
That was a more typical coaching search timeline, though the coaching position at Pitt has been anything but typical the last 13 months. Graham left following a disappointing 6-6 season, having spent less than a year on campus. Chryst was in the mix in 2010 to replace Dave Wannstedt and Mike Haywood before Pitt went with Graham.
"I do believe it's about what you do and not about what you say," Chryst said Thursday at his introductory news conference. "I'm not going to sit up and talk here about who I am. But I am really excited to roll up our sleeves and go about it with this group of players."
Pitt eventually plans to move to the ACC. With its top-notch facilities, academic reputation and fervent fan base, Penn State could also reverse momentum quickly once it settles on a new leader.
By comparison, Temple gets overshadowed in its own town with its hectic sports scene, let alone by Penn State and Pitt.
But Addazio hopes Temple can keep getting noticed and building on its recent success.
"We are going to keep growing," he said. The success "helps us build our brand. That's really important ... We want to be embedded in the culture of the city of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania." -- (AP)
There will be a huge football game played at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday and this game doesn’t involve the Philadelphia Eagles. It will be a big day for college football at the Linc. Temple will host Penn State at noon. The game will be televised on ESPN.
The Owls (2-0) and the Nittany Lions (1-1) will clash in what should be an interesting match-up. This game is for bragging rights in the state, which has an impact when it comes to recruiting. Temple has recruited local players such as Daquan Cooper, Brandon Chudnoff and Clinton Granger, while Penn State has grabbed Deion Barnes (Northeast) and Shawn Oakman (Penn Wood) over the last year.
Furthermore, Penn State has really dominated the series. The Nittany Lions lead the series 36-3-1. The Owls haven’t beaten the Nittany Lions since 1941. That’s 70 years. Paterno has a 27-0 against Temple. Steve Addazio, Temple’s first-year head coach, knows this is an important game. However, Addazio is trying to keep everything in perspective.
“We’re going to approach it the same way we approach every week,” Addazio said. “I can’t sit here and tell you that it’s not more giddy-up in your step. That’s the competitor in everybody. We understand Penn State is coming here. It’s a storied program. We’re here at 10th and Diamond. We want to have an opportunity to take our crack.”
A year ago, Temple took a good shot at Penn State in Beaver Stadium. The Owls fell to the Nittany Lions, 22-13, in Happy Valley. It was a really close game. The game seemed to turn after the Owls’ star running back Bernard Pierce was injured in the first quarter. Pierce had already scored two touchdowns and rushed for 42 yards on 10 attempts.
The former Glen Mills standout has been sensational in the Owls’ first two victories. In the win over Villanova, he finished with 20 carries for 147 yards and three touchdowns. In Temple’s 41-3 victory over Akron, he had 18 carries for 150 yards and three TDs. He is the sixth leading rusher in the nation. He averages 7.8 yards a carry. Pierce has 297 rushing yards and six TDs. He could play a big role in how well Temple does against Penn State.
“I think Bernard has had a great winter, great spring, great preseason and has done well the first two games,” Addazio said. “It’s another week and an opportunity. It’s going to be a little faster and a little bigger and the game is going to be a little more supped up. That’s just the way it is. He’s going to rise to that and have a great game.”
The Nittany Lions are coming off a disappointing 27-11 loss to No. 2 ranked Alabama. Penn State opened the season with a lopsided 41-7 victory over Indiana State. The Nittany Lions would like to pick up a win against their in-state rival. Addazio expects Penn State to be well prepared for this contest.
“There’s going to be emotion,” Addazio said. “It’s classic in these kinds of games. My job is to make sure that we play with great passion, great energy and great emotion. That’s the standard you play with and not just try to go too far on that and make sure we execute at a high level. We understand it’s going to be a four-quarter game. We got to get this thing down to the fourth quarter. It’s going to be a lot of peaks and valleys in this game. That’s the way it is.”
The passing of Joe Paterno has left thinking about how the Nittany Lions head coach for so many years will be remembered. Paterno, who died Sunday at age 85, was the head coach in Happy Valley for nearly 50 years before the child sex abuse scandal hit the football program, bringing his career to a screeching halt.
In spite of what happened over the last two months, Paterno should be recognized for all the things he’s done over the years. He gave Penn State 61 years of his life. He spent 46 years as head coach. He also spent 15 years as Rip Engle’s assistant at Penn State. Time and service should account for something. Obviously, there will be some people who will disagree with this assessment. But Paterno was Penn State.
When Penn State played Temple in Philadelphia, whether at Veterans Stadium or Lincoln Financial Field, the Owls would have their biggest crowd of the season. The fans came out to see the Nittany Lions, but they also wanted to see Paterno, the school’s legendary head coach. The Penn State game was the biggest game on Temple’s schedule. The fans wanted to beat Penn State because that would give the Owls bragging rights in the city. Paterno had built a nationally known program.
The Nittany Lions Hall of Fame coach has recruited some of greatest high school players in this area. Every time a player signed with Penn State it was a big deal. Two of Paterno’s best Philadelphia players were from the Public League. He recruited Frankford’s Blair Thomas and Mastbaum’s Chafie Fields. Thomas was an All-City standout with the Pioneers. The quick-footed running back rushed for 3,941 yards and scored 59 career touchdowns. He was a major Division I player. Fields was a terrific wide receiver. The All-Public League standout led Mastbaum to the playoffs each year. Thomas and Fields went to Penn State to play big time college football. They were two of Paterno’s prize recruits.
Last year, Deion Barnes (Northeast High) and Shawn Oakman (Penn Wood) decided to go to Penn State. Barnes and Oakman wanted to play for Penn State, and Paterno was a big part of their decisions. With all the great winning teams and his national profile, it was heard to beat Penn State. In addition, Paterno didn’t just focus on football. He wanted his players to be good people, too. He knew that football was only one phase of their lives.
Paterno finished his coaching career with an overall record of 409-136-3. On October 29, 2011, when Penn State defeated Illinois at Beaver Stadium, he passed legendary Grambling State head coach Eddie Robinson for the most victories in Division I. Robinson was absolutely one of the greatest college coaches of all time. There’s no question about that.
Bill O’Brien, New England Patriots offensive coordinator, has been hired as the new Penn State head coach. O’Brien is busy with the Patriots getting ready to play the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. After that, O’Brien will assume the task of replacing Joe Paterno. That will be a huge job.