When I published this piece on November 9th my attempt was to highlight the names of coaches who I believed were eminently qualified to take on the now multiple challenges at Penn State. There were of course the obvious candidates. Names like Urban Meyer, Al Golden and Greg Schiano. But what value add would I be providing by including them? I think little. My premise was that Penn State would need to go outside the Penn State family for a replacement for Paterno.
Penn State is (or perhaps was) a marquee coaching position in college football. But the Sandusky scandal has sullied the equation. Why would a coach leave Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri or even Wake Forest to step into this mess? Especially when Kirk Ferentz ($3.78mm total comp), Jim Grobe ($2.94mm), Gary Pinkel ($2.55mm) and Bret Bielema ($2.5mm) get paid this much.
Now consider that Joe Paterno was making approximately $500,000 in salary and roughly the same amount in related ancillary income for a total of nearly $1.1mm dollars.
So in lieu of this scandal how is Penn State supposed to justify throwing $2.5mm (or more) at a football coach? It just doesn't seem politically feasible right now whether or not it is a good investment. Public perception will trump dollars and sense for the near term.
There are two choices among my list that I think would be fantastic leaders for Penn State at a time like this. Pete Thamel of the New York Times also mentions these two coaches in his piece dated November 13th (print edition on November 14th.)
Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com jumps on my bandwagon as well with a piece today highlighting our shared belief that Penn State will be all but precluded from going after a "trophy" coach like Urban Meyer.
It is with these candidates that the future of Penn State football lays.
Original slideshow intro (11/09/11)
Over the past 10 years, there have been numerous calls for Joe Paterno's resignation. Most of those have fallen on deaf ears. That has all changed this week with the revelations in the Sandusky child-sex investigation.
Like many of you, I believe that JoePa is a good and decent human being. But all human beings are subject to failings. That is what makes us human.
Joe Paterno is not super human, he is just human.
Personally, as a human, as a father, as a fellow Brown University alumnus and, lastly, as a former player and fan of college football, I am at a loss for words to describe the sadness and sickness I feel over the allegations involving Penn State's former Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
I can not help but think that Joe Paterno (Brown, class of 1950) has let all of us down. More importantly, he has let several young boys down. Unfortunately, I think his actions would have been characterized by more follow up and vigilance on his part were it his own son or grandson that was the victim of that alleged predator. Our youths are our collective past innocence and future glory personified. We should, as adults, protect them with zeal. Sadly, JoePa didn't.
For a coach that expects 110 percent from his players, we should expect the same from him, sadly those boys didn't get it. What an ignominious end to an, until now, respectful and honorable career.
For the Penn State community and for their fans, the conversation will soon selfishly move to the topic of who shall succeed Paterno as the leader of the Nittany Lions. Penn State will be mistaken if they don't understand that they need to wipe the slate clean. They don't need the latest flash in the pan, the latest hot coach. They need a leader that Joe Paterno turned out not to be. There are several coaches that fit that bill, and here are my thoughts on who they might be.
As always your thoughts and comments are very important to me. I look forward to hearing them. Please use the "comment" button at the bottom of the piece.