Reports are that Penn State has hired Patriots' offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien as its next head coach. O'Brien has no head coaching experience and is not from within the Penn State "family."
This has apparently rubbed many Penn State alum the wrong way or, in Lavar Arrington's case, the wrongest way possible. From his Twitter feed:
Arrington elaborates in Blue White Illustrated:
"I will put my Butkus (Award) in storage. I will put my Alamo Bowl MVP trophy in storage," Arrington said. "Jerseys, anything Penn State, in storage. Wherever Tom Bradley goes, that's the school I will start to put memorabilia up in my home. I'm done. I'm done with Penn State. If they're done with us, I'm done with them."Former linebacker Brandon Short also went crazy to Blue White Illustrated:
Said former All-American linebacker Brandon Short, "I don't want to be affiliated with the university if they don't choose a Penn State guy because of our standards, our graduation, all the things that have been important... it's no longer Penn State, so we might as well be in the SEC. They are intent on turning it into a booster culture. Ira Lubert went out and purchased a national title with wrestling and he's under the illusion that he can do that in football. Well, ask (Redskins owner) Dan Snyder about that."
"Penn State is a family and it is real and if they choose to get rid of Bradley and not hire a Penn State coach, then they've turned their backs on our entire family."During the week that the Penn State program was essentially torn to pieces, the majority of the media and public divided into either or both of the following camps: 1) is there a way we can legally kill Joe Paterno?; and 2) ohmygod that 19-year old climbed a street lamp, someone get the National Guard in there and start shooting!
There were very few people who advocated a measured, reasonable response in the face of what looked like, and has proved to be, a terrible situation. [I did]. One of those people arguing against a rush to judgment of Joe Paterno's legacy was Lavar Arrington.
So much for that.
Obviously, hiring a football coach and reporting child abuse are of wildly different importance, but there is a stunning inconsistency in the way that Arrington, and many other PSU alums, are reacting. Why bury O'Brien before he's even officially hired? Why make ridiculous threats to give back your Butkus award when you know nothing about this guy? Why be so certain that PSU should have hired Tom Bradley, who, sorry to say, may at some point be shown to have had knowledge of some of the stuff that Paterno got canned for knowing? And who, by the way, didn't show so well during his dry run the last 4 games?
The media rushed to judge Joe Paterno...isn't that exactly what Arrington and Short are doing with O'Brien?
Arrington and Short oppose the hiring of O'Brien under the guise of supporting the Penn State family. But by publicly destroying the guy and the school before he is even officially announced as the coach is selfish and will turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. He's stepping into a hard enough situation as it is; for the guys who profess to love Penn State to go out of their way to blast the school and O'Brien makes the situation impossible.
Joe Paterno's tenure was doomed at the end, through no fault of guys like Short and Arrington. But O'Brien's tenure is doomed from the start, and this time, PSU alums will have no one to blame but themselves.