Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

SEC head coaches sound off on Penn State scandal

On Monday, the NCAA announced significant penalties levied against the Penn State football program in response to a report released by former FBI director Louis Freeh. The report found that members of Penn State’s leadership, including former football coach Joe Paterno, aided in the cover-up of a child abuse scandal performed by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

The report concluded that “the most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who [former defensive coordinator Jerry] Sandusky victimized.”

The NCAA hit Penn state with a $60 million fine, a four-year ban from postseason play, a roster limit of 65 scholarship players and the loss of 10 scholarships per year for the next four years.

Some SEC coaches fielded questions about the Penn State situation at SEC Media Days after the Freeh report was released. Here’s what they had to say:

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive:

“Last week’s headlines remind us that we must be ever vigilant on all issues of integrity and that our primary mission is to educate and protect young people. We must maintain an honest and open dialogue across all levels of University administration. There must be an effective system of checks and balances within the administrative structure to protect all who come in contact with it, especially those who cannot protect themselves.

“No one person, no matter how popular, no matter how successful, can be allowed to derail the soul of an institution.”

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier:

“Well, obviously it’s a terrible mess, terrible mess. I don’t have the answers for this, that and the other.

“The only thing I would say about Coach Paterno, when he coached college football, he did everything right. As a college football coach, he was a guy, I mean, he did things right. His teams played fair, fundamentally sound. He was always revered for doing the right things.

“I don’t want to get into the other side of a terrible, terrible situation. But as a college football coach, I remember him that way, also.”

Alabama head coach Nick Saban:

“I just kind of think of things like this because I think of it with players a lot. You know, we all think that discipline is punishment, how are we going to punish someone. What I always try to think of is, you know, what do we want the outcome to be. If there’s some kind of way that we could create a win-win, and I don’t really know what that is, I just threw out a tax on every ticket at every athletic event and donate all the money to organizations that prevent child abuse, [it] would be more of a win-win than worrying about punishing someone.

“Probably not a very good idea, and I probably shouldn’t have said it. I just think that more focus on outcome is always more beneficial, [and] that might create a situation in the future that would be beneficial to someone.”

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel, to a small group of reporters before his turn on the podium, according to the Columbia Tribune:

“Joe Paterno’s a friend that I got to know professionally, and you can’t take away the greatness of this man. He was a great man. However you analyze this, you can’t erase all that this guy’s done. You can’t do that. Nobody can do that.

“It’s so easy, in hindsight, to go back there and say what it is. That’s the easiest thing to do. The easiest thing to do is to point fingers and [say], ‘You should have done this, you should have done that, you should have done that.’”

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