College Football: Reaction to Paterno’s retirement
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Reaction on Joe Paternoís retirement plans …
TEMPE, Ariz. ó Former Penn State lineman and Arizona Cardinals starting left tackle Levi Brown says that the legacy of Joe Paterno seems ruined by the circumstances surrounding the coach’s departure.
“I think it’s hard not to ruin his legacy, especially if he retires at the end of the season,” Brown said after Arizona practiced on Wednesday. “He’s retiring because of this situation and this is going to be the last thing everybody remembers.”
Brown, Arizona’s first-round draft pick in 2007, says he was shocked when he first heard of the charges against longtime Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “Sandusky might have been the fifth or sixth guy I met when I got to Penn State, and to hear that he was capable of something like that, I would never believe it.”
It wasn’t a surprise that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano was saddened by the news that Joe Paterno would be retiring as Penn State’s football at the end of the season in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal involving one of his trusted former coaches.
“Joe Pa” gave Schiano his big break in coaching and seeing the 84-year-old legend having to call it a career on not really his own terms hurt.
“I love coach Paterno so am I emotional,” Schiano said Wednesday after Rutgers finished practice for Saturday’s game against Army. “People you love and care about, this is a hard thing for him, I’m sure. I know it is. So it hurts me when someone you love hurts.”
Paterno was in tears, his players in shock.
“All the clips you’ve ever seen of him, you never saw him break down and cry,” quarterback Paul Jones said. “And he was crying the whole time today.”
“It’s a terrible, sad series of events, especially that would lead to someone who’s accomplished so much retiring. But I think the most important concern in all of this is for the kids. That would be my utmost concern relative to this circumstance,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said.
“I think it’s the right thing. (Morally) he didn’t do what he should have. He’s doing the right thing by stepping down to preserve the Penn State football program. It’s sad to see it happen under such a bad situation but at the same time everyone was sort of preparing themselves for it,” said Penn State freshman Jake Schur.
“I’ve known Coach Paterno since I started coaching. I know nothing of the circumstances, but college football will miss him greatly on the field. He has done much for the game, and for Penn State,” said Texas coach Mack Brown.
“Joe Paterno should step aside now and be happy that that’s all he has to do!!” said TV analyst Michael Strahan.
The National Football Foundation is withdrawing an award that it was to present to Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley.
The NFF announced Wednesday that the John L. Toner award, given to an athletic director who has shown “outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football,” will not be presented at its award ceremony in December. The organization says there will be no winner for this year.